Monday, August 06, 2007

What Else Is A President Supposed To Say?

I never quite figured out why members of the MSM continue to ask the President questions that don't have any other response than what you would expect. For example, today, a reporter lucky enough to have an audience at Camp David with the President asks:
Q Mr. President, if you had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of top al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, would you wait for Musharraf's permission to send in U.S. forces, even if it meant missing an opportunity to take them out? Or have you and Musharraf worked out some deal about this already?

And President Karzai, what will be your top concern when you meet with Musharraf later this week?
Well, gee, what do you think the president will say? Of course:
PRESIDENT BUSH: I am confident that with actionable intelligence, we will be able to bring top al Qaeda to justice. We're in constant communications with the Pakistan government. It's in their interest that foreign fighters be brought to justice. After all, these are the same ones who were plotting to kill President Musharraf. We share a concern. And I'm confident, with real actionable intelligence, we will get the job done.
You see, there is no other appropriate answer. So why ask the question? Nothing to see here, but foolish waist of time, yours, mine, and the Presidents. But with all the means at his disposal, he hasn't been able to stop them yet, so why should we believe that W's strategy is the right one to get us out of this situation? But I digress.

Later on in the unscripted portion of this "Joint Press Availablity," we see the man for who he is as his thought process unravels.

For example, here's a legit question:
Q I will ask in Pashto and then I will translate my question. My question is for Mr. Karzai. (Speaking Pashto.) I will repeat in English, too. Four years ago, in a press conference, Mr. President Karzai said Taliban do not pose any threat to Afghan people. So who do you think supported Taliban to threaten the security by doing kidnappings and taking the government officials, and why?
Never mind Karzai's reply. Here's what your president had to say after Karzai spoke:
PRESIDENT BUSH: One thing is for certain: We know the vision -- their vision of how to govern. They've been in power. They've had the opportunity to show the world how they think and what they do. It's instructive for people to speak to a mother of a young girl about what life was like under the Taliban. These are brutal, cold-blooded killers.
Say what? How does this explain the juxtaposition of yesteryear with today? Karzai say's "yes," but I'm not certain he understood W either. Bush continues to dig himself a rhetorical hole:
PRESIDENT BUSH: That's what they are. And the fundamental question facing those of us who believe in freedom is whether or not we confront them, and whether or not it's worth it -- the effort -- to spread an alternative to their hateful vision. And we've come to the conclusion it is. And that's why President Karzai stands right here at Camp David, discussing common concerns, common opportunities, about how to defeat a vision of darkness. That's what they are. They just don't believe in freedom. They don't believe it's possible to live in a society where people are allowed to express themselves in free fashion.

And it's really part of an ongoing challenge that the free world faces. The real question is whether or not those of us who have the blessings of liberty will continue to pursue policies -- foreign policy, security policy aimed at not only protecting our homeland, but aimed at laying a condition for peace to prevail.
But, Mr. Bush, you haven't offered any remote kind of answer to a very legitimate question. Moreover, we know nothing about your strategy to accomplish these lofty goals.

If we go further, we find an obvious point at which we know for certain that Bush is lying, outright. I'll show you. Here's another legit question:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. President Karzai said yesterday that he believed Iran was playing a helpful role in Afghanistan. Was he able to convince you in your meetings that that was the case, or do you still have concerns about Iran's role? And I have a question for President Karzai as well. Just wondering if the President was able to give you the assurances that you sought about the effort to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan?
Now, get ready, see if you can spot the outright fabrication here. It happens in the first two sentences and unravels from there. Note, that he even confuses the order of his points mixing thirdly with secondly and the like:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me comment on the civilian casualties, if I might. First, I fully understand the angst, the agony and the sorrow that Afghan citizens feel when an innocent life is lost. I know that must cause grief in villages and heartbreak in homes. Secondly, I can assure the Afghan people, like I assured the President, that we do everything we can to protect the innocent; that our military operations are mindful that innocent life might be exposed to danger, and we adjust accordingly.

Thirdly, it is the Taliban who surround themselves with innocent life as human shields. The Taliban are the cold-blooded killers. The Taliban are the murderers. The Taliban have no regard for human life. And therefore, we've spent some time talking about -- as the President rightly expressed his concerns about civilian casualty. And I assured him that we share those concerns.

Secondly, it's up to Iran to prove to the world that they're a stabilizing force as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon. This is a government that is in defiance of international accord, a government that seems to be willing to thumb its nose at the international community and, at the same time, a government that denies its people a rightful place in the world and denies its people the ability to realize their full potential.

So I believe that it's in the interests of all of us that we have an Iran that tries to stabilize, not destabilize; an Iran that gives up its weapons ambitions. And therefore, we're working to that end. The President knows best about what's taking place in his country, and of course, I'm willing to listen. But from my perspective, the burden of proof is on the Iranian government to show us that they're a positive force. And I must tell you that this current leadership there is a big disappointment to the people of Iran. The people of Iran could be doing a lot better than they are today. But because of the actions of this government, this country is isolated. And we will continue to work to isolate it, because they're not a force for good, as far as we can see. They're a destabilizing influence wherever they are.

Now, the President will have to talk to you about Afghanistan. But I would be very cautious about whether or not the Iranian influence there in Afghanistan is a positive force -- and therefore, it's going to be up to them to prove to us and prove to the government that they are.
I call bullshit when I see it. And it's thickly delivered by your President. Anyone living in the USA that pretends they can identify with the Afghani who, after years of prosecution by the Taliban, to be "liberated" and surviving the invasion by the USA, and then has their baby child killed in an explosion (either perpetrated by the Taliban or the US Troops)has to have been smoking the GOP crack pipe too long and inhaling too deeply. To say that one "understands" the Afghani perspective in the loss of innocent life is purely reprehensible and an outright fabrication. Is any one else as offended by that comment?

Well, in the end, it's indeed interesting that the President would have people prove to him what will and will not work when he can't even defend his own strategy. Remember, he's got the scapegoat in waiting/training and he goes by the name of Dave Petraeus: And the artificial deadline of 15 September.
As Wesley Clark explained at YearlyKos on Friday, Petraeus is executing the president's Iraq policy, not the other way around. "Mr. President we're not questioning the generals, we're questioning you," Clark said. "Stop hiding behind Dave Petraeus and come out and defend your strategy. It's your strategy. You defend it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The President shouldn't invite invidious comparison, as in ...

''[T]he burden of proof is on the Iranian government to show us that they're a positive force. And I must tell you that this current leadership there is a big disappointment to the people of Iran. The people of Iran could be doing a lot better than they are today. But because of the actions of this government, this country is isolated.''