Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

WAR -- The Money [Part 8]


After listening for hours and reading umpteen accounts and analyses of the Iraq hearings held yesterday, I expect to get a phone call from Joe Biden thanking me for my service. Take away what you want from your impressions and research of these hearings, I guarantee that this war is still going to cost us a boodle of dough. I’ve marked in bold the clear signals that the direction we’re going matches a teenager with a credit card and not a clue as to what those three letters, “APR” mean.

And for the record, does anyone in the Senate or in the Saratoga really believe that Maliki is going to start paying his private army while Uncle Sam is still hanging around? He knows that Ambassador Crocker lives in a place called the Green Zone (Spigot).
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Frustrated Senators See No Exit Signs

By Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 9, 2008; A01

Asked repeatedly yesterday what "conditions" he is looking for to begin substantial U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq after this summer's scheduled drawdown, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said he will know them when he sees them. For frustrated lawmakers, it was not enough.

"A year ago, the president said we couldn't withdraw because there was too much violence," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "Now he says we can't afford to withdraw because violence is down." Asked Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.): "Where do we go from here?"

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said: "I think people want a sense of what the end is going to look like."

But the bottom line was that there was no bottom line. . . .

But after hours of questions, they acknowledged that they had gotten at least part of the message. The United States was still funding the roughly 90,000 Sunni security volunteers who Maliki's Shiite-dominated government is reluctant to put on its payroll, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told Petraeus. "I'm just asking you why you would object to asking [Iraq] to pay for that entire program, given all we are giving them in blood and everything else."

"It is a very fair question," Petraeus responded, "and I think that if there's anything that the ambassador and I will take back to Iraq candidly after this morning's session and this afternoon's is, in fact, to ask those kinds of questions more directly."

Go HERE for full article.

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