GOL’s Message to the Blind and Others With Disabilities in Liberia

first_img– Advertisement – Dr. Sakui W. G. Malakpa By Dr. Sakui W. G. MalakpaApart from being a founding member of both the United Nations and the African Union (formerly the OAU), Liberia is a signatory to a variety of international conventions relative to gender equality and human rights. Regarding people with disabilities, Liberia was applauded eight years ago when she ratified The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty negotiated by the United Nations in the 21st century. Liberia also signed the optional protocols of the Convention.Generally referred to as the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Convention was adopted on December 13, 2006 by the UN General Assembly. The Convention requires states that ratify it to enact laws and other measures to improve the rights of people with disabilities and abolish legislation, customs and practices that discriminate against such personsThe binding Convention begins with a 25-point preamble which, among others, recalls “the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognize the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” It acknowledges previous UN human rights declarations and covenants. It emphasizes the indivisible human rights, independence, full societal participation, and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in policymaking (especially policies that affect them). The preamble further recognizes that disability is an evolving concept and that people with disabilities, diverse in number and need, should not be targets of any form of discrimination. This point is emphasized as the preamble recognizes that people with disabilities “continue to face barriers in their participation as equal members of society and violations of their human rights in all parts of the world.” In addition, the preamble stresses the promotion of the human rights and full participation of persons with disabilities as this “will result in their enhanced sense of belonging and in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of society and the eradication of poverty.” Likewise, the preamble recognizes the subjection of people with disabilities to multiple forms of discrimination. Also recognized are the rights of the child and consequently, children with disabilities should not be deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Recognized further is “the fact that the majority of persons with disabilities live in conditions of poverty” and therefore a “critical need to address the negative impact of poverty on persons with disabilities.” To that end, the preamble underscores “the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”Finally, the preamble expresses conviction that a “convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities will make a significant contribution to redressing the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities and promote their participation in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities, in both developing and developed countries.” Based on this conviction, the Convention outlines 50 articles. Articles 1-32 point out the key issues of concern; these range from the purpose of the Convention to equal rights and opportunities as well as education, health, and equal justice. These articles also cover employment alongside full and non-discriminatory social, cultural, and political participation. Articles 33-50 deal with logistical issues: the establishment of a monitoring committee, the role of the committee, ratification and subsequent obligation, reporting procedures, denunciation, and amendments.When the Liberian Legislature ratified The Convention and subsequently, the president of Liberia signed it into law, the convention was finally deposited at the UN Headquarters in New York on July 26, 2012 (The Informer Newspaper, August 7, 2012). In the same year, I was privileged to serve on the Vision 2030 Committee where I advocated, among other issues, the rights of persons with disabilities in Liberia. In doing so, it was a delight to note that Liberia had signed and ratified other international treaties and conventions regarding the rights of all people, including people with disabilities. These included “the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women – all of which make some reference to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities to fair treatment.”In addition to international treaties and conventions, the government of Liberia has repeatedly recognized and underscored the legal rights of people with disabilities. To cite a few examples, Article 15(b) of the 1986 constitution of Liberia unequivocally emphasizes universal rights to education. Likewise, in 2005, the National Legislature passed a Disability act leading to the establishment of the Liberian National Commission on Disability. Furthermore, the NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION PLAN OF LIBERIA (NHRAP) 2013-2018 proposed action plans that included the need for the government to “harmonize educational policies and plans to mainstream the right to education of persons with disabilities at all levels (teacher training, accessible infrastructure, accessible facilities, assistive devices, etc.).” According to Mr. Beyan Kota, president of the Christian Association of the Blind, these local efforts were reaffirmed in the new development policy of the government: “the pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development,” which was adopted in July 2018 (Smart News Liberia, Nov. 2, 2019).Despite the preceding laudable efforts by the government of Liberia to affirm and uphold the rights of all citizens to education, including people with disabilities, The Liberian National School for the Blind has not reopened for a new academic year. This lamentable situation continues although the school expects to enroll up to seventy-five students this year (FrontPage Africa, Wed. Nov. 13, 2019).Indeed it is sad that the government of Liberia, GOL, has failed to reopen the national school for the blind on grounds that it (GOL) has no money although the United States Agency for International Development, USAID has built a girls dormitory that can accommodate up to thirty students.To the best of our knowledge—and we stand to be corrected—no government school in Liberia has remained unopened because the government has no money to do so. True, there are issues of nonpayment of teachers, among others but officially, government schools are opened. Thus, failure of the government to reopen the national school for the blind sends many messages to people with disabilities in Liberia especially those who are blind or visually impaired. Essentially, this special group of Liberians is being told that they do not matter; that they do not count; that local and international legal mandates in their favor do not matter. This confirms what the Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA, observed in Liberia. Its report states that in Liberia, “Disabilities are generally perceived to constitute a liability to the public, and are excluded from public debate. Discrimination is a structural problem, caused by stereotypes, negative and hostile attitudes, particularly with regard to persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health difficulties.The present situation of the Liberian National School for the Blind confirms the SIDA observation. Comparing the school to a nearby school (DAS) owned by the current Minister of Education, FrontPage Africa Newspaper describes the situation accurately:On the other hand, the Liberian School for the Blind remains in shambles as the hope of 75 students, who are desperate to learn the brail, remains in limbo. A portion of the school fence has already fallen, the roof is leaking, the computer laboratory remains non-functional, many teaching and support staff are off government’s payroll, while food rations are now extinct. The swings and merry-go-rounds gifted to the vulnerable students by a humanitarian organization couple of years back are now corroded. The compound continues to experience flood during the rainy season due to the lack of a dredging and covert system. And, unlike DAS, there is no bus to commute students to and from school.The marginalization of the blind and others with disabilities in Liberia, with its demoralizing message, ought to be a concern to all people concerned with equality and human rights of all Liberians. Unfortunately, with the exception of FrontPage Africa Newspaper, we do not hear clamors against same. This is equally hurtful. It reminds us of one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s statements as he struggled against racial injustice. In that struggle, the civil rights leader said it was not just the vitriolic words of the bad people but the “appalling silence” of the good people.While we call upon human rights advocates to clamor against the neglect and injustice meted against the blind and others with disabilities in Liberia, we particularly call on the Ministry of Education to abide by its local and international legal mandates and reopen the Liberian National School for the Blind. These students have rights to education like any other students throughout the nation and this right is guaranteed by law. Failure to do so not only sends a demoralizing message to the disability community in Liberia but a message to the international community regarding the character of the government itself.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Coordinators briefed on security, safety plans

