THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING OF THE END Somebody Should Tell Bush He’s Done. Stick A Fork in Him. It’s Over.
It is just a matter of time. The man behind the curtain we were not
supposed to pay any attention to has been found out. The fraud is
revealed. What an inspiring a sorry performance by the President in front of the troops at Fort Bragg and the entire nation Tuesday night. The only thing more inspiring sorrier was Scott McClellan’s bold new insights even sorrier regurgitations at Wednesday’s White House Press Briefing Court Stenography Session. Somebody should tell Scott McClellan it is time for a raise new job.
opened with a PR announcement on the President’s website dedicated to
supporting the troops Bush himself does not support. Then McClellan
turned thing over to Frances Townsend. Fran Townsend continued what
was supposed to be another White House Press Briefing Court Stenography Session with a brilliantly
an oddly timed appearance to talk about the Silberman Robb Commission
Report on Terror, WMD and whatever else can distract us from the
president’s sinking performance the night before on national
television. McClellan made the mistake of then taking questions.
HIGHLIGHTS are mine, the lowlights are all Scott.
Q Q So what do you make of all of the Democratic criticism of the President's speech last night, particularly the very harsh words that Senator Rockefeller had --
MR. McCLELLAN: I didn't see exactly what he said. You might want to refresh me on what he said.
Q -- perpetrating a fraud on the American people.
MR. McCLELLAN: I would just say that I don't think politics and pessimism help us complete the mission. The President is focused on completing the mission. And last night he outlined a very clear strategy for the way forward that the American people heard. That strategy
is to stand up Iraqi security forces, and as we do that, to stand down
American forces. And that's the way forward in Iraq. And it's important
that we all focus on completing the mission so that our troops can return home as soon as possible. [WHITE HOUSE]
Mission, mission, strategy, strategy, mission. If
the strategy now is to remind people of a mission yet unaccomplished,
these geniuses in the White House are making a big mistake. Somebody
should tell Scott reminding people about the mission that isn’t a
accomplished only reminds them that the mission is . . . not accomplished.
Q Can I follow on that? Part of what Senator
Rockefeller said was that by using the references to 9/11, that the
President was trying to click a patriotic button that would make people
more patient. He called it "amazing." He further said that there was no
connection between Osama bin Laden, Iraq and 9/11, and effectively was
saying the President was using that national tragedy. How do you
respond to that?
MR. McCLELLAN:And who made any suggestion of a link to the attacks? What the President was talking about was that September 11th taught us important lessons. It taught us that we must confront threats
before they full materialize, before they reach our shores. That's why
the President decided we were going to take the fight to the enemy. We are taking the fight to the enemy abroad so that we don't have to fight them here at home. We are on the offense, not defense. And that's the way you fight and wage and win the war on terrorism. [WHITE HOUSE]
September 11th, threats, enemy, home, terrorism. And who made any suggestion of a link to the attacks?Here
we have the beginning of the beginning of the end. People will only
play the fool for so long. Soon people will say they are not fools. In time
they will say they never were fooled. Then they will say there is only
one fool. The fool in the White House. Who does that fool think he is
fooling? Stick a fork in him. He’s dead. Bush just doesn’t know it
Q I guess the question Democrats have is, is
the enemy in Iraq the same enemy that struck the United States on
September 11th, 2001?
MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, the President talked about it last night. He said the terrorists have chosen to make Iraq a central front in the war on terrorism. They are the same -- they have the same hatred and -- let me back up -- they have the same ideology of hatred and oppression that the terrorists who attacked us on September 11th held. These are the same kind of people. They are terrorists who seek to dominate the Middle East. The Middle East is a dangerous region of the world, and the President made the decision that we could no longer ignore these emerging threat that were building in the Middle East. The Middle East was a breeding ground for terrorism
for decades; we looked the other way or tolerated dictators for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East. We got neither. Threats were emerging and the terrorists
thought that history was on their side. They attacked us at the World
Trade Center in 1993; they -- you saw the attacks on our troops in
Somalia and the attack on our Marines in Lebanon. They launched attacks
in other civilized countries, as well.
