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Retired General Tommy Ray Franks, former Commander-in-chief of CENTCOM and present there as 9/11 unravelled.
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We did go to a lunch-hour gathering at a heavily travelled intersection in Mountain View (heart of Silicon Valley). There were about 100 people gathered there - holding signs, and waving at motorists many of whom registered support by blowing their horns. I understand that there were many such gatherings around the country, but frankly the real question is whether the congress will take concrete steps to intervene. The most that our protests can do is to encourage the congress to stand up. I think that Bush won't be stopped or slowed by public pressure or mere whining by congress. He's convinced he's right and that the rest of us simply don't understand. It's up to congress not only to point out why Bush's plan is not going to "work" but to offer an alternative plan. Trouble is that any realistic plan accepts the consequences of the overall blunder of the invasion - the risk of a real holocaust. I believe that whatever is going to happen is going to happen no matter what we do and that Bush's planned escalation can at best delay the inevitable. It may be that Bush understands this but sees no alternative; clearly he is desperate. It could even be that he is secretly praying that the Democrats do intervene - in which case, when the inevitable happens, he can claim that it was the Democrats fault and that if we'd followed his plan things would have been OK. The Democrats may understand this (that catastrophe is unavoidable) and prefer to let it happen to Bush. No one wants to admit openly that now the full catastrophe is inevitable, and they don't want it to happen following their plan.

And it's possible that when we finally are forced to withdraw, while it will be in utter disgrace, the predicted escalation in violence may not take place or be so bad as people fear. I think it's impossible to tell how bad it would be - how much of the violence is due, directly or indirectly, to the U.S. occupation. In addition to the U.S. disgrace, we will be seen (as, of course, we really are) as vulnerable, which will likely encourage terrorism against the U.S. Whether the consequence will turn Iraq into more of a hotbed of terrorism really seems irrelevant - there are plenty of other hotbeds about as well.

The whole thing is a catastrophe too appalling for words.

Two articles that suggest that Bush has been laying the groundwork for much more than escalation of the war in Iraq.
--------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/010807.html

Bush's Rush to Armageddon
By Robert Parry
January 8, 2007.

George W. Bush has purged senior military and intelligence officials who were obstacles to a wider war in the Middle East, broadening his options for both escalating the conflict inside Iraq and expanding the fighting to Iran and Syria with Israel's help.

--------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01082007.html

Nuking Iran
Are Bush's Wars Winding Down or Heating Up?
January 8, 2007.

Most Americans believe that Bush's Iraqi misadventure is over. The occupation has lost the support of the electorate, the Congress, the generals and the troops. The Democrats are sitting back waiting for Bush to come to terms with reality. They don't want to be accused of losing the war by forcing Bush out of Iraq. There are no more troops to commit, and when the "surge" fails, Bush will have no recourse but to withdraw. A little longer, everyone figures, and the senseless killing will be over. Recent news reports indicate that this conclusion could be an even bigger miscalculation than the original invasion. On January 7 the London Times reported that it has learned from "several Israeli military sources" that "Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons." The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report. The Times reports that "Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack."



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