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Bush: 'That's How I Work'

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"Asked if the American endeavor here was worth their sacrifice -- 20 soldiers from the battalion have been killed in Baghdad -- [Sgt. Victor] Alarcon said no: 'I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life.'"

Nancy A. Youssef writes for McClatchy Newspapers: "Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial, ubiquitous Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has re-emerged as a central figure in the latest U.S. strategy for Iraq. . . .

"Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki named Chalabi as head of the services committee, a consortium of eight service ministries and two Baghdad municipal posts, that is tasked with bringing services to Baghdad, the heart of the surge plan.

"Chalabi 'is an important part of the process,' said Col. Steven Boylan, [Gen. David] Petraeus' spokesman. 'He has a lot of energy.' . . .

"Chalabi, in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, provided White House and Pentagon officials and journalists with a stream of bogus or exaggerated intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to terrorism."

Poodle Watch

Simon Walters writes in the Daily Mail: "Tony Blair was too worried about falling out of favour with George Bush to warn him of the perilous consequences of war with Iraq.

"That is the damning portrait of the former Prime Minister that emerges from the highest level of the British and American governments in the latest extracts of a new book by political biographer Dr Anthony Seldon.

"The attacks are led by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell who, according to 'Blair Unbound', secretly plotted with ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to restrain Mr Bush and Mr Blair.

"They will do little to help Mr Blair shrug off claims that he was Mr Bush's 'poodle'"

Said Powell: "Jack and I would get him all pumped up about an issue. And he'd be ready to say, 'Look here, George.' But as soon as he saw the President he would lose his steam."

Walters writes that "in 2002 Mr Blair resolved to write to Mr Bush and tell him of his fears that the momentum for war was growing too fast in America.

"But he 'faltered and pulled his punches' and effectively told the President: 'You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I'll be with you.'


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