* With that said I decided to focus on the latest as Iraq heads to the total breakdown Bush guaranteed when he attacked Iraq., Bush's imbecilic reassertions that, that is success which in itself should tell you what his goals are, and Senator Hagel's correct assertion that Bush is in fantasy Land!
Success: Today Mr. Maliki, who has been in the southern Iraqi city to oversee the operation, offered cash to militants if they surrender their weapons and moved back a deadline for doing so from the 72-hour limit he set on Wednesday to April 8. Mr. Maliki also said he would skip this weekend's Arab League summit in Syria to stay and deal with Basra. (Attendance at that meeting was dwindling already, since Jordan today joined Saudi Arabia and Egypt in saying its head of state would stay home, apparently out of irritation at Syria's actions in Lebanon and its ties to Shiite Muslim Iran. Those three states are predominantly Sunni, unlike Iraq and Mr. Maliki's Shiite-led governing coalition, though he, too, may not be happy with alleged Syrian and Iranian interference in Iraq.) Just yesterday, Mr. Maliki promised Iraqis in a radio address that he wouldn't "retreat" in the Basra fight against a militia that at least nominally answers to anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al Sadr. But his forces apparently haven't been making progress, even as Mr. Sadr's forces have retaliated in Baghdad.
Thousands of Mr. Sadr's followers marched through the capital yesterday to call for Mr. Maliki's resignation over the Shiite-Shiite fighting in Basra, and Mr. Sadr himself called for a political solution to end the "shedding of Iraqi blood," as the Associated Press reports. What Mr. Sadr didn't do was order the Mahdi Army to stop fighting in Basra, or stop shelling the Green Zone, where Iraq's government and its U.S. patrons have their headquarters.
The Iraqi Parliament, where Mr. Sadr's backers have at times been allied with Mr. Maliki's, planned to convene an emergency session to find a way to stop the fighting, according to the BBC. But some of the combat has already been taken out of the government's hands. Agence France Presse reports that U.S.-led coalition forces have entered the fray in Basra and are bombing militia positions there. And American armored vehicles yesterday were already battling Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, with Iraqi army and police units letting them take the lead, the Washington Post says.
The renewed fighting -- with the possibility of ending a Mahdi Army truce just as the U.S. faces growing anger elsewhere in Iraq by armed Sunni groups that helped quell violence since last year but feel they haven't been adequately compensated -- comes at an awkward time for the Bush administration. The combat in Basra threatens to impair the important oil industry there, and Mr. Bush has been counting on restoration of Iraq's oil revenue as a key factor in rebuilding the country, as The Wall Street Journal points out. But even more important is how the fighting has jeopardized the image of a relatively pacified Iraq the White House has painted to extol the accomplishments of the surge strategy and justify future policy on Iraq. Ahead of congressional testimony by the top U.S. military and civilian officials in Iraq, Mr. Bush yesterday was touting the "signs of normalcy" he sees in the country.
"The Iraqi forces are growing in capability," the president said, citing in part the operation in Basra. Mr. Maliki's decision "shows the progress the Iraqi security forces have made during the surge. Iraqi forces planned this operation and they deployed substantial extra forces for it. They're leading the operation. Prime Minister Maliki has traveled to Basra to oversee it firsthand," he added. "This offensive builds on the security gains of the surge, and demonstrates to the Iraqi people that their government is committed to protecting them." They are so capable maliki is trying to buy off the insurgents and Americans are beginning to lead the way again and are in Basra with tanks and fighter aircraft. Success? Iraq not working out as planned
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Russia, the U.S. and NATO: Though President Bush has accepted an invitation from Vladimir Putin to visit the Russian president at the Kremlin following next week's NATO-Russia summit in Bucharest, tension in the alliance is rising over the biggest points of dispute between Washington and Moscow. Mr. Putin and his elected successor, Dmitri Medvedev, oppose U.S. plans to partly base a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as NATO's consideration of membership for former Soviet states Ukraine and Georgia, and they have frequently employed threatening language on the issues. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer yesterday warned Mr. Putin to avoid what he called another display of "unhelpful rhetoric" toward the West next week, as the Financial Times reports.
Meanwhile, NATO officials tell the International Herald Tribune that members Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are resisting the Bush administration's pressure to expand the alliance toward Russia's border at a time when the West will be making its initial contact with a President Medvedev. And a poll conducted for the IHT and the French television network France 24 finds "sentiment is widespread in NATO's six largest countries that the United States should cooperate with Russia over missile defenses in Eastern Europe," the IHT says.
To us nothing is working as planned but to bush it is total success as he endeavors for new societal, middle east, and world order! I wanted to finish this with Senator Hagel's assertion that Bush must be in Alice's wonderland because he is Republican and dead right. In the interest of shortening this I will supply the link and hope you read it because Hagel's assertions are dead on
** Can we and the world avoid war and stop bush's "Success" in his drive for New Societal, middle east, and World Order?