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FOX FIDDLES WHILE IRAQ BURNS

Reported by Deborah - July 14, 2007 -

Guest Blogged by Bill Corcoran

Denial is not a river in Egypt, but denial of the collapse of President Bush's "Iraq Experiment" has left FOX News twisting in the wind. As soon as a senior White House official earlier this week told the Associated Press that only a few of the benchmarks for Iraq have been met, FOX News and the Bush White House spin machine went to work and within 24-hours the FOX News web site was parroting what the Bush administration was already saying about their own report. However, the FOX News web site nor any of the on-air commentators could spell out in much detail just what benchmarks the Iraqi government had met. Adding to the misery of the Iraq war, the Bush administration plans to veto a boost in veteran benefits, leaving thousands of wounded Iraqi veterans without the proper medical care. And if that wasn't enough to give FOX News and the Bush White House an Excedrin #2 headache, the Army announced that for the second month in a row they have not met their recruiting goals. FOX News is too busy covering such vital topics as the wrestler who committed suicide or the latest missing WHITE woman. Anything that will keep viewers from finding out what is happening in Iraq is the main goal of FOX News. Because FOX News continues to hide from their viewers what is really taking place in Iraq, we have assembled a series of stories pertaining to the war in Iraq that FOX News deemed were not important enough to cover, or provide only a brief mention. Keep in mind, we still have over 160,000 young men and women in Iraq and in harm's way even if the Bush White House and FOX News doesn't want to talk about it.
Read on.....

White House Against Boosting VA Budget

Week of July 09, 2007

Moves in Congress to give the Department of Veterans Affairs as much as $3.8 billion more than the Bush administration proposed has drawn an indirect veto threat from the White House.

"If Congress increases VA funding above the president's request and does not offset this increase with spending reductions in other bills, the president will veto any of the other bills that exceed his request until Congress demonstrates a path to reach the president's top line of $933 billion," the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.

Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, chairman of the House veterans affairs appropriations subcommittee, said, "This bill is about respect, and honors the promises made to our veterans with historic increases in funding to provide them the health care and benefits they earned when they put on our nation's uniform." To learn more, read the article at Military.com.

FOX NEWS SAYS BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID

FOX News is cranking up the scare tactics just like they always do when things aren't going well in Iraq. The latest "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid" move by FOX news is to put a lead story on the FOX News web site claiming Al Qaeda is gearing up for an attack on the United States. Doesn't FOX News know by now that most Americans aren't taken in anymore by the scare tactics from the Bush White House and their propaganda branch, FOX News?
Continue reading.....

Intelligence Report: Al Qaeda Renewing Efforts to Sneak Operatives Into U.S.
Friday , July 13, 2007

WASHINGTON —

Al Qaeda is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned.

The draft National Intelligence Estimate is expected to paint an increasingly worrisome portrait of Al Qaeda's ability to use its base along the Pakistan-Afghan border to launch and inspire attacks, even as Bush administration officials say the U.S. is safer nearly six years into the war on terror.

Among the key findings of the classified estimate, which is still in draft form and must be approved by all 16 U.S. spy agencies:

— Al Qaeda is probably still pursuing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and would use them if its operatives developed sufficient capability.


BUSH "SOLDIERS ON" EVEN THOUGH BENCHMARKS NOT MET


FOX News, obviously acting on instructions from the Bush White House, tried to put the best face on the administration's assessment of how things are going in Iraq, and more importantly whether the fledgling Iraqi government is meeting any of the 18 benchmarks orginally set down as an indication how Iraq is stepping up to the plate in behalf of their own country.

The Bush administration and FOX News were dancing as fast as they can to try and paint a rosy outlook for Iraq, but upon closer examination the major benchmarks are not being met in Iraq and the country sinks further and further into a quagmire.

A lengthy introduction to the administration's 25-page report described it as an interim "snapshot" of only limited use in judging the success of Bush's new strategy. Some of the benchmarks, it said, were useful in "giving some sense of future trends," while others were "lagging indicators" that could be assessed only after the strategy "is fully underway." It suggested that some other measures providing a more favorable picture -- a recent decrease in the number of suicide bombings and sectarian violence, and local cooperation with U.S. forces in Anbar province -- might serve as a better yardstick. Continue reading.....


Recruiting goal missed for 2nd straight month

WASHINGTON — The Army failed to meet its recruiting goal in June, raising concern that the unpopular Iraq war and strong economy could wreak even more havoc on enlistments.Army officials acknowledged Monday that the service missed its recruiting target for the second month in a row, but would not provide exact numbers. But two defense officials said the Army fell short of its 8,400 goal by about 15 percent — which is more than twice the June shortfall and would mean that roughly 7,000 recruits signed up.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the recruiting numbers are not scheduled for release until Tuesday.

Last month the Army said it recruited 5,101 new soldiers in May, about 7 percent short of its 5,500 goal for that month.

Army spokesman Col. Dan Baggio said the Army is still on track to meet its annual goal of 80,000 recruits for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, since it exceeded targets earlier in the year.

But, he added, “This is not necessarily a rosy picture. We’re not taking this lightly.”

The slip in May was the first time in about two years that the Army did not meet recruiting goals. It came as the Pentagon is struggling to increase the overall size of the Army and Marine Corps, as part of an effort to provide the warfighting capability needed.

