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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is This the October Surprise?

From President Bush's October 25 press conference:

GREGORY: Mr. President, for several years, you have been saying that America will stay the course in Iraq, you're committed to the policy. And now you say that, no, you're not saying, "stay the course," that you're adapting to win, that you're showing flexibility. And as you mention, out of Baghdad we're now hearing about benchmarks and timetables from the Iraqi government, as relayed by American officials, to stop the sectarian violence. In the past, Democrats and other critics of the war who talked about benchmarks and timetables were labeled as defeatist, "Defeatocrats," or people who wanted to "cut and run." So why shouldn't the American people conclude that this is nothing from you other than semantic, rhetorical games and all politics two weeks before an election?

BUSH: David, there is a significant difference between benchmarks for a government to achieve and a timetable for withdrawal. You're talking about -- when you're talking about the benchmarks, he's talking about the fact that we're working with the Iraqi government to have certain benchmarks to meet as a way to determine whether or not they're making the hard decisions necessary to achieve peace. I believe that's what you're referring to. And we're working with the Iraqi government to come up with benchmarks. Listen, this is a sovereign government. It was elected by the people of Iraq. What we're asking them to do is to say, "When do you think you're going to get this done? When can you get this done?" So the people themselves in Iraq can see that the government is moving forward with the reconciliation plan and plans necessary to unify this government. That is substantially different, David, from people saying, "We want a time certain to get out of Iraq." As a matter of fact, the benchmarks will make it more likely we win. Withdrawing on an artificial timetable means we lose. Now, I'm giving the speeches -- you're asking me why I'm giving this speech today? Because there's -- I think I owe an explanation to the American people and will continue to make explanations. The people need to know that we have a plan for victory. Like I said in my opening comments, I fully understand if the people think we don't have a plan for victory, they're not gonna support the effort. And so I'll continue to speak out about -- about our way forward.

—R.M.

I've read it three times - didn't listen this morning, I turned off the t.v. as is my habit when he comes one. I still can't figure out what he's trying to say.

You can read the accompanying article at Media Matters.org



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1 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:14:00 PM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

    i normally turn him off too, but when i saw that one reporter stand up i knew i wanted to hear his question and bush's answer..when he finished annie the cat looked at me...i looked at her and we both shrugged our shoulders..what the fuck did he say????
    he thinks a benchmark is when someone gets drunk and pees his pants while sitting down..

     

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