Then September 11th came. War was brought to our shores. And the President made a decision that the terrorists
were going to be the ones that were going to be on the defensive. We
were going to take the fight to them. And when you engage the enemy abroad, this is what happens. The enemy
recognizes that a free Iraq is going to go right to the heart of their
survival because it will help send a powerful message to the rest of
the Middle East and help transform that region to bring about freedom
and democracy, which is the way to defeat the ideology that they
espouse. [WHITE HOUSE]
Danger, enemy, threats, attacks, September 11, Iraq. The
President made a decision. We were going to take the fight to . .
.Iraq. Every word the President say, everything McClellan says in
support of his illegal war . . . supports the truth in the Downing
Street Memos. Bush sticks the fork in himself. He just doesn’t know
Q So while the President isn't arguing that
Saddam Hussein and his regime were behind 9/11, he's saying that
essentially they're the same kind of people?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, remember, we talked about how his regime was a sworn enemy of the United States. And what the terrorists did was choose to make Iraq a central front in the war on terrorism. No matter where you stood on the decision to go into Iraq -- we talked about the decision about why we went into Iraq -- I think all of us can recognize that the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism. The President quoted Osama bin Laden last night.
The President has heard from his commanders, General Abizaid, who
oversees that theater. And General Abizaid has talked about the
importance of succeeding in Iraq and Afghanistan, and talked to the
President about how when we succeed in Afghanistan and Iraq, it will be the beginning of the end for the terrorists and their ideology.
If we were to lose in Iraq, it would simply be the beginning of the beginning. [WHITE HOUSE]
Paranoia strikes three. Sworn enemy, terrorists , we all recognize.
We do all recognize something now. The White House is repeating things
that worked in the past that will work against them now and in the
future. You can only wave a bloody flag so long and then people see
the blood has dripped down to where it always belonged. On Bush. Stick
a fork in him. He's done. Bush just doesn’t know it..
WHAT THE PRESS IS SAYING ABOUT BUSH
BLURRING THE LINE BETWEEN FACT AND PROPAGANDA Critics were quick to point out that several of those
links were more a consequence of the Iraq invasion than a justification
for it. The connections described by Mr Bush at Fort Bragg were
more conceptual than the close relationship described by the White
House before the war. The prewar rhetoric portrayed that
relationship as long and deep. Dick Cheney, the vice-president, who
took the lead in making the claims described evidence of the
relationship as "overwhelming". Mr Cheney said in late 2001 it
had been "pretty well confirmed" that the lead September 11 hijacker
Mohamed Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in April
2000. Mr Bush said in October 2002: "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaida members in bomb-making and poisons and gases." He
also pointed to the alleged presence of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a
Jordanian Islamist militant in Baghdad, and of a radical Sunni group,
Ansar al-Islam, in Kurdistan as further proof of the connection. Those alleged connections crumbled under postwar scrutiny. --snip-- Despite the dearth of evidence of a solid link since the war, the picture of the relationship remains muddy in the US. Mr
Cheney, in particular, has refused to retract his war claims and has
continued to hint at hidden connections between Saddam and Bin Laden. Robin
Hayes, a Republican congressman from North Carolina, appeared on
television yesterday claiming to have seen secret evidence of Iraqi
involvement in the September 11 attacks which he could not share. Such
cryptic claims were widely rejected as groundless yesterday, but Mr
Bush's more subtle rendering of the alleged Iraq-Bin Laden axis will
serve to blur the hard lines between fact and propaganda. [GUARDIAN UK]
The New York Times says Bush couldn't resist temptation.
President Bush told the nation last night that
the war in Iraq was difficult but winnable. Only the first is clearly
true. Despite buoyant cheerleading by administration officials, the
military situation is at best unimproved. The Iraqi Army, despite Mr.
Bush's optimistic descriptions, shows no signs of being able to control
the country without American help for years to come. --snip-- We
did not expect Mr. Bush would apologize for the misinformation that
helped lead us into this war, or for the catastrophic mistakes his team
made in running the military operation. But we had hoped he would
resist the temptation to raise the bloody flag of 9/11 over and over
again to justify a war in a country that had nothing whatsoever to do
with the terrorist attacks. [NY TIMES]
MORE OF WHAT THE PRESS HAD TO SAY ABOUT BUSH, GOOD AND BAD
USA Today Editorial, June 29
ago, an ebullient George Bush flew to an aircraft carrier ... to
celebrate the supposed end of major combat in Iraq ... Mr Bush on
Tuesday again appeared before hundreds of US troops, this time to
respond to questions and growing concerns about the mission ...
