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For starters, Bolten needs to find a replacement for himself at OMB ...
The White House is trying to repackage the president by having him focus extensively on Iraq while taking more questions from the public, lawmakers and media to reverse growing public doubts about his trustworthiness. And aides said Bush has vowed to focus heavily on the 2006 elections, raising more money than ever for GOP candidates on the theory that victory in November would breathe new life into his presidency.
White House Staff Changes Coming
U.S. raid on Shiite shrine
The U.S. military was trying to send a "little reality jab" to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr when American and Iraqi troops raided a Shiite community center and shrine over the weekend, says a top U.S. military official.
The joint assault killed at least 16 people, most of them believed to be tied to Sadr's militia, the Mahdi Army. U.S. officials insist the center was being used as a base for insurgent activities and was not a mosque. But many Iraqis say the complex did indeed include the Shiite equivalent of a mosque, and the raid has drawn harsh condemnation from Shiite politicians and prompted Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, to launch an investigation.
U.S. officials had been quietly praising Sadr's group in recent weeks because of its calls for calm in the wake of the bombing of a Sunni mosque in Samarra that sparked a wave of sectarian violence.
The mayor of Baghdad promptly cut off cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, and Shiite politicians suspended their negotiations to form a new government.
Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY: "Our Mission has Failed"
William Buckley’s Cronkite Moment
Iraq: The Acknowledgment of Defeat
by Pierre Tristam
Exactly 38 years ago today, Walter Cronkite, reacting to the 1968 Tet Offensive, told his CBS Report audience that the Vietnam War was no longer winnable. It was a seminal moment in the war. Lyndon Johnson knew it. If he’d lost Cronkite, he’d lost the American public—and the war, for good. On February 24, William Buckley Jr., an early advocate of war on Iraq , pulled a Cronkite in his column. Not only does Buckley no longer believe that the war in Iraq can be won. He goes further than Cronkite did in 1968 and calls for “the acknowledgement of defeat” as the best way to “submit to a historical reality without forswearing basic commitments in foreign policy.” In other words, to cut and run for the sake of national security. Buckley’s piece won’t have the same effect on the American public, nor the credibility, as Cronkite’s moment following Tet. But the effect on the conservative movement, and the Bush administration, could be considerable. The end result is the same: The war, already lost in Iraq , is now lost at home. Here is Buckley’s column, along with the complete text of Walter Cronkite’s famous “report” to the American public.....
The Rest Here