first_imgMashramani 2018…Ahead of activities for next week Friday’s Republic Day celebrations, a team of senior Police Officers and other key stakeholders met with the Mashramani organisers at the Education Ministry’s Department of Culture, Youth & Sport on Wednesday.The team included Senior Police Superintendent within A Division (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara), Wendell Blanhum; a former Crime Chief, and Commander of D Division (West Bank Demerara-East Bank Essequibo), Leslie James, amongMashramani Coordinator Andrew Tyndallother key ranks.Guyana Times was told that during the discussions, the Police outlined its plan for safety and security. It was further explained that these plans include the services which will be provided by members of the Joint Services, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and other emergency response services.Subsequent to that meeting, members of the media were updated on the plans for Mashramani at a press conference where it was noted that 14 bands are so far on board to join the parade and 18 will be on board by the end of week. However, Mashramani 2018 Coordinator, Andrew Tyndall was questioned on the security postures for the Republic Day celebrations. The concerns that were raised come in light of increased instances of carjackings and armed robberies.“Before the end of the week, there’s going to be a joint press release from the Police and the Central Mashramani Committee which will indicate to the general public the roads that will be closed for Mash Day and flag raising night on the emergency exits from D’Urban Park,” Tyndall remarked. He also explained that Marshalls from the Ministry will also be present along the parade route.According to Police statistics released earlier this week, so far for this year, there have been 45 instances of robberies under arms where firearms were used, which was on par with the comparable period in 2017. The Guyana Police Force however reported that overall, it recorded a 19 per cent decrease in serious crimes at the end of January 2018 when compared to the same period last year.Nevertheless, robberies with firearms saw a 45 per cent increase while there was a 13 per cent decrease in robberies with no weapon. Additionally, there was a 50 per cent decrease in robberies with weapons other than a firearm and robbery with aggravation. Police at the same time also revealed they have seized some 19 firearms inclusive of one sub-machine gun and 12 pistols.last_img read more

