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Bush Slaps Down Top General After He Calls For Troops To Be Pulled Out Of Iraq
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-14-2005 | Philip Sherwell

Posted on 08/13/2005 6:43:39 PM PDT by blam

Bush slaps down top general after he calls for troops to be pulled out of Iraq

By Philip Sherwell in Washington
(Filed: 14/08/2005)

The top American commander in Iraq has been privately rebuked by the Bush administration for openly discussing plans to reduce troop levels there next year, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

President George W Bush personally intervened last week to play down as "speculation" all talk of troop pull-outs because he fears that even discussing options for an "exit strategy" implies weakening resolve.

General George Casey

Gen George Casey, the US ground commander in Iraq, was given his dressing-down after he briefed that troop levels - now 138,000 - could be reduced by 30,000 in the early months of next year as Iraqi security forces take on a greater role.

The unusual sign of US discord came as Iraqi politicians and clerics drafting a new constitution continued their own wrangling over autonomy demands by various factions.

Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president and a Kurd, predicted that a draft of the new constitution should be ready today, 24 hours ahead of Monday's deadline, but other delegates were less optimistic.

"If God is willing, tomorrow it will be ready," Mr Talabani told a news conference in Baghdad yesterday, but admitted that two significant issues remained unresolved: the question of federalism in the south, and the relation between religion and state.

Shia Muslims, who lead Iraq's interim coalition government, are pushing for a clause saying that all laws passed by parliament must be compatible with Islam - a proposal most other participants oppose.

Meanwhile, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, threatened to kill any imam who backs the constitution, according to a statement posted on the internet yesterday but whose origin could not be independently verified.

Cindy Sheehan protesting outside Mr Bush's ranch

Mr Bush is expected to place phone calls to some of the senior Iraqi negotiators in Baghdad if the deadlock remains. Last week as he came under renewed pressure from anti-war protesters to pull out, he dismissed any prospect of an immediate troop withdrawal. Mr Bush was responding to calls by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has set up a protest camp outside his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where Mr Bush is on holiday.

Politically, the administration will be under pressure to signal a significant cut in the US presence by autumn next year to help Republicans fighting mid-term elections in November 2006. Military commanders, however, also need to wind down numbers, the imperative that prompted Gen Casey's comments, according to Dan Goure, a Pentagon adviser and vice-president of the Lexington Institute defence think-tank.

"It's number-driven," Mr Goure said. "The military can only maintain these levels in Iraq if it has absolutely no choice. Otherwise, the current pattern of rotations and other commitments mean that they will have to lower numbers."

There will, in any case, be a short-term increase in US troop levels to cover the Iraq elections scheduled for December. After that, said Mr Goure, the military has drawn up three broad strategies for cutting troops.

Their "best scenario" target is to reduce numbers to 60,000-70,000 by next autumn if Iraqi forces start to make progress against the insurgents. The fall-back option would be Gen Casey's minimum 30,000 reduction by the summer.

There is also a rarely-mentioned "Plan C" - complete withdrawal if all-out civil war erupts between the Shias and Sunnis, both of whom are engaged in a last-ditch battle for political territory in the current negotiations.

The Kurds and Shia Arabs want strong regional governments to be created in their northern and southern strongholds. But the minority Sunni Arabs, who dominated the country under Saddam Hussein, fear that they will be left with the central dust-bowl.

Sunni religious leaders, who led the boycott of January's elections, are now calling for their followers to register to vote in case they decide to oppose the constitution's federalism clauses in October's referendum.

The constitution will be considered void if it is rejected by two-thirds of voters in three provinces. Sunnis form a majority in four provinces.

A chemicals production plant thought to have been built by insurgents was found by US forces last week in a raid near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush; calls; down; general; georgecasey; iraq; oif; out; pulled; slaps; timetable; top; troops
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1 posted on 08/13/2005 6:43:40 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

We may exit, but it will be through Iran.


