The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, May 24, 2004

LIVE-BLOGGING BUSH'S IRAQ SPEECH

4:55 - I've never done this before, mostly because I havent had my computer in such close proximity with a television in a while.

5:01 - Paula Zahn quickly cuts off Joe Klein to go to Bush. Good start.

5:02 - Boy, they sure cleaned up his chin nicely. And much better tie. No strobe effect whatsoever. Actually, wait...

5:04 - He pulls out the "central front in the war on terror" card. Interesting, since an Army War College editorial recently referred to Iraq as "a detour".

5:06 - Lots of optimism so far. Word has it there wont be much new policy discussed, and the speech is true to form in that regard.

5:09 - "The CPA will cease to exist". So is that Chalabi 1, Bremer 0?

5:10 - Oh, and shhhh, hundreds of thousands of American troops will be there, so things will essentially be the same.

5:11 - First long name of the night, looked mighty proud of himself for getting it right.

5:14 - 138,000 troop level. I hadn't heard that 115k estimate before. Of course, a far cry from what Wolfowitz and company were saying before the invasion. Goalposts, move thyselves!

5:15 - "Massive strikes in Falluja would have alienated Iraqis." True, but couldn't that reasoning have been helpful when the order was given to blow up a wedding celebration in Western Iraq?

5:17 - Is it me, or does he really, really enjoy saying "Kufa"?

5:18 - But then he makes an "overwhelming force" threat. (see 5:15)

5:22 - Weapons programs, eh? Hmm, that's as close as we're gonna get this time around, I gather. (and their "...related activities"? -ed Shhh!)

5:23 - Mispronounced the one thing he was supposed to be the most grave and serious about (Abu Ghraib, pronounced "Abu Gah -(pause)- ra..reb") . . . and now its "Abu Garahb"!

5:26 - Elections in January, Constitutional referendum in Fall 2005. No "Faster Iraq" there.

5:29 - "I sent American troops to Iraq to protect America's security"

5:34 - And that's it. He basically outlined what we already knew, with no significant changes in policy. Though he did find some synomymous phrases to say instead of "stay the course". There's something to be said for that. But aside from that, virtually nothing in his speech was new. No timeline for American troops in Iraq, and no guarantees as to how the Iraq people will take all this.

5:36 - I'm quite impressed by CNN White House correspondent John King, who went straight from referring to Saddam's "torture" at Abu Ghraib to trying awkwardly to come up with a euphemism for what American troops did at the same place.

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