Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush wary of war for once

Stalemate awareness rate rises 2 percent

Washington Post--President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.

The link leading to this article read: WP: Bush says U.S. not winning in Iraq. Which I guess isn't technically misleading. But it does possess a significant WTF-factor that forces you to figure out just what on God's Greenhouse Earth compelled Bush to say we're not winning in Iraq. After all, it's true.

"We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we're winning."

See, now this is why I didn't vote for Bush in 2004. The guy is a total flip-flopper on the war. We need someone with courage of conviction who is willing to stay the course and support the war on terror. How dare Bush say such things and undermine our troops!

But, thanks to the extremely biased media, Bush will probably garner widespread support for saying such things. With their war agenda, the press will probably twist the president's extremely ambiguous words. Thank Jesus we have Fox News, probably the only outlet courageous enough to cite Bush's quote the way he really meant it!

Bush: U.S. 'not losing' in Iraq

Actually, Fox News' treatment leads like this:

President Bush: Increase Needed in Size of Army, Marines

WASHINGTON — President Bush said Wednesday that the U.S. needs to expand the size of the Army and Marines to meet the challenges of the War on Terror, and has asked new Defense Secretary Robert Gates to begin the process.

"I'm inclined to believe that we need to increase in — the permanent size of both the United States Army and the United States Marines. I've asked Secretary Gates to determine how such an increase could take place and report back to me as quickly as possible," Bush said in an opening statement during his year-end news conference with White House reporters.

Only one day later and both Bush and Fox are focusing on the issue that makes Bush look slightly less bad. Not winning, not losing? Gasp!! More troops needed? Why, that's All-American machismo! Everybody sing along...G.I. JOE! The sheer testosterone of this article is checked only by the most simian picture of Bush anyone's ever seen.

There's only one problem with such a feel-good solution: according to the WaPo, everyone thinks it's a bad idea.

He confirmed that he is considering a short-term surge in troops in Iraq, an option that top generals have resisted out of concern that it would not help...A substantial military expansion will take years and would not be meaningful in the near term in Iraq...A force structure expansion would accelerate the already-rising costs of war. The administration is drafting a supplemental request for more than $100 billion in additional funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on top of the $70 billion already approved for this fiscal year, according to U.S. officials. That would be over 50 percent more than originally projected for fiscal 2007, making it by far the most costly year since the 2003 invasion.

None of these figures pepper the Fox report, with that article instead moving on the other subjects such as the "strong" economy. The Fox feed takes seven paragraphs to even approach the stalemate remark; but Bush takes that opportunity to correct his unintentional lapse of truth:

But Bush would not say that he believes the United States is failing in Iraq, which was a shade different from a remark he made a day earlier to The Washington Post in which he said the U.S. is not winning in Iraq.

"The first comment was done in this spirit: I believe that we're going to win. I believe that -- and, by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you've got to know. We're going to succeed,' Bush said. "My comments yesterday reflected the fact that we're not succeeding nearly as fast as I wanted, when I said it at the time, and that the conditions are tough in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad."

The mainstream media would have attempted to corner Bush by asking such rude questions as, "What part of 'We're not winning' was spoken in the spirit that 'We're going to win?'" But good ol' Fox News has more respect for the Oval Office than that! Where would Bush be without Fox? Probably where he deserves to be. Texas.

Taken from any angle, Bush's remarks suggest at least a timid slither toward a tiny hole in the enormous brick fortress enclosing his mind. He's not winning, but he's slightly less of a loser. At least until he dismisses his trip into open-mindedness by assuring us that he will continue to stay that craggly course. That's the spirit!


GumboFilé said...

Bush has but two years left. There's no telling how desperate he might get. I still think a draft is possible. The only upside I can see is that if it gets bad enough, we might lose our taste for war for a while.

Ian McGibboney said...

It seems like everyone BUT Bush has come to their senses about Iraq. And there's a small part of Bush that has as well, though he seems intent on repressing that side. I would like to see at least the threat of a draft, because THAT would likely finish the war fast for its few remaining supproters. At this point, though, I think it's clear that Bush's mind is the one that needs changing. So maybe the draft would not work in that regard.

Anonymous said...

Charles Rangel has been pushing for a draft, actually, to scare people from supporting the war in Iraq. Or war, period.

He's made proposals in 2003, 2005 and again recently.


Jenn of the Jungle said...

Wow. You do realize we are at war with Islam. Right. I mean, I'm an atheist, a hard core one, but even I know this is a holy war.

