Bush "Surprise" Press Conference This Morning Just Another Rerun
Here are a few notable reviews of what has become both mentally and physically painful for the majority of Americans -- watching Bush attempt to speak and act coherently. (Transcript with high probability of scrubbing available here).
An Insufficient Explanation by Dan Froomkin at The Washington Post:
At a surprise press conference this morning, President Bush acknowledged the nation's grave concerns about the war in Iraq.
"I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq," Bush said, 13 days before a mid-term election that will in large part be a referendum on the war. "I'm not satisfied either."
"I think I owe an explanation to the American people," he said.
But Bush didn't have much new to say today, other than endorsing yesterday's already largely debunked announcement in Baghdad of a "new plan" that sounds very much like the old plan.
And after an hour of familiar sound bites, the public would be forgiven for feeling it still hasn't gotten that explanation he promised.
Digby has this to say about the Press Conference:
Did you know that the GWOT is harder and more challenging than any war in human history because the enemy are lethal cold-blooded killers? It is. Nobody has ever faced such a terrifying foe as George W. Bush and we should be grateful that he has courageously faced them down with nothing more than a prayer and a codpiece.
Glenn Greenwald delivers some deeper analysis with The President's vow today to stay in Iraq:
The President's Press Conference, devoted almost exclusively to Iraq, just concluded, and the internal contradictions and incoherent claims are literally too numerous to chronicle. But there really are only a few points worth making:
First, the President repeatedly defined "losing" as "leaving before the job is done" -- "the job" being the creation of a stable, unified Iraqi government that can defend itself. And we're not leaving before the job is done, which means that we are staying forever -- or at least as far as the eye can see into the future (or until the President leaves office).
In sum, it is clear from what the President said that we are staying in Iraq for the equivalent of forever, which means the next several years at least. And it is almost certain -- at least based on what he said -- that we will send more troops there and become more mired in the conflict, not less so (he said, for instance, that we will send more troops to Iraq if the Generals want them, and there can't be much question that once the election is done, we will learn that "the commanders on the ground" -- who know they aren't leaving any time soon -- will suddenly want more troops).
The Democrats should happily take this Press Conference and use it to drum home the point that the President's will -- if it remains unlimited by a rubber-stamping Republican Congress -- is that we are going to stay in Iraq forever and almost certainly become further mired in the disaster. That is exactly what Americans don't want to hear about Iraq, but it was the unmistakably clear message delivered by the President. We are staying forever because defeat means "leaving before the job is done."
It looks like the Democrats are starting to listen Greenwald: