Senate Hearing on U.S. Assistance to Iraq

To see how American democracy works when dealing with the current alarming situation in Iraq first go here, the video archive on international affairs on CSPAN.org, and scroll down to where it says, "Senate Hearing on U.S. Assistance to Iraq" under the date 9/15/2004. You might have to go to the next page of videos in this part of the archive to view the interesting, sometimes scathing, and extremely belated criticism from some members of the committee of the job being done in Iraq under the auspice of U.S. (failed) leadership and (failed) foreign policy.

Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee says while opening up this hearing,

This war is not going to be won by Marines and soldiers. The only thing we can do about it is keep a lid on it and buy time. ...in an economy with no jobs, faltering infrastructure, there is plenty of incentive to fight. The incentive needs to be removed. Marines and soldiers don't remove it. Civil affairs teams and NGOs do. And there are not enough of these people in Iraq. And they are not organized in a specific way that they can respond to specific needs. *You are less likely to shoot the guy who is trying to build a school for you kids and turn on your water. These individuals need to take greater risks and be out there with us.

*Doesn't this go for Simona Torretta, Simona Pari, Mahnoaz, and Ra'ad too? Isn't it strange that these individuals are kidnapped from the Un Ponte Per Baghdad office in the manner they were?

Oh there's so many other questions to ask. But I'll leave it at that for now.

I hope some of you will watch at least some of this hearing.


UPDATE: Here's my commentary and bookmarks for the over 2 hour hearing. No, I didn't watch all of it. But I did listen to most of it.

The tension is so thick that you could only cut it with a sharp machete.

Senator Chuck Hagel R-Nebraska

1:24min = "beyond pitiful" (on what hasn't been spent in Iraq)

1:26 min = what has been designated to be spent -vs- what actually has been spent On HEALTH, approximately $765 million earmarked, yet only $2 million spent. Do you believe that? And there are other mind-boggggggglin' numbers.

1:27:30 UN kofi annan statement- on Iraqi elections

-Senator Bill Nelson D-Florida

1:33:40 "Loosey Goosey" used in a formal meeting in DC referring to the plan for post conflict Iraq (well, there still is a conflict////it hasn't stopped and that's some funny shit actually. reminds me of manny farber's film criticism...intermingling phenomenological terms with sometimes obscene coarseness and sarcasm...well, not really when i think of it. these guys are semantic savages. farber is much more entertaining.)

1:42 "Dissed" is used in a very seriuos manner by our dear Senator who's tired of friggin' hurricaines...(dude, fuckin' awesome senate hearing! damn son, we was dissed)

I'll add the first part of this later...
Update: (ah, nevermind...it's not worth the trouble. there should have been much more critical thinking before the war. and now they're just getting to it...just as Iraq is looking its worst. in fact, don't watch it.)


***aLso, excerpts from a Sidney Blumenthal Guardian article...where former head of the National Security Agency says that Iraq is "far graver than Vietnam."

Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs are all there."

He compares any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad's razing of the rebel city of Hama. "You could flatten it," said Hoare. "US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their leadership would escape, and civilians would be caught in the middle. I hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in the street, a beacon for democracy."


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