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Four Color Politics

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Happily Ignorant

“Many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, uh, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone.”
-Laura Bush, February 26, 2007

“Dear God! It is going so well, but seeing that one bombing a day makes it look so much worse. I wish we could fix that problem.”

“Iraq's interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and camera operators from the scenes of bomb attacks, operations director Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf said on Sunday (local time).
His announcement was the latest in a series of attempts to curtail press coverage of the ongoing conflict, which has already attracted criticism from international human rights bodies.
‘There are many reasons for this prohibition,’ he said.
‘We do not want evidence to be disturbed before the arrival of detectives, the ministry must respect human rights and does not want to expose victims and does not want to give terrorists information that they achieved their goals.
‘This decision does not imply a curtailment of press freedom, it is a measure followed all over the world.’"
-AFP, May 13, 2007

“Ah.. Much better. As long as we can’t see the bombings we can live happy and ignorant, just like the First Lady.
Speaking of happily ignorant, have you heard that we have someone new in charge of the wars?” -Skippy

"I hear the voices. And I read the front page. And I know the speculation. But I'm the decider. And I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, April 18, 2006

“No.. The Decider has decided to abdicate his control over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to someone new. Someone who can get things done.”

“In selecting Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute to manage the war in Iraq, President Bush has chosen a soldier who believes there is no purely military solution to the conflict and wants to forge a political accommodation among Iraqi factions that may fall short of full reconciliation but could lead to an exit strategy, according to friends and colleagues.
Lute's appointment shifts the balance within Bush's war council by adding a powerful voice who resisted sending more U.S. troops to Iraq and plans to pressure civilian agencies to take on a greater role. Lute promised Bush that he will do everything he can to make the buildup succeed despite his reservations, but he may be more open to arguments for a withdrawal should it fail, the colleagues said.”
-Washington Post, May 17, 2007

“Lt. General Lute, a three star general who will be telling four star generals what to do despite having only minimal authority and no real power in the chain of command.. Hmm.. I smell success in the air. How do we know that he will be effective?”

“Q: Tony, to coordinate and facilitate is great, but doesn't he also need some kind of power to jerk chains, light fires, to actually get things done among competing and sometimes jealous agency turf battles? Will the General be given any special powers? Or what will the administration do to facilitate his authority?
MR. SNOW: I think when you have somebody calling who is an Assistant to the President, dealing directly on -- first, let me step back. The members of the President's Cabinet are committed to the success of these things. Those certainly can serve as points of contact; they are the ones who are going to be responsible for making sure that their departments and agencies function properly. He's going to have the ability to communicate with them. And at the same time, you have to be respectful of chains of command and responsibility. “
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesman Tony Snow, May 16, 2007

“Well if Tony Snow says that it will all just work out, then that is good enough for me. You know, they’ve been looking for someone to take this job for a while now. I wonder why none of those retired four-star generals were willing to step up and come back in to help out?”

“The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.
‘The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going,’ said retired Marine Gen. John J. ‘Jack’ Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job.”
-Washington Post, April 11, 2007

“Oh.. With all of the retired four-star generals turning the job down, I wonder why they chose an active three-star general?”

“See who we've got here tonight. General Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right? You guys aren't retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld.”
-Stephen Colbert, White House Correspondents’ Dinner, April 29, 2006

“That’s right! I’d completely forgotten that active military members fall under the chain of command and thus have to do what Fearless Leader in Chief wants them to do, like it or not. Don’t worry though, I’m sure that he’s 110% behind the surge and that everything will work out just fine.”

“The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.
Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.
He denied the withdrawal was motivated by political pressure from Washington.
He said: ‘We believe at some point, in order to break this dependence on the . . . coalition, you simply have to back off and let the Iraqis step forward.
‘You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country.’”
-Financial Times, August 24, 2005


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