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George Bush faced with mid-term elections« Thread Started on

Daily newsbrief journal for September 2006, also see for a global 100-page perpetual brief and follow twitter @usdemocrats

George Bush faced with mid-term elections« Thread Started on

Postby admin » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:00 am

George Bush faced with mid-term elections« Thread Started on Sept 14, 2006, 1:46am » --------------------------------------------------------------------------------George Bush faced with mid-term electionsread source: unpopular war in Iraq, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, doubts about the potential for success in the war on terrorism, and the pending mid-term elections in the USA are all combining to make life uncomfortable for President Bush. There is a real danger that his Congressional power base could soon evaporate, leaving him shorn of real power for the rump of his presidency.The November mid-term elections in the US are in the offing; this will see all 435 members of the House of Representatives facing the voters along with one third of the 100 members of the Senate. Of the Senate seats up for grabs, 17 are held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans and one by a retiring Independent. With the Democrats holding 44 seats in the Senate and the Republicans 55, the Democrats will be hoping to win seven seats and lose none in order to gain control of the Senate. In the House of Representatives, the present split is Republicans 231, Democrats 201 and one Independent, with two seats vacant. The Democrats will be seeking 218 seats - a gain of 17 with no losses. If the Democrats are successful in gaining control of Congress for the first time since 1994 that will virtually mark the end of the Bush Presidency - hence, his apparent use of events surrounding the fifth anniversary of 9/11 to seek popular support for what Bush terms the "struggle for civilisation".In a speech yesterday, Bush called the war on terror ’the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st Century and the calling of our generation,’ adding that "it is a struggle for civilisation. We are fighting to maintain a way of life enjoyed by free nations." He continued by claiming that the war on terror would not be over "until either we or the extremists emerge victorious." He also played the nuclear threat card, claiming that failure to succeed will lead to a "Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons’ " presumably a reference to Iran; North Korea must have slipped off his radar for the moment. The President went on to argue that despite mistakes that might have been made in Iraq (perhaps he was referring to invading Iraq on the false premise that Saddam Hussein was linked to the 11 September attack and was also building and hoarding weapons of mass destruction that would destabilise the region), it was clear that terrorists would continue to threaten the USA as long as terrorists survive; that is why it was critical for the USA to win the battle on the streets of Iraq. Bush’s remarks were given added resonance by a new al-Qaeda video that urges Muslims to increase resistance against the US and which also claims that actions of al-Qaeda were legitimised further by the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon - an action that appears to have carried the tacit support of Bush.While Bush acknowledged that the al-Qaeda network responsible for the 9/11 strikes is now active in Iraq, he failed to add that this was probably as a result of the US invasion of Iraq. This seems to be the case given that there have been no recent claims that al-Qaeda was funded, trained, armed or given sanctuary by Saddam Hussein, as was indicated at the time of the invasion, or suggestions that al-Qaeda was active in Iraq prior to the US invasion. Although Bush ignored this particular point, he did note, without clarification, that ’al-Qaeda and other extremists from across the world have come to Iraq to stop the rise of a free society in the heart of the Middle East. They have joined the remnants of Saddam’s regime and other armed groups to foment sectarian violence and drive us out.’ It seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg argument.It is clear that Bush has to work hard to defend his administration’s increasingly unpopular decision to invade Iraq; to date it has cost the USA more than $400 billion and the lives of 2,670 servicemen and women, neither of which goers down well with the voters - there have also been numerous deaths of civilians and armed forces personnel of other nations. The Democrats have seized on the unpopularity of the war in Iraq to make it a central issue in their midterm election campaign. It appears that in his speech yesterday and others recently the President has been retaliating by stressing the need for unity in the fight against terrorism and the associated national security issues that terrorism brings. It is not an easy task for Bush given that recent polls show that a majority of Americans do not see Iraq as part of the war on terrorism and that there is increasing public disapproval of the war in Iraq and concern at the rising number of body bags heading back to the States from that unhappy country. While the fervour of the 9/11 anniversary might help the Republicans in the short-term, it is unlikely that the 9/11 effect will linger until the November elections. Bush will not be looking forward to the results with anything other than trepidation. URL TRACKBACK : ... ----------
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