December 19, 2006
In an article today by the Washington Post, we read the headline, “WP: U.S. not winning war in Iraq, Bush says.”
Pretty damning headline, given that just prior to the elections in November President Bush said, "Absolutely, we're winning." Given the media bias against the President we must ask ourselves, “is that what he really said?”
From the opening paragraphs of the article, we read;
“President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.
As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. "We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we're winning."
Again, Journalist Peter Baker, who wrote this article, presents quotes in a manner that does make President Bush look like he is backing up on his earlier claim.
However, in the December 20, 2006 edition of the very same paper, on page A-16 (towards the rear of the section, I’m sure) we find the Transcript
Of this 25 minute interview in the White House and read;
Q: Are we winning in Iraq, in your estimation?
“You know, I think an interesting construct that General [Peter] Pace uses is, "We're not winning, we're not losing." There's been some very positive developments. And you take a step back and look at progress in Iraq, you say, well, it's amazing -- constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East, which is a remarkable development in itself.”
A little further down we read,
Q: “Can we come back to General Pace's formulation about winning, not losing? You said October 24th, "Absolutely, we're winning." And I wanted to --”
“Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win. Look, I've got four constituencies I speak to on a regular basis; one is the American people, who are justifiably frustrated at the progress in Iraq. And they expect the commander in chief and the people in Washington to support our troops. Supporting our troops not only means good equipment, good [pay], good housing -- it also means a plan that helps achieve the objective.”
Clearly, President Bush is acknowledging we are in a tight spot with heavy opposition, as we would expect in any war, not that we are losing it. Then too, given the heavy opposition from the hate America left and their desire to see us lose this war, it makes it all that much harder to win, I feel.
Articles as this, which we have been seeing ever since Bush won the 2000 election, further undermines his leadership in this new type of war as we learn the tactics and procedures of this new type of non-uniformed enemy.
Once was the time this type of “reporting” wouldn’t have been tolerated. When President Clinton decided to bomb Kosovo and Bosnia, where were all these news pundits claiming “quagmire” and “are we losing yet” questions, considering that President Clinton stated our troops would be “home by Christmas,” yet they are still there? And, who do the lamestream media turn to for information on how the war should be run? Clinton, that’s who.
With our enemies reading and watching our media daily, this type of misleading report just emboldens them to hang on and keep inflicting casualties on our troops, just as similar misleading reports out of Viet Nam encouraged general Vo Ngyuen Giap to keep hitting and running until the American Public simply gave up and demanded the troops be withdrawn, to the loss of millions of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian lives.
I may not be a “journalist,” but I can see manipulative reporting when I see it.
This ‘article’ isn’t news, it’s propaganda in the fashion of Goebbels to paint a false picture of a leader the left will undermine any way they can, regardless of how many American or Iraqi or even Afghani lives it may end up costing.
UPDATE: In a press conference Wednesday, December 20, 2006, President Bush was asked about this comment. Below is the question asked and his reply;
Q Mr. President, less than two months ago at the end of one of the bloodiest months in the war, you said, "Absolutely we're winning." Yesterday you said, "We're not winning, we're not losing." Why did you drop your confident assertion about winning?
THE PRESIDENT: My comments -- the first comment was done in this spirit: I believe that we're going to win; I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you got to know. We're going to succeed.
My comments yesterday reflected the fact that we're not succeeding nearly as fast as I wanted when I said it at the time, and that conditions are tough in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad. And so we're conducting a review to make sure that our strategy helps us achieve that which I'm pretty confident we can do, and that is have a country which can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself.
You know, I -- when I speak, like right now, for example -- I'm speaking to the American people, of course, and I want them to know that I know how tough it is, but I also want them to know that I'm going to work with the military and the political leaders to develop a plan that will help us achieve the objective. I also want our troops to understand that -- that we support them; that I believe that tough mission I've asked them to do is going to be accomplished, and that they're doing good work and necessary work.
I want the Iraqis to understand that we believe that if they stand up, step up and lead, and with our help we can accomplish the objective. And I want the enemy to understand that this is a tough task, but they can't run us out of the Middle East, that they can't intimidate America. They think they can. They think it's just a matter of time before America grows weary and leaves, abandons the people of Iraq, for example. And that's not going to happen.
What is going to happen is we're going to develop a strategy that helps the Iraqis achieve the objective that the 12 million people want them to achieve, which is a government that can -- a country that can sustain itself, govern itself, defend itself, a free country that will serve as an ally in this war against extremists and radicals.
Whitehouse Press Conference, December 20, 2006