Thursday, May 10, 2007

You could have put me down as part of the disapproval process

Today Bush went to the Pentagon for a briefing on Iraq.

Evidently we’re winning in Baghdad. “And what happens with increased presence, there’s increased confidence, and with increased confidence becomes increased information”. Yoda has nothing on this guy.

However, he really suggests everyone just wait until Petraeus reports back in September (“And no better person to report about the conditions on the ground than somebody who was there, and that would be General Petraeus”), that is, when Corporal Combover will objectively assess whether the plan that he formulated and he implemented has succeeded or on the other hand whether his life work is a sham and a failure and he must cover his head in shame for the rest of his days. You know, that report. “My attitude toward Congress is, why don’t you wait and see what he says?”

When addressing the Democrats, he adopted a stance for which I believe the technical term used by rhetoricians is prickish. “The interesting thing about the Iraq debate, by the way, is I don’t hear a lot of discussions about what happens if we fail. I hear a lot of discussions about maybe we can make good political progress based upon this issue, or let’s just make sure that we constantly achieve -- make political hay based upon Iraq. I hear a lot of that.” I’ll bet you do, I’ll bet you do.

1) “And they patrol streets to build trust and increase local cooperation. In other words, there’s active engagement by Iraqi forces and coalition forces in neighborhoods throughout Baghdad and the area.”
2) “The nations assembled in Egypt pledged to support Iraq in these efforts. In other words, the Iraqis said, we need help, and these nations pledged support.”
3) “It was a robust international meeting where Iraqi leaders expressed their determination to meet a series of benchmarks they have set for political progress. In other words, they have not only told me that they’re going to meet benchmarks, they’ve not only told Secretary Gates that they intend to meet benchmarks, but they’ve also told the international community they intend to do so.”

The line being quoted in the press as a sign of a possible willingness to compromise is this one: “One message I have heard from people from both parties is that the idea of benchmarks makes sense. And I agree.” No one asked him to define the word, but I assume it doesn’t involve timetables or deadlines that would provide a standard for measuring success or failure. Or penalties for failure. So what we’re left with is this: “And they must understand that we are very serious when it comes to them passing law that enables his country to more likely reconcile.”

He said that he will miss Tony Blair. “We’ve got a relationship such that we can have really good discussions.” “He is a political figure who is capable of thinking over the horizon.” George, on the other hand, falls off the edge.

“I remind people -- I reminded them that last fall, late fall -- I had been one of these people that get endlessly polled -- you know, these surveys and the pollsters calling people all the time, it looks like -- and if they had asked my opinion, I’d have said, I disapprove of what was going on in Iraq. You could have put me down as part of the disapproval process -- and, therefore, had put a plan in place that would more likely cause me to approve of what’s going on in Iraq. That’s why I made the decision I made.” Because you were endlessly polled?

Some pictures from Cheney’s trip, the first in Tikrit, the second in the more congenial climes of the United Arab Emirates.

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