Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Good Grief, Charlie Brown

Does anyone else feel like the ship just keeps sinking?

WASHINGTON, March 21 — President Bush said Tuesday that the war in Iraq was eroding his political capital, his starkest admission yet about the costs of the conflict to his presidency, and suggested that American forces would remain in the country until at least 2009.

In a quick remark at a White House news conference about the reserves of political strength he earned in his 2004 re-election victory — "I'd say I'm spending that capital on the war" — Mr. Bush in effect acknowledged that until he could convince increasingly skeptical Americans that the United States was winning the war, Iraq would overshadow everything he did.


That statement was one of the few he has made that provides insight into his thinking about the duration of the American commitment in Iraq, and signaled that any withdrawal of troops would extend beyond his term in office.

Mr. Bush asserted that Iraq was not in a civil war, and took issue with Ayad Allawi, a former Iraqi prime minister and White House ally, who said Sunday that it was. The president also said repeatedly that he was convinced that the United States would succeed in Iraq and that he would continue to deliver that message across the country.

"I'm going to say it again: if I didn't believe we could succeed, I wouldn't be there," he said at the nearly hourlong session in the White House press briefing room. "I wouldn't put those kids there."

The president's news conference was part of a White House campaign to convince Americans that there is good news in Iraq, not only the daily bloodshed they see on television. The session with reporters was sandwiched in between a series of presidential Iraq speeches — Washington last Tuesday, Cleveland this last Monday and Wheeling, W. Va., scheduled for Wednesday — and like them, projected a tone of qualified optimism.

Mr. Bush admitted mistakes and acknowledged chaos on the ground, but emphatically asserted that the situation would improve.

"I've heard people say, 'Oh, he's just kind of optimistic for the sake of optimism,' " he told reporters. "Well, look, I believe we're going to succeed. And I understand how tough it is. Don't get me wrong. I mean, you make it abundantly clear how tough it is. I hear it from our troops. I read the reports every night. But I believe the Iraqis — this is a moment where the Iraqis had a chance to fall apart, and they didn't. And that's a positive development."


"The problem with the speeches is they get gradually more realistic, but they are still exercises in spin," said Anthony Cordesman, a military specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "They don't outline the risks. They don't create a climate where people trust what's being said."

White House officials are hopeful that the communications offensive by Mr. Bush will stop the decline that has sunk his job approval ratings to the lowest levels of his presidency, but some military analysts said they were skeptical because he announced no new policies in his news conference or in his speeches.


Rattlehead said...

I'll tell you what my sinking feeling stems from: the ominous inevitability that somewhere down the line, not too far from now, there will be a giant KABOOM. What that means, I don't know, but I just don't see the current state of affairs in Iraq remaining in a constant state of steady decline. And Americans, who have shown the world just how quickly we go back to our recliners and potato chips will once again awaken from our slumber and do something stupid in response. Draft? Iran? Both? Who knows.

This all sounds so vague, but I'm a vague kinda guy.

Dr 4LOM said...

Well in vaguary you bring up a good point. Americans care for about twenty minutes and then go right back to their reality TV and gameshows. Look at how easily everyone's forgotten about New Orleans. Americans have made their opinion about Iraq, and it's only a matter of time before our useless administration decides to start shaking some trees for press purposes. Personally, I think the President's previous SOTU speeches should be brought up, fact checked with intel we have now, compared to the original timeline that sold the war and as the lies stack up, Mr. Bush AND every one of his cronies should be put on the chopping block and tried for misleading the country into not just an unwinnable war, but a completely stupid situation. I shout treason because if you look at opinions globally of the U.S. anytime in our short history, you will surely discover that across the board we are looked at worse now than we ever were before 9-11. I have a short list of people to blame, and Mr. Bush is certainly at the top.

neblinoso said...

i would say the government, or the general media, in particular have forgotten about NO, but not everyone. there's a lot of good TAL shows about what's happening there now, and a lot of people helping/donating time and money for the cause. it's just that you don't see this same effort from the biggies. and of course helping people and kindness these days isn't considered newsworthy.

Rattlehead said...

Vaguary = Word of the Day. Nice.

Yeah, who cares about New Orleans anyway? It's way down in the bayou and full of niggers, Voodoo Satan-worshippers and French speaking faggots. And wasn't there some sort of big wave that knocked over some stick-houses out in the Pacific a couple years ago? And what was that one disease called again? You know, the one that gets spread around by fags and junkies?

Whatever. I ain't no faggot, I ain't no nigger, and I don't live in the jungle so what do I care? I'll just eat my Freedom Toast wear my yellow ribbon. Support the troops!