2 posted on 08/13/2005 6:45:03 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: blam

and it breaks in the British newspaper?


3 posted on 08/13/2005 6:45:48 PM PDT by bnelson44 (Proud parent of a tanker!)
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To: blam

Wow..I assumed he was taking his que from the W-house when I heard that statement. Very disturbing and deadly diarhrhea of the mouth then.


4 posted on 08/13/2005 6:47:01 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Pitchforks and Lanterns..with a smiley face!)
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To: blam

the minority Sunni Arabs, who dominated the country under Saddam Hussein, fear that they will be left with the central dust-bowl.

Eat dirt murderers!


5 posted on 08/13/2005 6:49:32 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: samadams2000

I agree, we shouldn't give the terrorists target dates or other encouragement.


6 posted on 08/13/2005 6:50:13 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: blam

Seems like an interesting breakdown in the message the administration wants to put out. I'm sure the General was repeating adminstration policy that he's been briefed on but his mistake was getting out ahead of the president on this. He can kiss any further advancement goodbye.


7 posted on 08/13/2005 6:50:16 PM PDT by Arkie2 (No, I never voted for Bill Clinton. I don't plan on voting Republican again!)
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To: SteveMcKing
We may exit, but it will be through Iran.

I like the way you think.

8 posted on 08/13/2005 6:51:03 PM PDT by WarPaint (Crush Islam)
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To: blam

The President is Commander-in-Chief: Generals serve at his pleasure.


9 posted on 08/13/2005 6:51:57 PM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Respecting liberal democrats requires contempt for every thing respectable.)
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To: blam

The british media is worse than the media here. So take any of that with a grain of salt.

If anything.......the administration would be upset because of the Gen. broadcasting possible troop movements.

WHICH IS BAD.

In other news....its a warm night here in Central Texas.


10 posted on 08/13/2005 6:52:44 PM PDT by ArmyBratproud
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To: blam

I thought the General's remarks were dumb when he made them. I'm glad Bush agrees, although I think that publicizing the reaction by Bush is not a good idea either.


11 posted on 08/13/2005 6:52:47 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: samadams2000
Very disturbing

Big time generals don't usually make disturbing mis-statements.

12 posted on 08/13/2005 6:52:56 PM PDT by ladyjane
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To: blam

Just as the radical-left has infiltrated the Church, schools, colleges, etc, they definitely infiltrated into the military and into all the intelligence agencies. Especially during the Decade of Decadence - the 1990's!

as Gramsci wrote a century ago - to destroy capitalism you must ...

< snip >

...C. Gradual revolution through infiltration & subversion by revolutionaries
......1. Infiltrate the State: elective & appointed office; judgeships
......2. Infiltrate the military: enlist & subvert from within
......3. Infiltrate justice: undermine and discredit state constitutions
......4. Infiltrate education: professors & administrators
......5. Infiltrate & discredit religion: scoundrels as clergymen
......6. Register, then license, then confiscate all privately held weapons

< snip >


13 posted on 08/13/2005 6:53:01 PM PDT by hombre_sincero
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To: cripplecreek
A military man revealed the timeline?

God better be on our side because between fools, the msm, and the liberal education system we are being overwhelmed here.

14 posted on 08/13/2005 6:54:40 PM PDT by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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To: cripplecreek
"I agree, we shouldn't give terrorists target dates or other encouragement."

Or the liberals and MSMs.
15 posted on 08/13/2005 7:01:43 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: hombre_sincero
Worth Repeating
16 posted on 08/13/2005 7:04:18 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: WarPaint

Iran on the way to Syria


17 posted on 08/13/2005 7:05:21 PM PDT by OldFriend (MERCY TO THE GUILTY IS CRUELTY TO THE INNOCENT ~ Adam Smith)
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To: blam
The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Through unnamed sources, I presume.

18 posted on 08/13/2005 7:06:18 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: SteveMcKing

That's a winner.


