“Our troops have performed brilliantly in Iraq, but no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else’s civil war,” Obama said. “That’s why I have introduced a plan to not only stop the escalation of this war, but begin a phased redeployment that can pressure the Iraqis to finally reach a political settlement and reduce the violence.”
“Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic, certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq by offering instead an entrance strategy for Iran. Only this president could look out over a vista of 3,008 dead and 22,834 wounded in Iraq, and finally say, where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me, only to follow that by proposing to repeat the identical mistake in Iran.”
“Only this president could extol the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and then take it‘s most far sighted recommendation, engage Syria and Iran, and transform it into threaten Syria and Iran, when al Qaeda would like nothing better than for us to threaten to Syria, and when President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to be threatened by us.”
“This is diplomacy by skimming. It is internationalism by drawing pictures of superman in the margins of the textbooks. It is a presidency of Cliff Notes. And to Iran and Syria, and yes, also to the insurgents in the Iraq, we must look like a country run by the equivalent of the drunken pest, who gets battered to the floor of the saloon by one punch, then staggers to his feet and shouts at the other guy‘s friends, OK, which one of you is next?”
“Mr. Bush, the question is no longer what are you thinking, but rather, are you thinking at all? …You, sir, have become the president that cried wolf. All that you say about Iraq now could be gospel. All that you say about Iran and Syria now could be prescient and essential. We no longer have a clue, sir. We heard too many stories. Many of us are as inclined to believe you just shuffled the director of national intelligence over to the State Department because he thought you were wrong about Iran. Many of us are as inclined to believe you just put a pilot in charge of the grounds wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because he would be truly useful in an air war next door in Iran.”
“Your assurances, sir, and your demands that we trust you, have lost all shape and texture. They are now merely fertilizer for conspiracy theories. They are now fertilizer indeed. The pile has been built slowly and with seeming care. I read this list last night before the president‘s speech, and it bears repetition, because its shape and texture are perceptible only in such a context.”
“Before Mr. Bush was elected, he said nation building was wrong for America. Now he says it is vital. He said he would never put U.S. troops under foreign control. Last night he promised to embed them in Iraqi units. He told us about WMD, mobile labs, secret sources, aluminum tubes, yellow cake. He has told us the war in necessary because Saddam was a material threat, because of 9/11, because of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, terrorism in general, to liberate Iraq, to spread freedom, to spread democracy, to prevent terrorism by gas price increases, because this was a guy who tried to kill his dad, because 439 words into that speech last night he trotted out 9/11 again.”
Damn, Keith, I almost feel like I need to help Dubya find the shattered pieces of his face you sent crashing to the floor. Another example of why Keith Olbermann is the real “King of All Media.”
Svelte, stylish, and perfectly coiffured, Condoleezza Rice came up to the Capitol to face the music in front of the Senate as Dubya’s dutiful right-wing stromtrooper and foreign minstrel. She has perfected the act of keeping calm under fire with a horrifying stepford wife precision.
Yesterday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing featuring the Secretary of State and Aunt Jemima impersonator, was a coming out party for GOP Senators that had stopped imbibing the Administration Kool-Aid regarding Iraq. GOP Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was most vociferous by saying “I think the speech given last night by this President represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.”
Not to be outdone in the fashionable fury department, GOP Senator George Voinovich of Ohio told Secretary Jemima “I send letters out to families and tell them about how brave their sons were and that the work they’re doing there and the deaths were as important as what we had in the Second World War, but I have to rewrite the letter today.”
Secretary Jemima was left defenseless because her opening statement of passionless state-department-speak didn’t mollify anyone’s concerns or clarify a damn thing. “As I come before you today, America faces a crucial moment. We all know that the stakes in Iraq are enormous. And we share a belief that the situation in Iraq is unacceptable. On this we are united.”
Ineptly, the whole opening statement places the emphasis on the incompetent and divided Iraqi government to live up to its own rhetoric to quell the violence while U.S. forces play a secondary support function. “The new way forward President Bush outlined last night requires us to do things differently. Most Importantly, the Iraqis have devised their own strategy, and our efforts will support theirs.”
The rest is nothing more than the same old boilerplate we’ve heard before, dressed up as something new. The tough talk about Iraqi benchmarks is just that-talk. Its just more White House spin concocted to save face in light of the quaqmire we’re sinking in.
Her obvious lies and general fatuousness makes Barack Obama’s vote for her confirmation all the more galling. I don’t really know what is worse, watching Condi Rice lie, or listening to a ponderous blowhard like Committee Chairman Joe Biden, an Iraq war supporter, shamelessly campaign for President?
Our old warrior, Teddy Kennedy has suited up, manned up, and introduced legislation to stop the ignorant patrician’s attempt to escalate the war in Vietraq.
“The President is Commander-in-Chief, but in our democracy he is still accountable to the people. Our system of checks and balances gives Congress – as the elected representatives of the people – a central role in decisions on war and peace.”
“Today, therefore, I am introducing legislation to reclaim the rightful role of Congress and the people’s right to a full voice in the President’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts will introduce similar legislation in the House of Representatives. Our bill will say that no additional troops can be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation, unless and until Congress approves the President’s plan. Our proposal is a straightforward exercise of the power granted to Congress by Article I, section 8 of the Constitution. There can be no doubt that the Constitution gives Congress the authority to decide whether to fund military action. And Congress can demand a justification from the President for such action before it appropriates the funds to carry it out.”
“This bill will give all Americans – from Maine to Florida to California to Alaska and Hawaii – an opportunity to hold the President accountable for his actions. The President’s speech must be the beginning – not the end – of a new national discussion of our policy in Iraq. Congress must have a genuine debate over the wisdom of the President’s plan. Let us hear the arguments for it and against it. Then let us vote on it in the light of day. Let the American people hear – yes or no – where their elected representatives stand on one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Call your Senators and Congressperson and tell them to show Senator Kennedy’s bill some love.