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The Rush to Surge | The Nation

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John Nichols

John Nichols

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The Rush to Surge

It has been an open secret for weeks that President Bush would reject the message of the American people from the November 7 elections, along with the advice of savvy military strategists and foreign affairs experts, and surge the United States military deeper into the Iraq quagmire.

Now, as the President prepares to confirm his commitment to carry on in the wrong direction, with tonight's primetime address to the American people, Bush's White House has begun to leak details of how many more troops will be dispatched to Iraq--and, even more significant, how quickly those troops will be moved into position.

According to White House counselor Dan Bartlett, Bush will announce that he plans to commit an additional 21,500 US combat troops to the Iraq fight. Specifically, according to breakdowns provided by the White House, 4,000 more Marines will be sent to the violence-torn Anbar Province, while 17,500 more troops will be dispatched to the hell that is Baghdad.

According to the White House, the first new US brigade will hit the ground in Iraq by Monday. The next brigade is expected to arrive by February 15, while additional brigades continuing to enter the country at 30-day increments.

By moving so quickly, the President essentially pushes Congress aside. This is, at least to some extent, the fault of the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, which has known for weeks that the President was moving in the direction of a surge but which has failed to develop a coherent response.

But make no mistake, the Bush White House is not merely implementing a military strategy with regard to Iraq tonight. It is also implementing a political strategy with regard to Capitol Hill.

The President who has failed to consult with Congress throughout has decided to implement an immediate surge in hopes that it will become a reality before the House and Senate hold hearings, debate or take even the most minimal steps to check and balance his mad schemes.

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John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure forRoyalism has been hailed by authors and historians Gore Vidal,Studs Terkel and Howard Zinn for its meticulous research into theintentions of the founders and embraced by activists for itsgroundbreaking arguments on behalf of presidential accountability.After reviewing recent books on impeachment, Rolling Stone politicalwriter Tim Dickinson, writes in the latest issue of Mother Jones, "JohnNichols' nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic, TheGenius of Impeachment, stands apart. It concerns itself far less withthe particulars of the legal case against Bush and Cheney, and insteadcombines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use ofthe "heroic medicine" that is impeachment with a call for Democraticleaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by thefounders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and atwww.amazon.com

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