"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. Let us therefore reject all superstition in order to become more human." Voltaire Dissenting opinions are welcome! Really! But they have to be informed, referenced, and respectful. I am an old geezer with a short fuse, and trolls, ditto-heads, and general idiots will probably have their comments deleted. Nope, I don't publish my email...if you have something to say, say it here (Of course, friends that know my addy can write me!) I hope to continue allowing anonymous commenting...please don't abuse it. Other than that, come on in, sit a spell...
Senator Mike Enzi, a soft-spoken Republican from Wyoming who is chairman of the Senate health committee, brokered a compromise. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt promised the senators that the F.D.A. would "act" on the Plan B application by September. Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Murray then agreed to lift their holds. Dr. Crawford was confirmed in July.
Then, in August, Dr. Crawford announced that the F.D.A. would delay making a decision on Plan B indefinitely while it examined regulatory issues raised by the application that that agency itself had suggested that Barr submit.
Blazing mad, Senators Clinton and Murray said that they'd been double-crossed. At a hearing in November, Ms. Murray all but called Mr. Leavitt a liar — an unusual exchange even in today's deeply partisan environment.
"Senator Clinton and I relied on your word and your letter, and we accepted what you told us and we lifted that hold," Ms. Murray said. "But what you told us didn't happen. The F.D.A. didn't make a decision and instead they issued another delay."
With some heat, Mr. Leavitt replied, "The F.D.A. did act" on the Plan B application by deciding to delay a decision.
What could I possibly add? I am genuinely lost for words.
...but whatever, we're not going to be involved, except to the extent we have to be!
Rumsfeld: U.S. would rely on Iraqi forces in civil war
WASHINGTON (AP) -- If Iraq were to plunge into all-out civil war the U.S. military would depend on Iraq's own security forces to deal with it "to the extent they are able to," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. Testifying with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in support of the administration's request for $91 billion mainly to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rumsfeld was pressed to explain the U.S. military's plan to respond in the event that Iraq's sectarian violence grows into a full-fledged civil war.
"The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur, to have the -- from a security standpoint -- have the Iraqi security forces deal with it, to the extent they are able to," Rumsfeld said.
He said the key to avoiding civil war is for Iraq's political leaders to form a government of national unity
OK, help me out here. I guess I'm too stupid to get my mind around this "plan." What is going on in Iraq is still "just" an insurgency (an organized rebellion aimed at overthrowing a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict) , so it's OK for us to be doing the fighting. But if it turns into a "real" civil war (a war between factions or regions of the same country), we will rely on the Iraqi forces we've trained and equipped (at least those that haven't grabbed their M16s and skedaddled over to the Shia and Sunni camps) who have been doing such a fine job stopping the "insurgency."
"...from a security standpoint," only, however. At least until they reach the limits of "the extent they are able to." Then maybe we will have to secure and pacify the country, which we will then be able to because we've gotten so much better at the job in the last few years.
But this is all basically moot because they will form "a government of national unity." Which I thought they had already done (you know: that big "election" thing and the purple thumbs and all, and the selection of the president, and all that stuff, so highly touted by our administration?), but maybe not.
Now I get even more confused:
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, repeatedly pressed Rumsfeld to say what U.S. troops would do if civil war broke out, noting that in his own view the country "only narrowly missed descending into all-out civil war" in recent days.
...responding to Byrd's question, Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, suggested that Iraq has been moving in the direction of civil war.
"There's no doubt that the sectarian tensions are higher than we've seen, and it is of great concern to all of us," Abizaid said
Abizaid also described the situation in Iraq as "changing in its nature from insurgency toward sectarian violence."
Poor Abizaid! Telling the truth right there in front of Rumsfeld and Rice. We won't be seeing him around much longer! But wait:
Both Rumsfeld and Rice acknowledged the recent growth in sectarian violence.
As in civil war? Well, I guess not:
"There is a high level of tension in the country, sectarian tension and conflict," Rumsfeld said. But it has not yet become a civil war "by most experts' calculation," he added.
And stupid me again, I don't even know what a "civil war expert" is or how they "calculate" that a civil war is occurring as opposed to just an "insurgency" or "sectarian violence!"
In her opening remarks to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Rice said most Iraqis are convinced that their hopes for a stable and secure nation will succeed despite the persistent insurgency.
"They still face a very determined enemy,...
Their fellow countrymen, right?
... an enemy that would like to see that political process halted so that Iraq might devolve into chaos and conflict," she said.
Into which it has not "devolved" yet?! I just feel so stupid when both the Secretaries of Defense and State explain something clearly and concisely, and are so forth-coming when questioned by Senators that just want to know what the fuck they are going to be doing with $91,000,000,000, and I just think they sound like they are just spewing a stream of horse diarrhea.