Thursday, March 23, 2006

Whatever you do, don't over-interpret

Today's The Note:
While appearing on morning television, Dan Bartlett discussed President Bush's comments from Tuesday that American troops will be in Iraq after 2008 saying that "the comment is over-interpreted," and that the President answered a specific question, regarding "all" American troops. "He understood that as every single one of our troops," Bartlett said.
I'm THE ONLY blogger that under-interpreted his remarks to mean ONLY the First Infantry Division, which will spearhead our assault into Iran.

Of course I didn't.

Over-interpreted? That's the spin-counter-spin-spun now? OVER-INTERPRETED? Why not this, Bartlett: "he meant it as a possible result of uncertain events." Nah, that makes too much sense. Sounds too innocent too.

Nothing has been over-interpreted with Iraq 2009.

Not the Long War.

Not the planning that was reported in the New Yorker:
There are several proposals currently under review by the White House and the Pentagon; the most ambitious calls for American combat forces to be reduced from a hundred and fifty-five thousand troops to fewer than eighty thousand by next fall, with all American forces officially designated “combat” to be pulled out of the area by the summer of 2008. In terms of implementation, the planner said, “the drawdown plans that I’m familiar with are condition-based, event-driven, and not in a specific time frame”—that is, they depend on the ability of a new Iraqi government to defeat the insurgency. (A Pentagon spokesman said that the Administration had not made any decisions and had “no plan to leave, only a plan to complete the mission.”)

A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units. The danger, military experts have told me, is that, while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.

“We’re not planning to diminish the war,” Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me.
Not the semi-permanence of Balad, A.P.:
Are the Americans here to stay? Air Force mechanic Josh Remy is sure of it as he looks around Balad.

"I think we'll be here forever," the 19-year-old airman from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., told a visitor to his base.
Bartlett probably thinks Gary Hart over-asked this question:
"Are we or are we not building permanent military bases [in Iraq]? I keep trying to get anybody [in the press] to ask about this. ... I'll tell you what I mean by permanent: pouring concrete and welding steel. Yes or no? Not tents and ditch latrines. Concrete bases and structures. Yes or no? They [the Bush people] have never disavowed it. ... You can't say you are leaving Iraq if you're also welding the steel. Why can't we seem to find out? I know the Republican Congress will not do its job of asking questions, even though that's the job of Congress.


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