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Four Color Politics

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

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Straight Shooting His Mouth Off

“U.S. commanders in Iraq won’t know until at least autumn when they can begin to bring troop levels back down, the chief spokesman told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
The overall U.S. commander, Gen. David Petraeus, will want to sustain the momentum that has been gained in the Baghdad security offensive by keeping five added Army combat brigades in place, Maj. Gen. William C. Caldwell said.
‘I think it’ll be fall before General Petraeus can make a decision on whether he wants to bring down his force level,’ Caldwell said in an interview in Dubai.”
-Associated Press, March 28, 2007

“The ‘surge’ is going to last at least ten months. In other words, the temporary increase in troop levels is going to last at least twice as long as we were originally told the entire war would last..”

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, November 15, 2002

“This surge plan though is our last, best, hope for peace. So sayeth Senator John McCain.”

“McCain, a front-running GOP presidential hopeful for 2008, said the U.S. must send an overwhelming number of troops to stabilize Iraq or face more attacks — in the region and possibly on American soil.
‘I believe the consequences of failure are catastrophic,’ said McCain, R-Ariz. ‘It will spread to the region. You will see Iran more emboldened. Eventually, you could see Iran pose a greater threat to the state of Israel.’
With about 141,000 U.S. troops in Iraq more than 3 1/2 years into the war, the American military has strained to provide enough forces while allowing for adequate rest and retraining between deployments.
But McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war after his Navy plane was shot down in 1967, recalled the Vietnam War's lessons. ‘We left Vietnam. It was over. We just had to heal the wounds of war,’ he said. ‘We leave this place, chaos in the region, and they'll follow us home. So there's a great deal more at stake here in this conflict, in my view, a lot more.’
McCain said he based his judgment partly on the writings of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq who was killed in a U.S. air raid, and of Osama bin Laden.”
-Associated Press, November 19, 2006

“Yes, based on the writings of Osama and the now-dead al-Zarqawi McCain is confident that we need the surge.”

"The consequences of failure are catastrophic because if we come home, bin Laden and Zarqawi, they are going to follow us."
-Senator John McCain, March 28, 2007

“Aaaaah! Zombie terrorists! Run away! Find a safe place to hide! We need to find somewhere to keep our troops safe too.”

“There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."
-Senator John McCain, March 26, 2007

“Really? In Baghdad? Are you serious?”

“BLITZER: Sen. John McCain suggests that is crackdown is already working. I asked him about that in the last hour.
[BLITZER CLIP]: Here’s what you told Bill Bennett on his radio show on Monday. ‘There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today. The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq.’
Everything we hear if you leave the so-called Green Zone, the international zone, and you go outside of that secure area, relatively speaking, you’re in trouble if you’re an American.
[McCAIN CLIP]: That’s where you ought to catch up on things, Wolf. General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee. I think you oughta catch up. You are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media. But I know for a fact that much of the success we’re experiencing, including the ability of Americans in many parts. Not all, we have a long, long way to go. We’ve only got two of the five brigades here to go into some neighborhoods in Baghdad in a secure fashion.
BLIZTER: Sen. John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate speaking here in The Situation Room within the past hour. Let’s go live to Baghdad right now. CNN’s Michael Ware is standing by. Michael, you’ve been there for four years, you’re walking around Baghdad on a daily basis. Has there been this improvement that Sen. McCain is speaking about?
WARE: Well, I’d certainly like to bring Sen. McCain up to speed if he ever gives me the opportunity. And if I have any difficulty hearing you right now Wolf, that’s because of the helicopters circling overhead and the gun battle that is blazing away just a few blocks down the road. Is Baghdad any safer? Sectarian violence, one particular type of violence, is down. But none of the American generals here on the ground have anything like Sen. McCain’s confidence. I mean, Sen. McCain’s credibility now on Iraq, which has been so solid to this point, is now being left out hanging to dry. To suggest that there’s any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I’d love Sen. McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll.
And to think that Gen. David Petraeus travels this city in an unarmed humvee? I mean, in the hour since Sen. McCain’s said this, I’ve spoken to military sources and there was laughter down the line. I mean, certainly the general travels in a humvee. There’s multiple humvees around it, heavily armed. There’s attack helicopters, predator drones, sniper teams, all sorts of layers of protection. So, no, Sen. McCain is way off base on this one.”
-CNN, March 27, 2007

“Huh.. That doesn’t sound too safe to me. Maybe it was a problem with translation or something to do with our biased media.”

“CNN’S JOHN ROBERTS: I wanted to talk to you about the situation in Iraq. Yesterday in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. I want to play this back for you. You had this to say about the situation there.
[McCAIN CLIP]: General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee. I think you oughta catch up. You are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media.
ROBERTS: Senator, did you mean to say that, that General Petraeus goes out every day in an unarmed humvee?
SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): I mean that there are neighborhoods safe in Iraq and he does go out into Baghdad and the fact is there has been significant progress and people are stuck in a time warp of three months ago. Of course, it’s still dangerous. Of course it’s still very dangerous. We only have two of the five brigades there and we are already seeing significant progress.
ROBERTS: Because I checked with General Petraeus’s people overnight and they said he never goes out in anything less than an up-armored humvee. You also told Bill Bennett on his radio program on Monday. You said there are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhood today yet retired General Barry McCaffrey said no Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat reporter could walk the streets of Baghdad without heavily armed protection. We’ve got two different stories here. Who’s right?
McCAIN: Well, I’m not saying they could go without protection. The President goes around America with protection. So, certainly I didn’t say that. “
-CNN, March 28, 2007

“I guess that what Mr. McCain meant is that you can walk through some of the neighborhoods as long as you have a military battalion with you and air coverage. You know, I feel safer already.”

“Two Americans, a contractor and a soldier, were killed in a rocket attack on the heavy guarded Green Zone on Tuesday, according to statements from the U.S. Embassy and the military.
Five other people were wounded, one contractor who was seriously hurt and three with slight wounds. A second soldier also was wounded in the attack, but the military did not give a condition.
Insurgents and militia fighters routinely fire rockets and mortars into the Green Zone, the nominally secure area in central Baghdad that is site of the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government and parliament. The attacks seldom cause casualties or damage because they are poorly aimed and the zone contains much open space.”
-Associated Press, March 27, 2007


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