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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

“President Bush made clear in a private meeting this week that he was concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq and frustrated that the new Iraqi government — and the Iraqi people — had not shown greater public support for the American mission, participants in the meeting said Tuesday.
More generally, the participants said, the president expressed frustration that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd. ‘I do think he was frustrated about why 10,000 Shiites would go into the streets and demonstrate against the United States,’ said another person who attended.”
-New York Times, August 15, 2006

“Darn ungrateful Iraqis. I understand Fearless Leader’s angst over them not liking us. It’s like they don’t appreciate all that we are doing for them.”

“Senior Bush administration officials reject the idea that Iraq is on the verge of civil war, and state with unwavering confidence that the broad American strategy in Iraq remains on course. But American commanders in Iraq have shifted thousands of soldiers from outlying provinces to Baghdad to combat increased violence in the Iraqi capital.
The increased attacks have taken their toll. While the number of Americans killed in action per month has declined slightly — to 38 killed in action in July, from 42 in January, in part reflecting improvements in armor and other defenses — the number of Americans wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January. Explosive devices accounted for slightly more than half the deaths.”
-New York Times, August 17, 2006

“Hey, so the violence is up against Americans. At least we’ve given the Iraqi people a dose of American Freedom™ and kept them out of civil war during this untidy initial spasm of violence.”

“Q Is there a civil war going on in Iraq? And is the President frustrated with the lack of American public support for Iraq?
MR. SNOW: No, number one, there is not a civil war going on. I was on the phone earlier today with Major General Caldwell in Baghdad --
Q One hundred people a day?
MR. SNOW: He understands. And the other thing that's happening is that there has been -- there has been some improvement at least in the situation on the ground, slightly. Yes, you have a number of sectarian violence operations going on, but you've also seen now in targeted neighborhoods in Baghdad, there has been a notable decrease in violence in three of the neighborhoods that have been targeted in the last week, and that's obviously a promising sign; that's not a victory lap.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesman Tony Snow, August 16, 2006

“The stupid liberal press keeps pushing this whole ‘civil war’ meme, but honestly, would the White House lie to you? If there was a civil war don’t you think they’d tell you?”

“Mortar attacks that erupted last month between Sunni and Shiite villages around Khan Bani Sad are part of a complex power struggle in the demographically mixed province of Diyala, a contested area stretching from Baghdad to Iran. Sunni fighters are trying to push Shiite families out of the region, while Shiite militiamen from Baghdad are moving in aggressively to attack Sunnis and expand their turf, the officials say.
U.S. commanders had planned on withdrawing hundreds of American troops from this province, but instead this month they ordered an increase in troop levels to help stem the spread of sectarian violence. The Iraqi army has grown more capable in Diyala, and took over a large portion of the province last month. But the decision to add American troops underscored the limitations of their Iraqi counterparts, particularly the police, who must overcome mistrust fostered by the sectarian tensions.
‘Our mission is not to let them fail catastrophically,’ one U.S. officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the Iraqi troops.”
-Washington Post, August 16, 2006

“See? That isn’t civil war. That is just two opposing groups within a nation using violence to gain territory. Entirely different. Anyway, we’re there to help support the local police, and we have a clear mission in this case.. We need to keep the Iraqi forces keeping the peace from failing catastrophically.”

“’Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,’ said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.
‘Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect,’ the expert said, ‘but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy.’”
-New York Times, August 17, 2006

“That’s just how Dubya rolls. Either they can start appreciating us more or… well, that’s a nice fledgling democracy you’ve got there. It would be a real shame if something happened to it.”


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