Thursday, June 15, 2006

Where's this guy been?

Where has George Bush been for the last year-and-a-half?

The George Bush that spoke to reporters yesterday morning in the Rose Garden was confident, poised and purposeful. Where has he been hiding?!

Others have comments on how it went:

Let Freedom Ring says: In what could only be termed as a strong, passionate, logical defense of his Iraq policy, President Bush explained in great detail why we:

  • can’t leave Iraq until the sectarian violence is dramatically reduced;
    must still help Iraq’s emerging government with security operations;
  • and must stay engaged in Iraq in terms of what it means to the overall GWOT.

President Bush also said that he looked forward to debating with Democrats that setting a timetable “is bad policy.” He said that the Iraqi people have to know that they have a reliable ally in their struggle against sectarian violence and foreign jihadists.

Here’s some of the noteworthy things the President said:

He thought he shouldn’t call Zarqawi’s death as a “tide turning” and that he’d rather think in terms of making steady progress in Iraq. That marks a change in tone, replacing his prior bold tone with a more cautious tone.

He said that setting a “zero violence” benchmark for success wasn’t realistic because “it gives the insurgents and foreign terrorists” something to point to as America and its allies not succeeding.

AP’s article has this quote, which I thought was significant:

“Iraqi and coalition forces are still on the offense,” Bush added. He cited raids of suspected terrorist targets. “We got new intelligence from those raids which will enable us to keep the pressure on the foreigners and the local Iraqis who are killing innocent lives,” he told a Rose Garden news conference. “We’ll seize this moment of opportunity to help the prime minister,” Bush added.

This statement’s significance relates back to Democrats calls for a timetable, which he dismissed as bad policy.

That last point was where I walked into the TV coverage, having turned on Today expecting to see Matt et al. and instead seeing a George Bush that I haven't seen for quite some time. Anyway, I thought that exchange was one of a couple of key statements.

From the transcript:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I'm pleased to be here. Mr. President, polls show that the public thinks Democrats can do a better job of running the country than Republicans. Are you concerned that Republicans will lose control of Congress in November? And do you think there's anything you could have done differently to put them in a better position, coming up in the midterms?

THE PRESIDENT: I remember 2004. At one point, people -- you would have stood up and said, you know, there's no way you can get reelected, if you had been listening to those polls. I can't remember, I was probably down double digits at some point. And they said, how can you possibly stand here and tell us you're going to get reelected. Listen, the elections are a long way off. What's going to matter is who has got the plan that will enable us to succeed in Iraq and keep the economy growing. And I look forward to the campaign. And I believe we're going to hold the House and the Senate, because our philosophy is one that is forward-looking and optimistic and has worked. We've got a record to run on.

There's an interesting debate in the Democrat Party about how quick to pull out of Iraq. Pulling out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission will make the world a more dangerous place. It's bad policy. I know it may sound good politically; it will endanger our country to pull out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission.

See, Iraq is a part of the global war on terror. It's not "the" global war on terror, it's a theater in the global war on terror. And if we fail in Iraq, it's going to embolden al Qaeda types. It will weaken the resolve of moderate nations to stand up to the Islamic fascists. It will cause people to lose their nerve and not stay strong.

And so I look forward to taking the debate -- that's not quite right -- kind of getting warmed up as a result of your question -- the timing is not right for me to get out there yet. But I think the Democrat economic policy of raising people's taxes isn't going to work either. I know they'll couch it in all kinds of language, but really what they're saying is we're going to raise your taxes.

So, you know, Sheryl, thanks for your question. I don't necessarily buy your premise. I feel confident we will hold the House and the Senate

The response was confident, strong and insightful. It tells us exactly what he thinks and why he thinks it. Again, where has George W. Bush the Orator been hiding.

Later on in answering a question from CBS' Jim Axelrod, the President took a back-handed swipe at the press. After discussing the Iraqi PM, he said this: I was also pleased to meet with his cabinet. You might remember, it wasn't all that long ago that there were some doubts in people's minds as to whether or not this government had the capacity to put a unity government -- as a matter of fact, there was doubts after the first election as to whether or not a portion of the population would even participate in the elections. And last December a lot of folks voted, from all different aspects of society, and the government reflects that. And that was important for me to see firsthand, as well.

The enemy has an advantage in this war, because they can get on our TV screens every day. And, of course, it upsets me when I see the loss of innocent life, and it upsets me to know that our servicemen and women are losing their lives. I'm like most Americans, it is -- death affects my way of thinking. But I also understand the stakes of this war, see. I understand how important it is to defeat the enemy. Now, I recognize some in the country don't feel that same sense of urgency I do. But al Qaeda is real; their philosophy is a real philosophy; they have ambitions. Their stated goal is to drive us out of Iraq before a government can defend itself and govern itself and sustain itself, so they can have safe haven from which to launch further attacks. And my most important job is to protect the American people from harm. And I understand the stakes of this war. And I understand this battlefront in Iraq.

And I want to repeat something: Iraq is not the only part of this war. It's an essential part, but it's not the only part of the war on terror.

One extended meme-killer. An explanation of Iraq's context and the President's committment to the fight there.

I wish he'd given this presser last year.

No comments:

  • Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels
  • Evangelical Outpost
  • One Hand Clapping
  • Camp Katrina
  • TPMCafe
  • Dodger Thoughts
  • Boy of Summer
  • Irish Pennants
  • tabletalk
  • Fire McCain
  • My Sandmen
  • Galley Slaves
  • Michelle Malkin
  • myelectionanalysis
  • Iraq the Model
  • Mystery Pollster
  • A Bellandean! God, Country, Heritage
  • Right Truth
  • The Fourth Rail
  • Counterterrorism Blog
  • Just One Minute
  • Broken Masterpieces
  • Kudlow's Money Politic$
  • Econopundit
  • Tapscott's Copy Desk
  • The Blue State Conservatives
  • Palousitics
  • Christian Conservative
  • Outside the Beltway
  • The Belmont Club
  • Froggy Ruminations
  • The Captain's Journal
  • Argghh!!!
  • Chickenhawk Express
  • Confederate Yankee
  • Reasoned Audacity
  • Taking Notes
  • ThisDamnBlog
  • Three Knockdown Rule
  • Dogwood Pundit
  • Dumb Looks Still Free
  • Unfettered Blather
  • Cut to the Chase
  • Alabama Improper
  • Austin Bay Blog
  • Michael Yon-Online
  • The Trump Blog
  • A Lettor of Apology
  • GM Fastlane Blog

  • Powered by Blogger

    Listed on BlogShares Who Links Here