OK, so it’s about one AM in the morning and I’ve just completed my review of the Bush speech on Iraq for the website. Below is a link for your edification:
So far, the plan seems OK on paper. If they can tamp down violence in that city, it would almost be worth considering. However, once you start looking at the numbers, it makes less sense. For one, depending on how you define what a ?Brigade? is numeric terms, the plan calls for anywhere from 36,000 to 72,000 Iraqi police and soldiers. But it bears mentioning that these troops need to be trained, ready to work and most importantly not co-opted by sectarian militias. Part of the problem in Baghdad has always been just this: we cannot rely on that many competent, uncorrupted Iraqi forces.
By-and-large, not enough new to really stir up much support. Elsewhere this evening, I was amused by watching Keith Olbermann discuss the speech with Joe Scarborough. Or rather, I was amused to see Joe just keep talking like he was on his own show. Dude, shut up.
Even better, the journalists there assembled managed to get themselves all turned around with the Dick Durbin Democrat response to Bush’s speech. In his rebuttal, Durbin said, “You cannot keep calling 9-1-1 and expect to get 20,000 troops.” Olbermann, Scarborough and Chris Matthews all decided to take the interpretation (which was Joe’s own mangling, which he’s good at) that this was a signal to the rest of the world that the United States will not be the policemen of the world.
We’ll forget for a moment that the Iraqi civil war currently underway is one domestic dispute that the “cops” started. We’ll also set aside the amusing image of Saddam Hussien in a wife-beater, standing in the spot light, swinging a half-empty fourty around outside of his Florida trailer and swearing at his fat Shiite wife. You hear me? Set those aside.
The point is: what Durbin was saying is that the president cannot keep invoking September 11th and expect that the whole country will jump to his demands. It had nothing to do with the rest of the world, it was a clever (perhaps too clever for journalists) attempt at turning a phrase. You can imagine how often this is going to get misquoted and misinterpreted going forward.
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