19 posted on 08/13/2005 7:07:52 PM PDT by FryingPan101 (Will the Huskers ever come back?)
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To: blam

I don't understand why the article even has been posted. Nothing new has been raised in this article. For a few months we have heard exactly the same things being said. Gradual troop reductions as the Iraqi forces take over. A most probable for a temporary increase in troops for the upcoming federal elections. Again, nothing new, this has been made clear many months ago. How has the commander of ground forces in Iraq been "slapped down" in any way?
The UK never brings up things that are not made known by other communist news feeds. The only thing I see in this article is the picture of Hanoi Jane's new hero. The bitch creeping around in Crawford Tx. Ya know, the one that had a son that enlisted to get as far away from her as possible.


20 posted on 08/13/2005 7:08:08 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: samadams2000; All

And .. probably accounts for Rumsfeld's recent "surprise visit" ..??


21 posted on 08/13/2005 7:13:54 PM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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To: hombre_sincero
Just as the radical-left has infiltrated the Church, schools, colleges, etc, they definitely infiltrated into the military and into all the intelligence agencies. Especially during the Decade of Decadence - the 1990's!

What the hell does this have to do with Gen. Casey? By the way, the guy most definitely ISN'T a leftist....
22 posted on 08/13/2005 7:18:05 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (Waiting for Willie's boohoohoo of the week....next week, 200 strippers laid off in Tampa......)
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To: OldFriend

"Iran on the way to Syria"


Where does it end? Beijing?

Better upgrade the military by a couple million folks...


23 posted on 08/13/2005 7:23:31 PM PDT by dakine
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To: MikeinIraq

You are right, MikeinIraq -- there are indeed at least two odd things about this article.


24 posted on 08/13/2005 7:23:47 PM PDT by Alia
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To: MikeinIraq
What the hell does this have to do with Gen. Casey? By the way, the guy most definitely ISN'T a leftist....

The General is probably just a straight shooter. But, our lefty anti-American press can take any statement and turn it into enemy morale booster.
25 posted on 08/13/2005 7:24:22 PM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Alia

yeah


26 posted on 08/13/2005 7:26:01 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (Waiting for Willie's boohoohoo of the week....next week, 200 strippers laid off in Tampa......)
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To: ARCADIA

He is...

I think this is just a case of the General getting out ahead of the President a bit.

Believe me the Administration communicates VERY clearly with the generals in Iraq. They don't give them marching orders per se, but they give them an idea of where they want to go....


27 posted on 08/13/2005 7:26:51 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (Waiting for Willie's boohoohoo of the week....next week, 200 strippers laid off in Tampa......)
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To: All
You guys are missing the whole point of this article. Read the headlines and you will get it. The headlines say the General CALLS for troops to be pulled out of Iraq.

He didn't call for them to be pulled out, he merely stated a possible timeline for doing so. This article is designed to mislead, as so many MSM articles are, to make you think the General actually said we SHOULD get the troops out. Implying that the top General was for getting out of Iraq, but of course this angers Bush and he jumps the General.

In reality none of what is reported here is new, just more MSM propaganda.

28 posted on 08/13/2005 7:29:15 PM PDT by calex59 (If you have to take me apart to get me there, then I don't want to go!)
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To: ladyjane
"Big time generals don't usually make disturbing mis-statements." TWICE, that is!
29 posted on 08/13/2005 7:30:28 PM PDT by harpu
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To: blam
lot of damn hair for an officer... let alone a frickin general!!!

30 posted on 08/13/2005 7:31:07 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: samadams2000

Loose lips, sinks ships!!!!!!!!!!!!!


31 posted on 08/13/2005 7:41:47 PM PDT by Virginia Queen (Virginia Queen)
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To: MikeinIraq

What the hell does this have to do with Gen. Casey?