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MP Report from Bob Zimmer

first_imgThe following is a report from our Member of Parliament Bob Zimmer. This report is about the Canada Winter Games and other events pertaining to the region.February was quite the busy month, not only for me, but also for many in our riding, with Prince George playing host to the 2015 Canada Winter Games.I had the honour of joining the Honourable Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal, Member of Parliament Dick Harris, Conservative candidate for Prince George-Cariboo Todd Doherty, and Mayor Lyn Hall in Prince George for the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Canada Winter Games. A highlight for me was being a part of the standing ovation as the athletes from British Columbia entered the building to thunderous applause.- Advertisement -While in Prince George for the Games, I was also able to meet Peter Arnold and André Chevigny from Pioneer Log Homes and the HGTV television program Timber Kings. Peter and André built and donated the wooden cauldron that burned throughout the games. I also took part in the grand opening of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast display.I would like to congratulate all of those involved in the 2015 Canada Winter Games, especially those who volunteered their time to ensure it was a huge success and the young athletes who participated in the two-week event. What an amazing way to showcase Northern BC to the country!Later in the month, I travelled to Surrey with the Prime Minister as he announced our Conservative Government’s intent to establish a capital cost allowance rate for our emerging LNG industry.Advertisement More specifically, our Government intends to establish a capital cost allowance rate of 30 per cent, from the current eight per cent, for equipment used in natural gas liquefaction and 10 per cent for buildings at a facility that liquefies natural gas.These tax measures will allow investors to depreciate their assets more quickly so they can reinvest in further development, helping to ensure British Columbia remains as competitive as possible in competing globally for LNG markets.This announcement is extremely rewarding for me personally, as it represents months of hard work advocating the importance of the LNG industry for our region’s economy. It was also humbling to have the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, stand up in the House of Commons and publicly recognize my efforts.Back in Ottawa, I had the opportunity to meet Microsoft founder Bill Gates and personally thank him on behalf of our region’s Rotary Clubs for the work the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation is doing in partnership with Rotary International to eradicate polio.Advertisement To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio worldwide. Through 2018, the Bill & Melissa Foundation will match 2-to-1 every dollar that Rotary commits to polio eradication, up to $35 million a year.And finally, at the end of the month, I headed to Fort St. John for the North Peace Rod and Gun Club’s annual fundraiser. As always, it was a great event, and I was happy to be able to donate a gun from my personal collection for the silent auction.It has been an incredibly busy month and I look forward to continuing to work hard on the issues that matter most to our region.As always, if you would like to get in touch with me, please feel free to contact my office in Fort St. John at 250-787-1194, Dawson Creek at 250-719-6848, Prince George at 250-561-7982, or Ottawa at 613-947-4524.last_img read more

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‘Jose Mourinho is starting to look a bit like David Moyes!’ – Twitter reacts to yet another Chelsea defeat

first_img Jose Mourinho 1 Penny for Jose Mourinho’s thoughts.The Chelsea manager endured yet another day to forget, getting sent to the stands at half time while his Chelsea side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to West Ham.The reverse made it six defeats in his last 12 Premier League games as the Blues’ insipid start to the season showed no signs of waning at Upton Park.Are Mourinho’s days at Stamford Bridge numbered? A vast amount of fans certainly think so…last_img

