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Commentary :: Civil and Human Rights

BTL:Bush's Iraq War Escalation Provokes Growing Opposition

Interview with Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Bush's Iraq War Escalation Provokes Growing Opposition

Interview with Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, conducted by Scott Harris

In a Jan. 10th address to the nation, President Bush detailed his open-ended plan to escalate the Iraq war with an additional 21,500 U.S troops. Bush also called on the Iraqi government to increase its own forces by 8,000 in Baghdad; enact a law to share oil revenues among Iraq's ethnic groups; and launch an Iraqi financed $10 billion jobs and reconstruction program. Provocatively, Bush accused the Iranian government of "providing material support for attacks on American troops" and threatened to "seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies." This comes as Bush dispatched a second aircraft carrier group to the coast off Iran and deployed Patriot anti-missile defense systems to Gulf states.

Reacting to Bush's plan, Democratic Party leaders said they would schedule votes in both the House and Senate on measures that symbolically reject Bush's Iraq strategy. A growing number of Republicans have opposed the administration's escalation of the Iraq war. Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, labeled Bush's proposed troop increase "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam."

An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted after the president's address found 61 percent of Americans surveyed oppose the president's escalation plan, while only 36 percent support it. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, who assesses the likely outcome of the president's plan on the ground in Iraq and growing domestic opposition to the war.

Chris Toensing is editor of Middle East Report. Contact Middle East Report by calling (202) 223-3677 or visit their website at www.merip.org

Related links:
Details on the Jan. 27 national anti Iraq-war protest in Washington United for Peace and Justice at www.unitedforpeace.orgPeace Action at www.peace-action.org. www.mfso.org"Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq," by Frederick W. Kagan

"Iraq Study Group Report"

Bring Them Home Now at www.bringthemhomenow.org

Military Families Speak Out at www.mfso.org

International Answer at www.Internationalanswer.org

War Resisters League at warresisters.org

Iraq Veterans Against the War at www.ivaw.org

American Friends Service Committee at www.afsc.org

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