Maybe nothing - but there have been quite a few very questionable Capts, Colonels, Lt Cols, Generals - Clark for example! with definite anti-capitalist republic leanings.

Clinton didn't get rid of most of the high level officers during his term for nothing! He put in the leftist military leadership into the pentagon, the state dept, and into all the intel agencies. They must be expunged ASAP!
======

"Gentlemen, Comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about glasnost and perestroika and democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal change within the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep".

Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, to the Politburo in Nov 1987.

Then Clinton was president .....


32 posted on 08/13/2005 7:51:30 PM PDT by hombre_sincero
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To: Chode
lot of damn hair for an officer... let alone a frickin general!!!

It seems that many generals do have "executive hair", to borrow a Dilbert phrase. However, his hair conforms to standards, or is "within regs" in military slang.

33 posted on 08/13/2005 7:52:18 PM PDT by SIDENET ("You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred")
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To: hombre_sincero
They must be expunged ASAP!

I think you need to expunge the caffeine from your system....
34 posted on 08/13/2005 7:56:47 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (Waiting for Willie's boohoohoo of the week....next week, 200 strippers laid off in Tampa......)
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To: SIDENET
it's within reg's, but tells me he's more of a perfumed prince than a warrior/leader
35 posted on 08/13/2005 8:24:09 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: OldFriend; SteveMcKing; WarPaint
The biggest problem with the Iran strategy is that any invasion of Iran would likely result in the elimination or marked reduction in there oil exports for at least a time. The question would be how much time.

Iran currently exports 2.5 million barrels a day of oil http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iran.html#oil

As you can see in the below image supply and demand are currently very closely matched. If you remove 2.5 million barrels a day or a substantial fraction of that from the supply side the demand side won't be looking that pretty. Due to the global nature of the oil market even though we don't ourselves import oil from Iran, we will be affected. You like gasoline at $2.50-$3.00 now? Expect to see a minimum premium of $1.00-$2.00 on top of that if we invade.


36 posted on 08/13/2005 8:27:15 PM PDT by NYorkerInHouston
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To: bnelson44

That's what I thought.


37 posted on 08/13/2005 8:29:07 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Chode
Army taps 4-star general for Iraq command

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army vice chief of staff, has been nominated for a newly created post that would make him the top U.S. commander and only four-star general in Iraq.

The nomination, which had been expected, was announced yesterday by the Pentagon along with several other major command assignments, including Navy Vice Adm. Timothy J. Keating to be commander of Northern Command, the military command that was created after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Adm. Keating was the commander of naval operations during the initial phase of the Iraq war.

The nominations have to be confirmed by the Senate. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is currently the top American commander in Iraq. His role in the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse case has come under question recently and, although there is no accusation against him, senior Pentagon officials believed he could not be confirmed quickly by the Senate for the newly created position of commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq. Gen. Casey, who has been Army vice chief only since last October, is not expected to face Senate opposition.

As a four-star general in Iraq, Gen. Casey would be responsible for overseeing the U.S.-led military operation and interacting with the new Iraqi government that takes over June 30 as well as the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, John Negroponte. A three-star, Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, would manage day-to-day military activities.

Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command, will remain the top military officer responsible for the Iraq mission and also has responsibility for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and other countries in that region.

Gen. Abizaid and Gen. Casey have worked together previously and their Army careers have had some recent parallels. Both were assistant commanders of the 1st Armored Division in Germany in 1996-97, both were division commanders in Germany in 1999-2000, and Gen. Casey was head of strategic plans for the Joint Staff in the Pentagon in 2001 while Gen. Abizaid was director of the Joint Staff.

When Gen. Abizaid was promoted to deputy commander of Central Command in January 2003, Gen. Casey succeeded him as Joint Staff director. Gen. Casey, whose first duty assignment in the Army was as a mortar platoon leader in Germany in 1971, has never commanded troops in combat.