Bush's half-hour speech outlined a sound, steadfast approach to dealing
with the mess that Iraq has become. But whether it can stem erosion in
support for the war remains to be seen. There was no acknowledgment of
the misjudgments that many Americans now see plainly, but Mr Bush seems
unable or unwilling to recognise. The administration is reaping the
backlash from its rosy predictions that invading Iraq - and getting out
- would be quick and relatively painless."
Cragg Hines Houston Chronicle, June 29
Bush's setting may have been Fort Bragg, the big, war-ready base in
North Carolina, and his audience may have been assembled troops, but
the president's target, however, as it has been throughout much of his
tenure, was his political base, which he needs to rally ...
[latest] Washington Post-ABC survey could point to increased trouble
ahead for Mr Bush. For the first time in this survey, a majority
(52%-48%) believe the administration intentionally misled the American
public in the run-up to the war ... This is a dangerous shift in public
perception for a 'values' politician such as Mr Bush. Hence, the
John Podhoretz New York Post, June 29
Bush was compelled to ... make the case yet again for the war in Iraq
at a time of mounting insurgent attacks on Americans and Iraqis -
something he might not have needed to do if he had maintained a
laser-like focus on the war on terror at the outset of his second term
"The speech marked ... a return to the war presidency ... It
was a strong speech ... because it took the criticisms of the war and
the war effort seriously and sought to advance better arguments than
those offered by the critics ... Thus, the president made clear, the
story of Iraq isn't just the daily use of ... car bombs. It's a story
of political progress that is threatened only by a loss of resolve on
our part - a loss of resolve that will result in a major victory for
Washington Post Editorial, June 29
Iraq is now a prime battlefield for Islamic extremists ... But Mr Bush
didn't explain how a war meant to remove a tyrant believed to wield
weapons of mass destruction turned into a fight against Muslim
militants, a transformation caused in part by his administration's many
errors since Saddam Hussein's defeat more than two years ago.
president also didn't speak candidly enough about the primary mission
the US now has in Iraq, which is ... constructing a stable government
in spite of Iraq's sectarian divisions and violent resistance from the
former ruling elite. It's harder to explain why Americans should die in
such a complex and ambitious enterprise than in a fight with
international terrorists, but that is the case Mr Bush most needs to
Los Angeles Times Editorial, June 29
pep talk to the nation ... was a major disappointment. He again rewrote
history by lumping together the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001
and the need for war in Iraq, when, in fact, Saddam's Iraq had no
connection to al-Qaida ... Mr Bush might be right to now put Iraq at<
the centre of the 'global war on terror', but it didn't have that
status before the invasion ...
"Americans are understandably
upset at spending $200bn [£111bn] and so many lives in Iraq, while
hearing only rhetoric about staying the course. If more months pass
with Iraqi forces leaning on the safety net of US troops, politicians
putting tribe and religious community ahead of nation, and the daily
havoc of suicide bombers, presidential scrutiny through rose-coloured
glasses will fall on ever deafer ears."
New York Times Editorial, June 29
Mr Bush is intent on staying the course, it will take years before the
Iraqi government and its military are able to stand on their own. Most
important of all - despite his lofty assurance [on Tuesday] that in the
end the insurgents 'cannot stop the advance of freedom' - all those
years of effort and suffering could still end with the Iraqis turning
on each other, or deciding that the American troops were the ultimate
enemy after all ...
"No one wants a disaster in Iraq, and Mr
Bush's critics can put aside, at least temporarily, their anger at the
administration for its hubris, its terrible planning and its inept
conduct of the war in return for a frank discussion of where to go from
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editorial, June 29
their growing unease and even distrust, most Americans do understand
the potentially dire consequences of failure in Iraq. They don't like
how we got into this mess, they don't believe it's being handled well,
but they accept - at least for now - the necessity of sticking it out.
All in all, they appreciate the seriousness of the situation, and are
ready to act accordingly. They deserve an equal seriousness of purpose
from the Bush administration." ROUNDUP FROM [THE GUARDIAN]