Tuesday, June 28, 2005

# Posted 8:03 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OXBLOG MISSING IN ARUBA? No, just working hard on the dissertation and then vacationing hard after sending in my draft. But I am back, and now I'm live blogging the President's address on Iraq.

8:02 PM: Starting with 9/11. This whole section will get mercilessly dissected for lumping Al Qaeda togther with Iraq.

8:04 PM: And the critics will hit even harder on the president's assertion that we are taking the war to the terrorists in Iraq instead of waiting for them to hit at home.

8:05 PM: Bush acknowledges that some question the relevance of the war in Iraq to the war on terror. Then he quotes Bin Laden to the effect that the war in Iraq is critical to the war against America. Very nice.

8:07 PM: The terrorists can only kill the innocent. They can stop the advance of freedom. Again, very nice.

8:08 PM: The lesson of 9/11 is to stay in Iraq until democracy wins. I agree, but a statement that will be much criticized.

8:09 PM: "Our progress has been uneven, but progress is being made."

8:10 PM: Quoting Gerhard Schroeder on the importance of winning in Iraq. Smart.

8:11 PM: Saying we've trained 160,000 Iraqi defense forces and that they've fought bravely. Tough sell. Bush has been burned by the numbers before.

8:12 PM: Just did some channel surfing. The sound is just as bad on every other network, too.

8:14 PM: Is it me, or does Bush sound a little defensive? Remember, that comment is coming from someone who agrees with 99% of what Bush is saying.

8:15 PM: "The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day." More than 2,000 have died.

With each engagement, the Iraqis grow more experienced. Of course, the same might be said of the terrorists.

8:17 PM: There will be no schedule for a pull out. Damn right.

8:18 PM: Our commanders say they have enough troops. Even I find that expression of confidence to be far from persuasive.

8:20 PM: An explicit pledge that Iraqi democracy will respect minority rights. Important, but just a beginning.

8:21 PM: An indirect call for democracy in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. But what will Bush say about Darfur?

8:22 PM: "The terrorists do not understand America." Exactly.

8:25 PM: Now the sound is out of sync with the picture. As a result, Bush has the wrong emotion on his face when he delivers his message.

8:26 PM: A call to those who are considering military service. A bold approach to a tough problem, or an admission of just how big the problem is?

8:28 PM: Here's Tim Russert (I'm watching NBC).

8:29 PM: Russert says the big question is whether the Iraqis are really committed to overcoming the insurgency. Strange. We know the Shi'ite-Kurdish majority is. The question is competence.

8:35 PM: It's Nancy Pelosi! She says Bush hasn't offered a plan for success. She says Bush has made Iraq into the terrorists haven it has become. She says the president isn't levelling the with the American people and that he is exploiting the memory of 9/11.

8:35 PM: Brian Williams asked Pelosi what the Democrats would do differently. She says we really have to turn the battle against the insurgents over to the Iraqis, have to internationalize the effort, and have to increase the rate of reconstruction.

8:37 PM: Williams' asks if Pelosi is concerned, like John Murtha, about the White House having a secreat cut-and-run strategy in Iraq. She completely evades the question by saying we shouldn't cut veterans benefits.

8:39 PM: Hey, howcome the Democrats don't get their own response time on all of the networks?

8:42 PM: NBC now has a report from Iraq. I guess the Dems won't be getting a response. And so I can start thinking about dinner...
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