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Thinking about Iraq

Watching The Daily Show last night I saw some choice bits of footage from a press conference that Bush held along with two EU officials. I wish I had The Daily Show transcript in front of me so I could include it here, but you'll see some similarities in structure in this entry and the show last night. The transcript and video of the President's press conference are available on the Whitehouse website.

The question Stewart talked about, and I will too, was:

Mr. President, we were told that you planned to sharpen your focus on Iraq. Why did this become necessary? And given the recent surge in violence, do you agree with Vice President Dick Cheney's assessment that the insurgency is in its last throes?

The first thing Jon Stewart stopped to point out and replay in the video clip is that while fielding a question about increase violence in Iraq the President was smiling and snickering. *sigh* It makes you wonder if they really take it as seriously as they should.

Here is the first part of his answer:

Adam, I think about Iraq every day -- every single day -- because I understand we have troops in harm's way, and I understand how dangerous it is there.

Mr. President, I can't help but notice that the question was
if you agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney's assessment that the insurgency is in its last throes and I also can't help but notice that you didn't answer the fucking question. His first answer is that he's thought about it in the past, he's thinking about it in the present and he will continue to think about it in the future. Well whoopdefuckingdo.

He continued...

And the reason it's dangerous is because there's these cold-blooded killers that will kill Americans or kill innocent Iraqis in order to try to drive us out of Iraq. I spoke to our commanders today -- Commander Abizaid today, and will be speaking to General Casey here this week, getting an assessment as to how we're proceeding. We're making progress toward the goal, which is, on the one hand, a political process moving forward in Iraq, and on the other hand, the Iraqis capable of defending themselves. And the report from the field is that while it's tough, more and more Iraqis are becoming battle-hardened and trained to defend themselves. And that's exactly the strategy that's going to work. And it is going to work. And we will -- we will complete this mission for the sake of world peace.

Yes, we've heard your talking points about how "hard" it is and about training Iraqis to defend themselves, etc. The question was if you thought the insurgency was about to be defeated.

Here is the remainder of his answer:

And you just heard the EU is willing to host this conference with the United States in order to help this new democracy move forward. And the reason why is many countries understand that freedom in the heart of the Middle East will make this world more peaceful.

And so, you know, I think about this every day, every single day, and will continue thinking about it, because I understand we've got kids in harm's way. And I worry about their families; and I obviously, any time there's a death, I grieve. But I want those families to know, one, we're not going to leave them -- not going to allow their mission to go in vain; and, two, we will complete the mission and the world will be better off for it.

I've noticed he has this pattern in his unscripted answers to say the same thing three times in the past, present and future tense. I guess he thinks it makes him look like he's really on top of the problem.

This is a total non-answer, but I bet money half of the people watching this video clip on TV would think it was an excellent answer because they are willing to ignore the reality and consume the rhetoric.

I have NEVER been a fan of the War on Terror, but just imagine how much better a position we would be in right now if we had focused all this life, money and attention on actual terrorists instead of Iraq.

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