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Thursday, 17 August 2006 08:55

DNC: Dean On Bush's Disappearing Credibility On Iraq

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A NEWS RELEASE

News from the DNC:

Dean On Bush's Disappearing Credibility On Iraq

Washington, DC - Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow continued the false rhetoric of President Bush and Vice President Cheney and announced that "there is not a civil war going on" and that there has been "improvement" on the ground in Iraq. But, these latest pronouncements contradict a report prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency on August 3rd which indicated that the "number of roadside bombs exploded or found in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total since the war began." In addition, last month was the deadliest month of the Iraq War, as an average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July. The New York Times also quoted a senior defense official, who concluded that the "insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures." [New York Times, 8/17/06]

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement on the President's disappearing credibility on Iraq:

"President Bush and his Administration have no credibility left when it comes to the war in Iraq, yet they continue to engage in partisan attacks, misleading the American people about the real state of affairs in Iraq. The disclosure of this latest report outlining growing chaos and violence in Iraq undermines the President's deceptive proclamations that things are going smoothly in Iraq. The Bush Administration should release this report so that the American people can have an accurate assessment of the facts on the ground, not more White House propaganda. While Iraq continues to slip into civil war and hamper our ability to fight the war on terror, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, the Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda has set up shop in Pakistan.

"A majority of Americans now believe that the war in Iraq was a mistake and agree with Democrats' call to begin responsible redeployment of our troops so that we can fight and win the war on terror. Republicans in Congress have rubber-stamped the President's failed policy and refused to hold him accountable for his commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq. But, in November, the American people will hold Republicans responsible for their inept leadership and continued support for Bush's bad policies."

See below for a new document from DNC Research:

WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES TO DENY CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ

Snow Says There is "No Civil War" In Iraq, Says There Has Been "Improvement On the Ground." When asked whether Iraq had slipped into civil war, Press Secretary Tony Snow said "No, number one, there is not a civil war going on. I was on the phone earlier today with Major General Caldwell in Baghdad -- the other thing that's happening is that there has been -- there has been some improvement at least in the situation on the ground, slightly." [White House Press Briefing, 8/16/06]

Bush "Puzzled," "Frustrated" about Iraq - But Only in Private. According to the New York Times, "President Bush made clear in a private meeting this week that he was concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq and frustrated that the new Iraqi government - and the Iraqi people - had not shown greater public support for the American mission." "I sensed a frustration with the lack of progress on the bigger picture of Iraq generally - that we continue to lose a lot of lives, it continues to sap our budget," said one person who attended the meeting. "He said he really didn't quite have a sense yet of how effective the government was," another person said. The New York Times noted that the President "was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd." [New York Times, 8/16/06]

FACTS ON THE GROUND, EXPERTS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY

July 2006: More Than 110 Iraqis Killed Daily on Average, Deadliest Month of War for Iraqi Civilians, Most Dangerous for American Troops. According to figures from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, July 2006 appeared to have been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians. An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths, 3,438, was a nine percent increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January. The rising numbers, according to the New York Times, suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerillas and Shiite militias." While the number of Americans killed in action per month has declined slightly - to 38 killed in action in July, from 42 in January - the number of Americans wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January. [New York Times, 8/16/06, 8/17/06]

* July 2006: Highest Monthly Total of Roadside Bombs. The New York Times reported, "The number of roadside bombs planted in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total of the war, offering more evidence that the anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen despite the killing of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Along with a sharp increase in sectarian attacks, the number of daily strikes against American and Iraqi security forces has doubled since January. The deadliest means of attack, roadside bombs, made up much of that increase. In July, of 2,625 explosive devices, 1,666 exploded and 959 were discovered before they went off. In January, 1,454 bombs exploded or were found." [New York Times, 8/17/06]

Washington Post: The South Is "Spiraling Into an Abyss of Violence." The Washington Post wrote, "the Shiite-dominated south appears to be spiraling into an abyss of violence, fueled largely by power struggles within the religious sect." [Washington Post, 8/17/06]

"The Insurgency Has Gotten Worse By Almost All Measures." A senior Defense Department official who wouldn't be named said, "The insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures, with insurgent attacks at historically high levels...The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than at any point in time." [New York Times, 8/17/06]

Generals Raised Fears Of Iraq Civil War. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on August 3, 2006, Generals Abizaid and Pace both expressed fears that Iraq was headed towards a civil war. Responding to questions about escalations in violence in recent weeks, General John Abizaid admitted that "Iraq could move toward civil war." He described the sectarian violence as "probably as bad as I have seen it[.]" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff concurred with Abizaid's assessment that Iraq was in danger of civil war on its current path. Pace said at the hearing, "We do have the possibility of that devolving into civil war." While Pace indicated that he did not see this path developing one year ago, Abizaid admitted that the trend has been consistent, saying that it was obvious one year ago that sectarian violence was on the rise. [Associated Press, 8/3/06]

Britain's Outgoing Ambassador To Iraq Said "Civil War" And "Division" Of Iraq Was More Likely Than A "Stable Democracy." William Patey, the outgoing British Ambassador to Iraq, wrote in his final diplomatic telegram Iraq would likely fall into civil war. Patey wrote: "The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy." According to Reuters, the statement "gives a far more pessimistic assessment for prospects in Iraq than Britain has disclosed in public." [BBC News, 8/3/06; Reuters, 8/3/06]

Former Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Said Iraq Was In Civil War. Iyad Allawi former Interim Iraqi Prime Minister and leader of the Iraqi National List a secular nationalist party made up of Sunnis and Shiites said that Iraq was already in a civil war. Allawi said, "It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is." [BBC, 3/19/06]

National Intelligence Estimate Warned In 2003 Of the Strength of the Insurgency and the Possibility for Civil War. "U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war, according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the reports." [San Jose Mercury News, 3/1/06]

* Cheney Ignored Report Contents. "President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and others continued to describe the insurgency as a containable threat, posed mainly by former supporters of Saddam Hussein, criminals and non-Iraqi terrorists -- even as the U.S. intelligence community was warning otherwise." [San Jose Mercury News, 3/1/06]

A NEWS RELEASE
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