Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Should The President Apologize?

I rarely disagree with the Helen Thomas' approach to asking questions of Tony the Snow job. But today, I think she's beating around the bush a little too much.

In my book, you shouldn't ask a question where you already know the answer. Of course, the president is not going to issue an apology for saying that Dems are for the terrorists yesterday. It's not in his nature to apologize for anything. The point is well taken, even so.

The question I would ask follows down a bit further in Helen's follow up. What's the W, Rove and Co plan for winning and does Tony provide an adequate answer?

You be the judge:
Q Does the President owe the Democrats an apology for saying that the terrorists -- that they will appease the terrorists?

MR. SNOW: No. Let's take -- you know what's interesting, Helen, and I've said this before --

Q How bellicose was he?

MR. SNOW: I don't think it's bellicose. Look, let's listen to what the Democrats -- or let's think about what Democrats are doing in this election campaign. When it comes to winning the war on terror, what is their plan? They've not said. They have talked about withdrawal --

Q -- 101 in Iraq --

MR. SNOW: -- they've talked about a whole series of things, in terms of complaining -- looking back over their shoulders and complaining about past decisions. But when it comes to the key issue, how do you achieve victory -- they say they want to achieve it, but they won't tell you how. They will tell you what they oppose what the President is doing. They oppose the Patriot Act; they have opposed the Terrorist Surveillance Program; they oppose the program by which we detain, question and bring to justice the worst of the terrorists. So they have opposed all of those things, so we know what they oppose, but we don't know what they're going to do.

Q How does the President propose to win? How does the President -- 101 in October dying --

MR. SNOW: The President understands that it is difficult. This is a man who signs each and every condolence note. He is absolutely aware of the human cost. And he grieves for every family and every person that we've lost. But on the other hand, he also knows two things. First, as General Casey said last week, there is not a single military engagement that we have not won, and we don't give our soldiers credit for that.

Secondly, he also understands that if we were to walk away short of victory it would give terrorists the opportunity to turn Iraq into a stronghold in which they would have access to the world's second largest reserves of petroleum; that they would be able to use oil as a political weapon against the United States, Europe, Asia, could pit the industrialized nations against one another; they could also work in concert with Iran and Syria, which have been active supporters of terror; they no doubt would try to go after Israel, after the Arabian peninsula, perhaps after Egypt.

In other words, the consequences of walking out and leaving a failed state are absolutely catastrophic, and the President understands that. But he also understands the promise of a democratic Iraq. And if you take a look at what's happened -- the Prime Minister, being assertive about what he wants to achieve -- and there has been progress, economically and politically, throughout much of Iraq, not ignoring the difficulties especially around Baghdad and the fierce fighting -- you take a look at that, the promise is if you have a democracy, and when you have a democracy that stands up in Iraq, that sends a powerful message.

Helen, you and I have been students of the region long enough to know that everybody is watching -- everybody is watching. And the way they see it in the region is either terrorists win or democracy wins. And the President is absolutely determined that democracy wins.
As to the fact that Tony suggest W grieves, I call that out as deeply misleading the public here. I've not detected one iota of grief for the pain W's decisions have caused the people of America or the people of the globe. But I digress.

Incidentally, The "if we walk away," gambit is not a substitute for an actual plan for winning that works. So what's the plan Tony? Thus far, is the W, Rove and Co plan working? The jury is out and the verdict will be returned on 7 November.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When pigs fly

''[A]s General Casey said last week, there is not a single military engagement that we have not won ...''

An ingenuous quote. Most of the deaths in Iraq are from IEDs, roadside bombs. How many engagements with IEDs have we won?

We never lost a military engagement in Vietnam. Unfortunately for the military, war is only politics by other means. Until the politics change and we start winning hearts and minds if that is even possible at this late date, the war can't be won.