38 posted on 08/13/2005 8:29:44 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Iraq and Afghanistan will make good staging areas on both sides of Iran if push comes to shove. Funny how it works out that way but I'm not complaining one bit.


39 posted on 08/13/2005 8:30:28 PM PDT by TheForceOfOne (The alternative media is our Enigma machine.)
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To: hombre_sincero
Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, to the Politburo in Nov 1987.

Then Clinton was president .....

Reagan was President in November of 1987, hombre_clueless

40 posted on 08/13/2005 8:35:02 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: NYorkerInHouston
"You like gasoline at $2.50-$3.00 now? Expect to see a minimum premium of $1.00-$2.00 on top of that if we invade."

While the effects on parts of the economy are a real concern, as well as military considerations, I absolutely couldn't care if the cost were $10 a gallon in order to secure our global interests.

41 posted on 08/13/2005 8:42:07 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: SteveMcKing

This might have some interest for you. The consequences would be far reaching and could involve more than just the price of gasoline.

LOOKING AHEAD: OIL: By William F. Buckley Jr.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ucwb/20050813/cm_ucwb/lookingaheadoil

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1462732/posts


42 posted on 08/13/2005 8:52:49 PM PDT by NYorkerInHouston
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To: blam

Looks like Gen George Casey just chose to end his career by undermining his Commander in Chief. Another one of those boomer generals who like the feel of early retirement, a few rounds on TV and a book contract.


43 posted on 08/13/2005 8:54:24 PM PDT by cambridge ( I was sympathetic to her before I was against her.)
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To: hombre_sincero

I very much doubt Gorbachev said that. Are you implying that the collapse of the USSR was and is all part of some grand Communist plot to lull the US into passivity before they unleash a RED DAWN-style invasion.

Reagan was Presdident in '87, then Bush, then Clinton. Did Gorbachev plan Clinton back then?

Sometimes we all drink too much coffee.
[I know I do]
;)


44 posted on 08/13/2005 9:07:44 PM PDT by cambridge ( I was sympathetic to her before I was against her.)
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To: NYorkerInHouston
I consider WFB to be among the 5 or 6 people on earth I find at all interesting, if only for his vocabulary and his hybridization of the 19th and 20th centuries into one romantic poem. (My other handful of interests just happen to be attractive young women...)

Though oil is a primary manufacturing base for chemicals and raw materials, he also cites the author's examples like this-

"Suddenly forced to pay double for a gallon of gas begin to brown-bag their lunches, inching away from restaurants and sandwich shops."

- apparently not seeing the benefits it brings to the brown paper bag industry. So referring back to my point, it is mainly luxuries that will suffer - besides the small detail of fueling our Army, Navy, and Air Force.

I am of the shameless opinion that "luxuries", in 2005, are largely wanton, wasteful, sinful, spiteful, obnoxious, liberal (to be redundant) items that I would gladly see gone from this land.

45 posted on 08/13/2005 9:13:52 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: blam

yup...


46 posted on 08/13/2005 9:14:59 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: SteveMcKing

I am standing up applauding you for that line. Short simple and to the point.


47 posted on 08/13/2005 9:18:51 PM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: samadams2000
Chess move. Don't kid yourself, this was done deliberately as a warning to the waivering members of the constitution committee. They were going to try to drag this thing out for several more months.

Political hardball.

48 posted on 08/13/2005 9:21:44 PM PDT by McGavin999 ("You must call evil by it's name" GW Bush ......... It's name is Terror)
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To: McGavin999

You're two steps ahead of me. Hope you're right. But hope is not a strategy.


49 posted on 08/13/2005 9:24:44 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Pitchforks and Lanterns..with a smiley face!)
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To: McGavin999

For the lazier of us at this hour, can you [ or ayone else] give a link / Cliff's Notes to what you mean? Sounds very interesting. Thanks in advance.


50 posted on 08/13/2005 9:27:17 PM PDT by cambridge ( I was sympathetic to her before I was against her.)
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