The military is fighting two wars — in Iraq and Afghanistan — and fielding the combat units needed for the conflicts has put massive strains on an already stretched Army.

In addition to the increasing unhappiness with the war, Baggio said that recruiting has been hampered by the fact that seven in 10 potential recruits do not meet Army standards. They are largely failing to meet weight and education requirements.

Also, Curt Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accession policy, said in a recent AP interview that the global war on terror is causing many parents and other adults who influence young people to steer them away from military service. At the same time, Gilroy said, the U.S. economy has been strong, providing other more lucrative job prospects.

BUSH OUTLINES PHASE B FOR IRAQ. SAME-O, SAME-O

GOP Dissent Spurs Change In Message but Not Course

President Bush, facing a growing Republican revolt against his Iraq policy, has rejected calls to change course but will launch a campaign emphasizing his intent to draw down U.S. forces next year and move toward a more limited mission if security conditions improve, senior officials said yesterday.

Top administration officials have begun talking with key Senate Republicans to walk them through his view of the next phase in the war, beyond the troop increase he announced six months ago today. Bush plans to lay out what an aide called "his vision for the post-surge" starting in Cleveland today to assure the nation that he, too, wants to begin bringing troops home eventually.

The White House devised the political strategy after days of intense internal discussions about how to respond to several prominent Republican senators who have broken with Bush's war policy recently. Bush decided against heeding their proposal to begin redeploying U.S. troops as early as this summer, but he and his team concluded that he needed to shift his message to show that he shares the goals of his increasingly restless Republican caucus and the broader public.

"Look, the president understands the American people are frustrated," said a senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging Bush. "We've been at this a long time. We've sacrificed some of our best and brightest. . . . But they want to see that we have a vision for success that will allow us to gradually downsize our role and reduce our footprint. The president needs to and wants to remind everybody that he shares that frustration."

To do that, Bush intends to argue that Congress and the public should look past this week's scheduled status report on Iraq and wait for the fuller assessment due in September. A drawdown, administration officials said, must be the result of the troop increase, not in place of it. "The drawdown is an effect," the official said. "It's not a cause."

Yet key Republican senators have indicated that they would not be satisfied with a change in political spin over a real change in strategy. In a speech on the Senate floor after a White House meeting yesterday, John W. Warner (R-Va.) set the tone, declaring this "a time in our history unlike any I have ever witnessed before." Warner recalled that Congress has voted to require Bush to demonstrate progress in Iraq or detail how he will alter his strategy, adding that he warned the White House to take it seriously

FOX NEWS SKIPS STORY ON LONGER REDEPLOYMENT FOR U.S. TROOPS IN IRAQ

Gen. Casey: 15-month tours could be extended.

For some unknown reason, the editors at FOX News felt letting people know that Army Chief of Staff George Casey says troops may be kept in Iraq longer than the 15 months they have been told they would be deployed is not important.

FORT BLISS, Texas — After five years of war, the U.S. Army is stretched thin and long deployments are taking a toll on soldiers and their families, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Tuesday.Casey, who became the 36th Army chief of staff in April, said the continuing war in Iraq has put so much pressure on the Army that limiting deployments to 15 months can’t be guaranteed.

“I had that same question from the families today and what I told them was I can’t guarantee that it won’t go beyond 15 months,” Casey said, following a tour of the Texas post and meetings with soldiers and families stationed there. “However, I am personally concerned about the impact on the soldiers operating in that environment [Iraq], of asking them to stay there longer than 15 months.”

Continue reading..


FOX NEWS SKIPS STORY ON 200 PSYCHIATRISTS NEEDED BY ARMY FOR WOUNDED VETERANS
DoD official urges mental health culture shift
FOX News let slide under the radar scope a story coming out of the Department of Defense that the military is desperately in need of at least 200 psychiatrists to deal with the mounting number of troops returning to the United States with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or what used to be called "battle fatituge." The Marine Corps Times


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top health official said Thursday he wants to see better mental health assessments, stronger privacy protections and a “buddy system” to change the military’s stigma against seeking help for anxiety and depression.

Speaking to Congress as the military rushes to improve its much-criticized mental health system, S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, also acknowledged that the Army’s touted plans to hire 25 percent more mental health specialists could prove hard to fulfill for a while because of problems in recruiting and retaining active-duty professionals.

“It’s not easy to get people into the military,” said Casscells, referring to plans by Army Surgeon General Gail Pollock. “We cannot hire 200 Army psychiatrists, which General Pollock wants to do, we can’t do that overnight. So we need everyone to reach out and look out for service members.”

“It might mean if your buddy in combat is staring off into space and not laughing anymore at the dumb jokes, maybe it’s a sign they might need to go back to base, get three hot meals and to talk to someone confidentially,” he added. “I don’t expect we will have a perfect solution.”

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SUMMARY

As Iraq slips further and further into an all-out civil war, FOX News looks more and more foolish everyday as the lone water carrier for the Bush administration. FOX News continues to show their partisanship by avoiding reporting on many stories coming out of Iraq or from military affairs organizations back here in the United States. Stories that impact on the lives of over 160,000 men and women serving in the United States military in Iraq. For all their self-righteous flag-waving, it is FOX News which has proven they are the most unpatriotic of all the network and cable news organizations. .