Friday, July 20, 2007

Right Round, Baby, Right Round...

...Like a record, baby, right round-round-round...

Finally sensing a huge shift in public sentiment about the ongoing occupation of Iraq from their DC fishbowl, the Bush and Cheney administrations are cranking up their weakening Wurlitzer in the attempt to make their media monkeys dance:

President Bush, ratcheting up a fight with Congress over Iraq, accused Democrats on Friday of conducting a political debate on the war while delaying action on money to upgrade equipment and give troops a pay raise..."It is time to rise above partisanship, stand behind our troops in the field, and give them everything they need to succeed," Bush said in the Rose Garden after meeting with veterans and military families.
The monkeys, bless their little hearts, seem to have heard that tune before, and are - at least nominally - pushing back, with of all things, fact:
Despite Bush's suggestion that the bill is a must-pass measure that would pay for critical war programs, the legislation is not an appropriations bill that feeds military spending accounts. Called the defense authorization bill, the legislation is a policy measure used by Congress to influence the management of major defense programs, set goals and guide the 2008 military spending bill...The bill is needed, however, to authorize military pay raises. Congress typically does not finish the bill before fall, and the pay raises are applied retroactively.
Pointing out fallacies in a Bush statement? Not that it's difficult to do, but be still my heart...Next thing you know, they'll be giving the Democratic response equal time....Oh my goodness! Bless their little hearts again:
"The partisan attacks by President Bush only demonstrate his administration's unwillingness to work with Congress to give our men and women in uniform the support they deserve, including a new direction in Iraq," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
But, ultimately, the cute little prancing primates can't resist cantering to the beat, setting up the future movement of goalposts set to occur in September...
Meanwhile, the White House said it has not changed the timetable for assessing progress in Iraq and that September remains the next critical timeframe for judging the course of the war. A day earlier, a top general said a solid judgment may not come until November. ..The officer, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, suggested Friday that his comments may have been misinterpreted. Another general, Maj. Gen. W.E. Gaskin, commanding in a province touted as a model of progress — said it would take two years before Iraqis can be self-sufficient in running their government and security forces...And yet another general, Maj. Gen. Richard Lynch, who leads the 3rd Infantry Division — said his area of responsibility south of Baghdad may need through summer 2008 to consolidate recent gains. Gaskin spoke to Pentagon reporters by video conference from Iraq. He said coalition efforts "have turned the corner ... broken the cycle of violence in Anbar." But, he added, "you cannot buy, nor can you fast-forward experience. It has to be worked out."
...And allowing fellow Republican organ grinders to not really say anything at all:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Friday that September is still a critical date for members of Congress to assess the war's progress...When asked whether he would be satisfied to wait until November, McConnell said "September is the month we're looking at."
However, it may be that they are not all reading from the same sheet music...From Tony Snow, a.k.a Baghdad Bob, a.k.a Twisty Tony:
White House press secretary Tony Snow said...the administration was not trying to move the goal posts for assessing the buildup, from September until November.
Republicans in particular have thought that, if substantial gains could not be found by September, then Bush would have to rethink his military strategy, which relies on 158,000 U.S. troops..."I'm not optimistic," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of the September assessment. She spoke after attending a classified briefing Thursday at the Pentagon by Gen. David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq.
We've come a ways from the Judith Millers of the media world prancing around, cheering on the misleading of a nation, while spreading misinformation...Not that there isn't still a ways to go, mind you...