Thursday, June 16, 2005

Next Question, Please....

Can anyone read this exchange between Scott McClellan and ABC's Terry Moran and feel the slightest bit confident that we've got a handle on Iraq? And note who uses the word "insurgents" and who uses the word "terrorists"---and how many times.

This sort of thing would be knee-slapper material if we weren't talking about almost two thousand dead troops.

Scary stuff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it occurred to anybody that in the eyes of the Iraqis, the American military are "terrorists"!

6/16/2005 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two items come to mind: One, what good is the White House Press Secretary to anyone. Ari Fleischer was a master at deflection, and McClellan isn't far behind. Two, the way the administration has over used the word terrorist has caused it to become basically meaningless. Terrorist over there, no over there, everywhere a terrorist... I would prefer we understand the people we fight better and understand who they are and what is their problem. This isn't an easy thing to do, but it is critical for long term success with the least amount of casualties.

6/16/2005 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone else reminded, when reading a White House press briefing transcript, of a Monty Python skit?

6/16/2005 11:15 PM  
Blogger Siryn said...

Sounds like my asshat of a boss... talking around the very point that makes him look like an idiot.

6/17/2005 1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is it, the tide has turned. The "i" word is in the air. Even Josh Marshall in his Talking Points Memo blog uttered it in a post tonite.

The DSM is the big thing, all connected in with Bolton, Republican rep Walter Jones of NC and his gang of 4, falling poll numbers, daily Iraq atrocities ...

Oh this is going to be a crumbling for the ages.

6/17/2005 3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me think that when all the foreign troops are out of Iraq, is when the Insurgents will cease the aggression. I do believe though, contray to everyone belief that civil war will result after all the troops are out, the Iraquis will
find common ground and peace will be restored among themselves. Rest to be seen if the Bush Administration is ever contemplating that Iraq gets back to function normally and be at peace. The Oil isue, the Halliburton, and all the defense contractors will be jeopardized and would loose the lucrative business

and this is not in the cards as far as the Bush people are concerned.

The Insurgents do not want foreigners in their lands, we have seen this in other parts in the Middle East. Bin Ladden does not want the american bases in Saudi Arabia, and that's why 9/11 happened. So, I think this has become a challenge: to stay, offer an amnesty,
or leave. That is the question and the solution is not going to be easy. It is a gamble.

6/17/2005 3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scary stuff indeed, just incredible. How the hell did we get IN this mess, we were supposed to have learned how to avoid this sort of thing from Vietnam.

6/17/2005 4:55 AM  
Blogger DrDave said...

If you didn't know that it was the transcript of a White House press conference, you might think it was an excerpt from a newly discovered Samuel Beckett play.

McClellan has turned the White House press briefing into a new form of theater of the absurd.

6/17/2005 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It occurred to while reading that snip that the conversation reminded me of that "Who's on First" skit.

6/17/2005 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man, incredible!

6/17/2005 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McClellan sounded as convincing as the mother of the accuser did in the Michael Jackson trial. But it's all about denying the evening news a soundbite, so being convincing isn't the idea.

Problem is, in a year or two he'll be gone from the White House and working for CBS or NBC or ABC as a "political analyst." Maybe get his own weekly news roundup show. That's the way modern political journalism is run. Is it any wonder that Washington coverage sucks, big time?

6/17/2005 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McClellan does not belong in this job. As an American, I am embarrassed.

6/17/2005 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The insistent use of "terrorist" at every opportunity is indeed pathetic, but it fits with the White House's efforts to portray the whole Iraqi debacle as somehow necessary to the "War on Terror".

Another strange terms for the Iraqi resistance that I find even more ridiculous is the military's always referring to their foes in interviews as "bad guys". This strikes me as a childish term, but even more suggests that they really haven't found a way to define or characterize the insurgents, so arbitrarily tack on a label that simultaneously makes us the "good guys". The confused language is representative, in my view, of the muddle-headedness of this whole enterprise, as well as an example of the evident White House belief that saying something enough times somehow makes it so.

6/17/2005 9:30 AM  
Blogger owenz said...

McClellan is the perfect man for the job. Fleisher was far too slick for Team Bush, a real spin-meister who belonged at a Fortune 500 company. Ari didn't reflect this Administration's total disregard for truth and scorn for the press. He worked hard to convince reporters that he was actually telling them the truth. McClellan, on the other hand, is the ultimate press secretary version of Dick Cheney: he'll lie straight to your face without spin, and he really doesn't care how you take it. He personifies Rove's cynical calculation that 80% of Americans don't give a shit what's said in a White House press conference.

As for impeachment, it's a mere fantasy right now...but if the Dems could ever get ahold of the House or Senate in 2006, they'd finally have subpoena power. Then things would get interesting.

6/17/2005 9:43 AM  
Blogger ebed-melech said...

Anyone notice that terrorists have not rammed any of our airliners full of our women and children into buildings full of our women and children lately?

As long as the (yes indeed) terrorists are willing to go to Iraq to die instead of in the US, I believe we should accomodate them.

As far as understanding them - let the anthropologists do that after we bury them.

6/17/2005 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That line "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them in Omaha" line is about the stupidest
thing i've ever heard. The ones who will attempt the next attack are already here.

6/17/2005 12:02 PM  
Blogger David the Gyromancer said...

Apart from the obvious absurdity of his answers, and Cheney's remarks (which are amazingly reminiscent of official reporting about Vietnam back in the day, McClellan is an oaf. He has virtually no ability to parry, and these news conferences are leaden, and... indeed... scary.

6/17/2005 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the line fighting them over their. From what I have read, it is what BL wanted, plus the insurgents are right there; they don't have to travel or get visas. Quite frankly, I don't think they care where they fight us, and this just made it easier for them, plus BL can use it to recruit. That line is akin to bring it on or dead or alive. I think our fast food culture is use to immediate results, yet the "terrorists" have all the time in the world. We could fight the world, yet they, or someone else, still hold the ball in their court. That is exactly why we should be fighting smarter.

Anyone remember the title of the 8/6/2001 PDB memo .

Who did the CIA train when Russia invaded Afghanistan.

This looks like an interesting documentary .

Remember the lengthy vacation in August and the book Bush continued to read after the first crash. Terrorism didn't start on 9/11, but it gave our administration the opportunity to implement its PNAC plan. I wish the admin had the balls to be straight with us. We should just be honest about when the admin planned on going into Iraq and why, and it had nothing to do with saving women and children, and geez men too, on that terrible unfortunate day. If you want to talk children how about the Tim McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing which included a daycare center. Here's a thinker, our Congress created a fund to compensate the families of the 9/11 attack, but they did not create a fund to compensate the families of the Oklahoma attack. One attack used planes, another used a truck, both wanted the same results.

6/17/2005 12:54 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

What is your view on ABORTION?

While Muslims and Catholics even regard contraceptive evil, Would you like to know what do most people think of these religious taboo?

See it from the divine perspective ...

6/17/2005 1:48 PM  
Blogger owenz said...

The problem with "fighting them over there" is that the foreign jihadists in Iraq won't stay there forever. Like the mujahideen of Afganistan, the Islamists of Iraq won't conveniently die as soon as the conflict ends. They will pour back into their native countries and filter out to Islamist conflicts around the world. They will be the future masterminds of terrorist strikes against the US and recruiters of young, dumb suicide bombers around the globe. They will be lethal and there will be thousands of them.

The CIA has a word for this: blowback. It's gonna happen at some point.

I'm not saying that the creation of new Jihadists is a reason to avoid military conflicts with Muslim countries either now or in the future. What I'm saying is that it's a negative consequence that must be dealt with honestly. It is NOT good that we're "fighting them over there" rather than tracking them down in their individual countries and arresting them. It is very bad news, in fact.

Each and every jihadist will need to be dealt with at some point. Maybe not now, but some day.

6/17/2005 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the hell did we get IN this mess

60 million people voted for this mess. That's how we got in it.

6/17/2005 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And 59 million voted against it.

6/17/2005 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one million short, unfortunately...or not, thanks to the Thiefbold corporation.

6/17/2005 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And 59 million voted against it.

You should read about Ohio, and the players there, and coingate.

If what the Republican party has morphed into is so good, why do they have to be so bad (i.e., modify environmental documentatation, take us to war on a lie, leak CIA agent name, pay to play, etc).

6/18/2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Petti said...

I love the fact that McClellan told Moran to check the Cheney transcripts for the elusive "metric"...yeah, I see Cheney discussing his methodology alot when he is out delivering administration talking points as if he were an inanimate tape recording...

Great site by the way, I have linked to it...

6/18/2005 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

verifible voting....why would anyone want anything less?

6/18/2005 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard some outrageous numbers, I think this is Bush's "shock and awe" part, tonight on TV regarding the Iraq war. I didn't get them exact, but it was over 1700 service people killed, over 41,700 injured, maimed or amputeed, and over 110,000 Iraqi civilians killed.

That 41,700 number is interesting when people talk about Vietnam, because if this was Vietnam those service people could very well be dead, but due to better initial protection and better frontline medical care they have not. But my god, that's a lot. And doesn't it seem like every other night we are launching another major offensive named, "Operations __" in some Iraqi city. Heck with Bush saying "Major Combat Operations Over", it sounds like they have just begun.

6/18/2005 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

terrorists have not rammed any of our airliners

There is a very thoughtful article When Democracy Failed- 2005. Those that know their history will understand.

6/19/2005 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Hagel said it best, "The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along."

6/21/2005 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top Commander Says Insurgency Still Strong AP

WASHINGTON - The top American military commander in the Persian Gulf disputed a contention by Vice President Dick Cheney that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes" and told Congress on Thursday its strength was basically undiminished from six months ago. Furthermore, Gen. John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago."

Here's an odd thing, Dean Cain (the actor who played Superman) was on the network TV prgrogram Access Hollywood (host is Billy Bush) about his experience in Iraq. He sounded an awful lot like the Cheney talking points: everything is fine, the media is the problem, service people aren't getting respect, etc. The one thing they never said was who financed Cain's trip: did he pay for it himself, was it part of the USO, or was it more government propaganda? Superman does Iraq. Recruits kids for war.

6/23/2005 1:46 PM  
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