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Borussia Dortmund team news: Predicted BVB line up v Liverpool

first_img 33. Julian Weigl (centre midfield) 11 18. Nuri Sahin (centre midfield) 23. Shinji Kagawa (attacking midfield) 10. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (right wing) 25. Sokratis (centre back) 17. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (striker) 26. Lukasz Piszczek (right back) 1. Roman Weidenfeller (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 11 11 11 11 11 29. Marcel Schmelzer (left back) 11 15. Mats Hummels (centre back) 11 11. Marco Reus (left wing) 11 Liverpool’s quarter-final clash with Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League is live on talkSPORT.Jurgen Klopp returns to the Westfalenstadion for the first time since ending his seven-year spell, but the German manager won’t be doing his former side any favours.And, he’s been handed a major fitness boost over one of his key forwards…Check out talkSPORT’s predicted Reds line up by viewing the slideshow above.  11last_img read more

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Napoli make first bid for Man City and Man United target

first_imgNapoli have opened the bidding for Manchester City and Manchester United target Fabinho, according to reports in Italy.Both Premier League heavyweights have held long-standing interest in the Brazilian full-back – and City even held talks with him about a move this time last year.However, despite additional interest from Inter Milan, the 22-year-old has so far stayed put at Monaco although the Ligue 1 club are now bracing themselves for summer interest.And it appears that the first offer has come from Serie A, with Napoli reportedly lodging a bid worth around £8.5m.But it is unclear whether that will be enough to tempt Monaco into selling Fabinho, who is under contract until 2019 and played 34 times in the league last season. 1 Fabinho could be heading to Italy this summer last_img

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Antonovich seeks action to prevent new business losses

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich sought legislative reforms Friday to stop what he called “the exodus of major California businesses” for “greener pastures in other states.” In a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger, Antonovich called the impending departure of Borax, which is relocating its corporate headquarters to Denver, a “wake-up call to state government.” “Borax pointed to the burdensome business environment in California as the primary reason for the move to Denver,” the letter said. “Factors in their decision included high taxes, high cost of living and high benefit costs mandated by Sacramento.” Borax officials had said studies found Denver’s cost of living about 30 percent lower than that of Valencia when parent Rio Tinto Minerals sought a new headquarters. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 The 134-year-old firm specializing in the mining and refinement of borate ore employed some 150 in Valencia, the city of Santa Clarita community that’s part of Antonovich’s 5th Supervisorial District. The company also operates the state’s largest open-pit mine in the High Desert town of Boron – officials had said those 800 jobs along with other mining and port operations in California will stay. last_img read more

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THE QUIET MAN BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN AT ECLIPSE CINEMAS

first_imgENTERTAINMENT: One of Ireland’s most famous cinematic exports ‘The Quiet Man’ is back on the big screen at Eclipse Cinemas next week.The Quiet Man is one of Ireland’s most loved films – which starred Hollywood film legends John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. It’s back on the big screen next Monday at 8pm – and to avoid any disappointment you can book your tickets by clicking on the link below.http://liffordcp.admit-one.eu/index.php?s=LIFFORDCP&p=details&eventCode=12266THE QUIET MAN BACK ON THE BIG SCREEN AT ECLIPSE CINEMAS was last modified: January 6th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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FPL tips: Transfer advice including Man United, Chelsea, and Man City stars

