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Archive for January 13th, 2007

In an interview set to air on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, President George W. Bush vows to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq “no matter what” the Democratic-controlled Congress tries to do.

“Do you believe as Commander in Chief you have the authority to put the troops in there no matter what the Congress wants to do,” 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley asks Bush in the short clip uploaded to the CBS News web site Friday night.

“I think I’ve got, in this situation, I do, yeah,” Bush said.

“Now I fully understand they will,” Bush continued, “they could try to stop me from doing it, but, uh, I’ve made my decision and we’re going forward.”

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Bush announced his new plan which calls for an increase in US troops to end ongoing violence in the country, which many believe is either at or approaching “civil war,” with Iraqi civilian deaths tripling at the end of 2006, according to one report.

The plan, nicknamed “surge” by the administration but referred to as an “escalation” by most Democrats has drawn fire from both parties, and Congressional members have threatened to cut funding – though not for the troops that are already there.

“Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who oversees military funding, said he will propose tying congressional approval of war funds to shutting the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba,” the Associated Press reports. “Other conditions he said he is considering include not extending troop deployments and giving soldiers and Marines more time to train between deployments.”

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One night after Bush’s address to the nation, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann blasted the president’s “dangerous, even Messianic certitude.”

“Only this President could extol the ‘thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group,’ and then take its most far-sighted recommendation — ‘engage Syria and Iran’ — and transform it into ‘threaten Syria and Iran’ — when Al-Qaeda would like nothing better than for us to threaten Syria, and when President Ahmmadinejad would like nothing better than to be threatened by us,” Olberman said.

The MSNBC anchor added, “This is diplomacy by skimming; it is internationalism by drawing pictures of Superman in the margins of the text books; it is a presidency of Cliff Notes.”

Excerpts from Olbermann’s special comment:

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And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment about the President’s address last night.

Only this President, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even Messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq, by offering an entrance strategy for Iran.

Only this President, could look out over a vista of 3,008 dead and 22,834 wounded in Iraq, and finally say “where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me” — only to follow that, by proposing to repeat the identical mistake in Iran.

Only this President could extol the “thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group,” and then take its most far-sighted recommendation — “engage Syria and Iran” — and transform it into “threaten Syria and Iran” — when Al-Qaeda would like nothing better than for us to threaten Syria, and when President Ahmmadinejad would like nothing better than to be threatened by us.

This is diplomacy by skimming; it is internationalism by drawing pictures of Superman in the margins of the text books; it is a presidency of Cliff Notes.

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Crooks and Liars has full transcript

Click for video

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