Apparently somewhere in your DNC talking points they neglected to mention:

"We will chase [Americans] to every corner at all times. No high tower of steel will protect them against the fire of truth."
Saddam Hussein, Baghdad Radio, February 8, 1991

"It is possible to turn to biological attack, where a small can, not bigger than the size of a hand, can be used to release viruses that affect everything..."
Saddam Hussein, September 20, 2001

"He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

Keep kidding yourselves folks, this war you want to end will never end on your terms. We could pull every one out of everywhere and it wont change a thing.

Ian McGibboney said...

Jenn, I see one of your interests is "pissing off liberals." And, you know, that's a smart place to come from when trying to engage in debate. Much like accusing me of regurgitating DNC talking points, only to react with quotes more selective than a Klansman's quoting of Abe Lincoln.

If we're at war with Islam--which it does seem like, I'll admit, aside from the oil factor--then Iraq was a bad choice. Saddam Hussein ran a secular dictatorship that was largely despised by Osama and al-Qaida. The fundamentalist Islamic groups who have made base in Iraq have done so since we marched in there and removed the one bit of minor stability that country had.

But you are right about that last line. If it's all the same, then why DON'T we pull out all our troops? Are you suggesting we keep killing and dying for a war we can't win?

Jenn of the Jungle said...

What is it with your type and the "oil" argument. It's not a factor.

If the United States did, by brute force, impose a tax on Iraqi crude, it could not be an add-on to the market price at which crude is sold in the international market or no one would buy it. If that crude is taxed on the net to Iraq, it must be a fee taken from the Iraqi government share and could not be more than about $3 per barrel without imposing an intolerable burden on a country which the United States will be trying to stabilize economically and politically. The United States government currently pays about 4 percent for long-term (10-year) money; that corresponds to $4 billion per year for a 100-billion-dollar war. A $3-per-barrel tax will bring in about $2.4 billion per year; not enough even to pay the interest on the cost of the war.

Saddam was the logical choice at the time, he was a brutal, evil dictator, who, for all intents and purposes seemed to be aquiring material for WMD. Everyone thought so, not just Bush, but Clinton, France, Russia, Spain, Australia etc. etc. Everyone did... and in fact, it has been proven that UN inspectors uncovered proof of Saddam's nuclear bomb plans
"United Nations weapons inspectors have uncovered evidence that proves Saddam Hussein is trying to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons, The Telegraph can reveal. The discovery was made following spot checks last week on the homes of two Iraqi nuclear physicists in Baghdad."

"The revelation follows last Thursday's discovery of a number of warheads at an ammunition storage facility south of Baghdad that had been designed for carrying chemical and biological weapons."

We gave him plenty of time to hide, and remove most evidence.

As for the last comment, no, I don't want any of my friends to die, but as they themselves would say, that's war. I have many friends serving right now in Iraq. As long as people like you keep calling for an end, instead of uniting in the war we didn't ask for, yet somehow got, they will continue to die.

We need troop increases, and we need to be a lot tougher than we are now. People will die, but in the long run, less will than are now. It's early, does that make sense to you.

Ian McGibboney said...

For someone who accuses me of parroting DNC talking points, you sure use a lot of direct quotes. Where are they even from? Come clean.

Nuclear bomb PLANS are different than actually possessing them and warning of their effectual use against Americans. Every nation on Earth has PLANS! The UN, Colin Powell and even Bush himself admitted (albeit inadvertently) that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, which is supposedly the reason we launched into this War on Terror in the first place.

For some reason, we diverted our search for Osama bin Laden (which still isn't complete) to capture Saddam Hussein, a longtime fixation of the Bush family. It was reported that the Bush administration planned an Iraq invasion as early as the first quarter of 2001. Add to that the no-bid contracts to Halliburton, the securing of oil refineries over every other Iraqi structure (museums, libraries, etc.) and the administration's refusal to disclose energy-related affairs, and something doesn't add up. I'm supposed to assume that these oil men invaded an oil-rich country that they've chased for years (with no prior ties to bin Laden), and it's got nothing to do with petroleum dollars? Altruism is not this administration's strong point; so I'm disinclined to think this war is about anything other than thugs angling for power and profit. And we aren't one iota safer for any of it.

I too have many friends in Iraq, of differing opinions. But the only ones who ever want to go back are the ones who work for the petroleum industry. That says TONS about what's going on there. TONS.

But this is America. So if you choose to continue to support a severely failed war that serve to only worsen stability in the world, then that's your right. I, on the other hand, refuse to accept that war is inevitable, and that we should simply trust those who have no clue how to run this quagmire (and who use fear to keep it spinning).