Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stay the course

This is the new DNC ad poking at the White House changing their catch phrase.

Here is the text of the interview that should put this ad into perspective.

My opinion on Iraq? Probably the same as everyone else's. I don't like the rationale we used to go in. I think that now that we're there we have to stay to help stabilize the region. I don't believe our current course/strategy/plan is effective.

I haven't seen the Democrats offer an alternative. However, I do believe Democrats would be able to have greater influence on the international stage and be able to put together a stronger coalition.


Cameron said...

I would suggest everyone read the interview rather than watching a political attack ad.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I feel embarrassed. I was actually planning on including that interview in my post. I forgot, sorry.

I'll make the correction now.

The Jazz Singer said...

Alright, I\'ve read the interview, and I don\'t see how it puts this \"attack ad\" (it\'s amazing how far cameron can stretch these definitions!) in any different context. Of course the generals in Iraq are going to constantly be looking at new tactics and trying out different things. Call it micromanaging. Macromanaging, on the other hand, is the administration\'s overall strategy for winning the war. Which, from the beginning, has been \"stay the course\". For them to claim anything else is a flat-out lie. Not to mention desperate, given the upcoming elections.

Cameron said...

I hesitate to start this discussion because of the palpable anti-Bush hatred found in some who frequent this blog. But I'm going to anyway.

What has been President Bush's goal in Iraq? He's been saying it since the beginning, and repeated it in the interview:

"The fundamental question is: Are we on our way to achieving a goal, which is an Iraq that can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself and be an ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.

Because a democracy in the Middle East, a society based upon liberty, will be a defeat for the terrorists, who have clearly said they want a safe haven from which to launch attacks against America, a safe haven from which to topple moderate governments in the Middle East, a safe haven from which to spread their jihadist point of view, which is that there are no freedoms in the world; we will dictate to you how you think.

To me, that is what "Stay the Course" meant. It was a challenge to those that supported an immediate withdrawal or a timetable for withdrawal. The message was "we will withdraw when the democratic Iraqi government is firmly established."

That message became twisted by those seeking political advantage until it was no longer recognizable.

So now a reporter is interviewing President Bush and the discussion moves to Iraq. I'm going to post the exchange here, though it is a little long. I think it important to point out that President Bush brought up the "adjust our strategy" part before the "Stay the Course" junk started.

" STEPHANOPOULOS: Is the government format to your standards right now?

BUSH: The government is — look, I think the guy's been in office for about four months, Maliki. In my judgment, Maliki has got what it takes to lead a unity government.

But what you're seeing is a new form of government actually beginning to evolve after years of tyranny.

I'm patient. I'm not patient forever. And I'm not patient with dawdling. But I recognize the degree of difficulty of the task, and therefore, say to the American people, we won't cut and run.

On the other hand, we'll constantly adjust our strategy to…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Exactly what I wanted to ask you about..."

I wish President Bush had been allowed to finish his sentence. I believe he was headed towards saying something akin to "we'll constantly adjust our strategy to ensure that the goal of a democratic Iraq is met."

That said, I think that is what he was intending to do when he said this:

" BUSH: Well, listen, we've never been stay the course, George. We have been — we will complete the mission, we will do our job and help achieve the goal, but we're constantly adjusting the tactics, constantly."

The goal is the same: Democracy in Iraq. Call that "macromanaging", as Jazz Singer suggests. "Micromanaging" or, "the generals in Iraq are going to constantly be looking at new tactics and trying out different things" as Jazz Singer puts it, sounds an awful lot like President Bush when he said, "On the other hand, we'll constantly adjust our strategy to…" and again when he said, "we're constantly adjusting the tactics, constantly."

The Jazzer Singer said...

First off, cameron, you can't base your argument on something you think President Bush was going to say. I mean, seriously man.

Second, you say that Bush's stated goal from the beginning has been an Iraq that can defend itself, sustain itself and govern itself and be an ally in the war on terror in the heart of the Middle East.

It's not true. In the beginning, Bush (and administration officials) used many different things as rationales for going to war. Preventing the proliferation of WMDs, lack of weapons inspections, Saddam Hussein was evil, Iraq's broken promises to the UN, unfinished business, Iraq was a threat to the region, war for oil, gaining favor in the Middle East, setting Iraq as an example, disarmament, safety of the world, commitment to the children, preservation of peace, threat to freedom, Iraq's "connection" to al-Qaeda, Iraq's violation of international law. All of these have been used by Bush or administration officials as the reason we were going to war with Iraq. So cameron, please don't come in here and say that our reason for going to war has been to set up "an Iraq that can be an ally in the war on terror", because it's just not true.

And cameron, my point with my last post wasn't to agree with President Bush or to make more clear his "we've never been stay the course" garbage. It was to point out that with this change in rhetoric, what Bush is really doing is feeding us all a good ole', Texas style crap sandwich. Of course they try out different tactics. But, three and half years later, with an Iraq falling into civil war and things becoming increasingly violent for coalition troops, we see that these new tactics they're constantly looking at obviously aren't working. So, instead of really turning things around and trying something, anything drastically different, they're just going to stay the course. The administration can play semantics all they want. They're feeding us the same, tired line.

Cameron said...

Jazz Singer, dude, I've been lax in my blogging lately, so I'm just now getting back to you.

Man, I don't base my argument on what I think President Bush was going to say, I base it on what he did say throughout the interview. That is why I posted the interview questions and answers both before and after the stay the course stuff was talked about. You'll notice that the President was consistent in saying that we must stay in Iraq until its new government is stable.

But, dude, I also base my argument on the fact that since 2001 President Bush has spoken about how the only lasting way to defeat terrorism is to spread liberty. It's not something new, as you and others often claim.