first_img The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 11 In case you missed it, the Premier League champions are once again without their marauding left-back after another knee surgery. It’s a big blow to both the club and FPL bosses but hopefully he can get back before the end of a vital campaign. Let’s face it, right now, the writing is on the wall for Kante with his manager blasting his performance against Tottenham. Used by FPL managers as a guaranteed two/three point player, he’s now at risk of losing his place. huge blow 11 Now more than ever you need to keep abreast of the latest information and we’re here to help.Whether you’re a manager who reacts to in-form players, loves a bargain, or one who looks to predict the next big FPL thing, you need a bit of advice every now and again.So who do you need to sell and sign this week? Here at talkSPORT.com we’ve taken a good look at the form and fixtures and believe we’ve got the best transfer tips around… If you’re one of the 3.3 per cent of managers still holding on to the midfielder in the hope he would return to fitness in the coming gameweeks, we’ve got bad news. It appears the Belgian is having his return delayed so it may be wise to cut him again. In: Leroy Sane (Manchester City) – £9.3m Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? predicted Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT revealed appointed Out: Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City) – £6.3m latest Out: Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) – £10.0m TOP WORK gameday cracker In: Lewis Dunk (Brighton) – £4.5m 11 How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings Out: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – £9.7m Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Most Popular Premier League Stories Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Due to his absences early on in the campaign, the German star still only has an ownership of 6.7 per cent so you’re likely to be gaining on rivals if he is a big hit this weekend. Only Chelsea on December 8 represent a big threat to City’s unbeaten run so he could really do some more damage and rack up the points. Don’t let one defeat make you shed your confidence in the Blues, it’s likely boss Maurizio Sarri will have given the players a collective kick up the backside. As such, and with only one truly tricky game coming up, we heartily recommend give Azpilicueta a go in your backline. His cross for Olivier Giroud’s goal against Tottenham was superb. 11 One of the bargain stars of the season, he’s now absent until the end of the month due to injury, which is a real shame for both the club and FPL managers. 11 The Red Devils star was already suffering due to the form of Anthony Martial but he’s also now got an injury issue to deal with. A hamstring problem suffered in training is set to keep him out for a game or two at least which should be enough to convince you into dropping him. Check out our Fantasy Premier League tips below… Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Out: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – £4.9m In: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) – £6.3m whoops In: Philip Billing (Huddersfield) – £4.5m 11 In: Felipe Anderson (West Ham United) – £7.0m tense 11 11 As it stands, in the Hammers’ next eight games they will play only one club in the top half of the Premier League table. The match is against Watford and comes on December 22 so your interest in West Ham players should be high. Right now the obvious candidate for your squad is Anderson, who has four goals and assist to his name. Keep an eye on Marko Arnautovic and Issa Diop too. 11 Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update He won the headlines this week for an acrobatic clearance but the midfielder could be a great under the radar deal as a solid bench star. He’s only got one goal and no assists this season – but hear us out. He’s currently getting two or three shots away per game, is a huge aerial threat at set-pieces, and has played two key passes in his last two games. It’s promising form and he could produce against Brighton and Bournemouth, while fixtures coming soon include Newcastle and Southampton. Out: Jonny (Wolves) – £4.4m 11 11 The England international has either been getting a goal or a clean sheet in five of his last six games which is promising FPL form. His next games are against Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, and Burnley which should let him add to his good record. SORRY The fixtures are coming thick and fast now with three Fantasy Premier League gameweeks in quick succession, so you need to get your squads in order.The addition of midweek fixtures means you need to be prepared for squad rotation which could derail your campaign.last_img read more

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President ditches rosy outlook in face of bad ratings

