By now, you all know that Cheney and Libby have taken the Chicken Hawk route in defending their actions - they ain't goin' ta talk about it. Makes me wonder what beyond the obvious they are trying to hide? Dirty tricks aside, I'm certain they owe the American people an explanation: Scratch that - they owe us an honest recount of the facts as they happened. No doubt, the truth is beyond their capacity at this point as they haven't dabbled in it in a great long while. That's one problem with living a lie; you never know what is true.
Take that one step further and we see the trouble with lying to get one's way that the president experienced today. Specifically, he's lost all credibility with the American people. So much so, that when he suggest that a vote against a surge doesn’t support the troops, he has forgotten what it really is: A vote of no confidence in him. I support the troops, for sure. But I most certainly don't support the president nor have any confidence that he can do the job.
Let's have a look at his press conference from Valentine's Day to assess the problem a bit further. First off, we see that a man who cries wolf too often is often left holding a megaphone and nothing more. Why else would he answer a perfectly good question that he cannot answer with a lousy question?
Q Thank you, sir. I'd like to follow on Iran. Critics say that you are using the same quality of intelligence about Iran that you used to make the case for war in Iraq, specifically about WMD that turned out to be wrong, and that you are doing that to make a case for war against Iran. Is that the case?Well, that really isn't the question now is it? The question is can we believe you after all the mistakes you and your administration has made in the bungle that is Iraq?
THE PRESIDENT: I can say with certainty that the Quds force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops. And I'd like to repeat, I do not know whether or not the Quds force was ordered from the top echelons of government. But my point is what's worse -- them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops.
Why should we trust an administration that isn't even supported by people that we usually see singing their praises?
Q Mr. President, on the North Korea deal, the former U.N. Ambassador, John Bolton, yesterday said, "It's a bad, disappointing deal, and the best thing you can say about it is that it will probably fall apart." This is from a man you repeatedly praised for his judgment and leadership at the United Nations. His main criticism is that the financial pressure led North Korea back to the table, and now it's being released. How do you respond to that?Really, but how do you know? But we should have the utmost confidence in our President, don't you think?
THE PRESIDENT: I strongly disagree -- strongly disagree with his assessment.
Have a look at this exchange as Helen Thomas whacks W over the head with her cast iron skillet and he will give us the reason why we shouldn't have as much confidence in this president. He just doesn't know:
Q Mr. President, do you agree with the National Intelligence Estimate that we are now in a civil war in Iraq? And, also, you talk about victory, that you have to have victory in Iraq; it would be catastrophic if we didn't. You said again today that the enemy would come here, and yet you say it's not an open-ended commitment. How do you square those things?There is a large difference between could, would and should. The fact is, I don't believe that he is listening to the right people, nor does he know first hand. He admits the latter. So, the fundamental question for the blogisphere today is thus...let's call this...drum roll
THE PRESIDENT: You know, victory in Iraq is not going to be like victory in World War II. It's one of the challenges I have to explain to the American people what Iraq will look like in a situation that will enable us to say we have accomplished our mission.
First, the -- Iraq will be a society in which there is relative peace. I say "relative peace" because if it's like zero car bombings, it never will happen that way. It's like -- the fundamental question is, can we help this government have the security force level necessary to make sure that the ethnic cleansing that was taking place in certain neighborhoods has stopped.
Look, there's criminality in Iraq, as well as the ethnic violence. And we've got to help the Iraqis have a police force that deals with criminals. There is an al Qaeda presence in Iraq, as you know. I believe some of the spectacular bombings have been caused by al Qaeda. As a matter of fact, Zarqawi -- the terrorist Zarqawi, who is not an Iraqi, made it very clear that he intended to use violence to spur sectarian -- car bombings and spectacular violence to spur sectarian violence. And he did a good job of it.
And so there -- and then there's this disaffected Sunnis, people who believe that they should still be in power in spite of the fact that the Shia are the majority of the country, and they're willing to use violence to try to create enough chaos so they get back in power.
The reason I described that is that no matter what you call it, it's a complex situation, and it needed to be dealt with inside of Iraq. We've got people who say civil war, we've got people on the ground who don't believe it's a civil war. But nevertheless, it is -- it was dangerous enough that I had to make a decision to try to stop it, so that a government that is bound by a constitution, where the country feels relatively secure as a result of a security force that is even-handed in its application of security; a place where the vast resources of the country -- this is a relatively wealthy country, in that they've got a lot of hydrocarbons -- is shared equally amongst people; that there is a federalism that evolves under the Constitution where the local provinces have got authority, as well; and where people who may have made a political decision in the past and yet weren't criminals can participate in the life of the country; and is an ally in the war on terror. In other words, that there is a bulwark for moderation, as opposed to a safe haven for extremism. And that's what I would view as successful.
Q Do you believe it's a civil war, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I can only tell you what people on the ground, whose judgment -- it's hard for me, living in this beautiful White House, to give you an assessment, firsthand assessment. I haven't been there; you have, I haven't. But I do talk to people who are and people whose judgment I trust, and they would not qualify it as that. There are others who think it is. It is, however, a dangerous situation, thereby requiring action on my part.
Listen, I considered several options -- one, doing nothing, and that if you don't believe the situation was acceptable, then you should do something. And I didn't believe the situation was acceptable. Secondly, I could have listened to the advice of some and pulled back and hoped for the best. I felt that would be extraordinarily dangerous for this young democracy, that the violence in Baghdad could escalate mightily and then spill out across the country, creating chaos, vacuums into which extremism would flow; or make the decision I made, which is to reinforce the troops that were on the ground, to help this Iraqi government and security force do what they're supposed to do.
Windspike's Valentine's Day Political Questions
- If we were to take a vote of confidence in this president and his administration today, how would you vote and why?
- Should W and Cheney step down today or by the end of the week at the lattes?
- Would you like to see Pelosi stand up and take the helm as the first female President of the United States?