Helen Thomas has made a career of asking presidents and their press secretaries the hard questions. Here she is questioning Tony Snow yesterday at the White House (emphasis is mine):
Q Does the President owe the Democrats an apology* for saying that the terrorists -- that they will appease the terrorists?
MR. SNOW: No. Let's take -- you know what's interesting, Helen, and I've said this before --
Q How bellicose was he?
MR. SNOW: I don't think it's bellicose. Look, let's listen to what the Democrats -- or let's think about what Democrats are doing in this election campaign. When it comes to winning the war on terror, what is their plan? They've not said. They have talked about withdrawal --
Q -- 101 in Iraq --
MR. SNOW: -- they've talked about a whole series of things, in terms of complaining -- looking back over their shoulders and complaining about past decisions. But when it comes to the key issue, how do you achieve victory -- they say they want to achieve it, but they won't tell you how. They will tell you what they oppose what the President is doing. They oppose the Patriot Act; they have opposed the Terrorist Surveillance Program; they oppose the program by which we detain, question and bring to justice the worst of the terrorists. So they have opposed all of those things, so we know
what they oppose, but we don't know what they're going to do.
Q How does the President propose to win? How does the President -- 101 in October dying --
MR. SNOW: The President understands that it is difficult. This is a man who signs each and every condolence note. He is absolutely aware of the human cost. And he grieves for every family and every person that we've lost. But on the other hand, he also knows two things. First, as General Casey said last week, there is not a single military engagement that we have not won, and we don't give our soldiers credit for that. Secondly, he also understands that if we were to walk away short of victory it would give terrorists the opportunity to turn Iraq into a stronghold in which they would have access to the world's second largest reserves of petroleum; that they would be able to use oil as a political weapon against the United States, Europe, Asia, could pit the industrialized nations against one another; they could also work in concert with Iran and Syria, which have been active supporters of terror; they no doubt would try to go after Israel, after the Arabian peninsula, perhaps after Egypt. In other words, the consequences of walking out and leaving a failed state are absolutely catastrophic, and the President understands that. But he also understands the promise of a democratic Iraq. And if you take a look at what's happened -- the Prime Minister, being assertive about what he wants to achieve -- and there has been progress, economically and politically, throughout much of Iraq, not ignoring the difficulties especially around Baghdad and the fierce fighting -- you take a look at that, the promise is if you have a democracy, and when you have a democracy that stands up in Iraq, that sends a powerful message. Helen, you and I have been students of the region long enough to know that everybody is watching -- everybody is watching. And the way they see it in the region is either terrorists win or democracy wins. And the President is absolutely determined that democracy wins.
This is one of the lengthiest non-answers in history. Snow complains the Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq, so Thomas asks him what the President's plan is. Hmmm, did you see a plan in that answer? No, the President says we will win, and that's enough.
I guess the President's plan is victory by wishing.
Thomas gets my Medal of Freedom. She is a true patriot.
I heard on the news that a new poll says the percentage of people who say we should stay the course in Iraq is about the same percentage of Americans who are evangelicals. Makes sense -- they believe God led us to this war and thus to back away is to abandon God or to say that God was wrong. Can't have that. And if there is any logical explanation for Bush's actions and words, this is it.
* This after Snow echoed the calls for an apology from John Kerry for his botched line that, as delivered, implied Kerry was saying people joining the military are stupid. Thanks, Kerry, for blowing it again, but the Republican pile-on just demonstrates how they are grasping at straws as the election approaches.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Blame Mister Mxyzptlk
Wordz: Helen Thomas