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake There is some evidence that the rhetorical shift has worked. Recent polls suggest that while a majority of Americans disapprove of Bush’s performance, his job rating has increased a bit. Nearly six of every 10 Americans say the U.S. military should stay until Iraq is stabilized, which is Bush’s position. A year ago, more than 70 percent held that view, and Bush insisted the Iraq war was on a steady path to victory. “Month by month, Iraqis are assuming more responsibility for their own security,” Bush said during his re-election campaign. Vice President Dick Cheney, the administration’s chief cheerleader, went so far as to say last May that Iraqi insurgents were in the “last throes.” The happy talk didn’t ring true to many Americans, who watched in horror as the U.S. death toll climbed above 2,000 and wondered why Bush refused to take time off from his summer vacation to meet with the mother of a slain soldier. Cindy Sheehan became the grim face of a budding anti-war movement. Bush seemed out of touch, unable to grasp the concerns of people opposed to the war or even those who were starting to wonder about it. While standing firm on his main principle – that the war in Iraq is key to American security – Bush reached out Sunday to those who disagree. “I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt,” Bush said. “I do not expect you to support everything I do, but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom.” At his political best in 2004, Bush acknowledged that people would disagree with him and used that tension to burnish his credibility. “Even when we don’t agree,” he said at his nominating convention in New York, “you know what I believe and where I stand.” His credibility now in tatters, Bush injected a dose of reality into his rhetoric. He used some form of the word “sacrifice” four times, spoke three times of the “loss” caused by war and braced Americans for more to come: “There is more testing and sacrifice before us.” He said Iraq has been more difficult than expected, a rare admission of error. This is exactly what many senior Republicans had urged Bush to do – speak bluntly about war as Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II and eloquently about the cause and sacrifice as Abraham Lincoln did during the Civil War. “Tonight was a high watermark in his acknowledgment that mistakes have been made and that he has to accept his share of the blame,” said Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Did it work? That’s for Americans to judge, but even with a softening of his rhetoric Bush is still giving doubters little leeway. People are still either with him – or for defeat. “Defeatism may have its partisan uses,” he said, “but it is not justified by the facts.” Reaction to President George W. Bush’s speech on the Iraq war: “While I appreciate the president’s increased candor, too much of the substance remains the same and the American people have still not heard what benchmarks we must meet along the way to know that progress is being made.” – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “I fully agree with the president that while there is always a place for thoughtful dissent here at home, the stakes are too high for us to allow political games and partisanship to detract from our objective of helping establish a free, stable and democratic Iraq.” – Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. “It’s wrong for (Bush) to attempt to silence his critics by calling them defeatists. And it’s wrong for him to gloss over the cherry-picking of intelligence that led us to this war. … The president should acknowledge, as his own generals do, that the Iraq war has emboldened the terrorists and increased their ranks. He should acknowledge, as his own generals do, that our overwhelming presence in Iraq is putting our soldiers, and American citizens, at greater risk.” – Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. “Any questions about the progress made in Iraq should have been answered by watching this week’s historic elections. … Our troops are getting the job done – and when they do, they will come home.” – House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. “Tonight the president acknowledged more of the mistakes he has made in Iraq, but he still does not get it. Iraq did not present an imminent threat to the security of the United States before he began his war of choice. The president’s speech tonight was further evidence that after almost three years, he still does not understand that crucial fact.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “The Iraqis this week took a big step toward the advancement of their own democracy, demonstrating that they are serious about peace, democracy and prosperity. As the president reinforced tonight, we will not abandon them now .” – Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. “The president needs to realize that his misguided, Iraq-centric policies are draining our military and intelligence capabilities and are undermining our efforts to combat al-Qaida and its allies.” – Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. “(Bush) is trying very hard to explain this complex situation to the public. Tonight was a high watermark in his acknowledgment that mistakes have been made and that he has to accept his share of the blame.” – Sen. John Warner, R-Va. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – No more rosy scenarios. After watching his credibility and approval ratings crumble over the course of 2005, President George W. Bush completed a rhetorical shift Sunday night by abandoning his everything-is-OK pitch to Americans and coming clean: He was wrong about the rationale for going to war in Iraq; he underestimated the dangers; the country has suffered “terrible loss”; and the bad news isn’t over. Even with his high-profile display of candor – a step anxious Republican leaders had been demanding for weeks – Bush remained unyielding. “To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor and I will not allow it,” he said in a prime-time address, capping a series of five speeches designed to reverse a stunning political free-fall. last_img read more

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