Educating Froomkin

January 9th, 2007at 04:25pm Posted by Eli

The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin (And Friends!) have some questions about Emperor Surgio:

Here are some of the things to keep an eye out for [in Surgio’s All-New & Improved Iraq Strategery Address]:

* Will he acknowledge the real, specific concerns that many Americans have with this particular war and the way it’s been waged? Or will he once again belittle the public angst by ascribing it to too much carnage on TV and a general aversion to warfare?

* Will he engage and address the actual arguments voiced by critics? Or will he simply fight straw men of his own creation?

* Specifically, will he acknowledge the argument that the presence of American troops makes things worse in Iraq, rather than better?

* Will he acknowledge the message American voters sent about Iraq in November, and explain why he doesn’t feel obliged to heed the public will? Will he explain why he and the public seem to have reached such different conclusions?

* Will he agree to engage in dialogue — not just consultation — with those who disagree with him, and possibly even in public?

* Will he be up front about the possible consequences of a failed escalation — specifically, the cost in human lives? Will he acknowledge the human suffering?

* Will he be honest about the difference between tactics, strategy and goals, and will he explain why he seems willing to consider only a change in tactics?

* Will he be forthright about how we got here? Will he acknowledge any mistakes, beyond tactical errors that were not his fault personally? What lessons will he say he has learned? Will he take any blame for anything?

* Will he explain where the additional troops will come from? Will he call for volunteers? Will he call for anyone else to sacrifice?

* Will he say where the money will come from — for the escalation, for the reportedly billion-dollar jobs program, or for the entire war for that matter?

* Will he say anything about how long either the escalation, or the war, will last? If he establishes benchmarks, will they be accompanied by timelines and consequences? Will there be any accountability, for either the Iraqis or the Americans? At the end of the speech, will the American military commitment appear larger but still equally open-ended?

* Will he say not just that he still believes the war in Iraq is winnable, but why he believes that, and why he discounts the evidence to the contrary?

* Will he be up front about who we’re fighting and why? Will he acknowledge that the chief mission of existing and supplemental troops will be fighting well-armed rival Muslim factions?

* Will he acknowledge how the mission in Iraq has changed, from ostensibly being about weapons of mass destruction all the way to tamping down a civil war?

* Will he address the hideously botched execution of Saddam Hussein, which provided such a gripping view of the vicious sectarianism plaguing the country?

* Will he acknowledge that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly made promises and not delivered in the past, and explain why he trusts Maliki this time?

* Will he acknowledge that Iraqi forces have never taken their share of the responsibility in Iraq, and that training has thus far been problematic?

* If he says this is a turning point, will he explain why, in contrast to all the previous turning points, he believes this one is for real?

* Will he describe how his view of the situation in Iraq has changed over time, if at all? Will he address the concern that he has been in a state of denial?


Liberal blogger Josh Marshall looks at the past four years and asks whether anyone “can point to even a single Bush administration decision in Iraq, either strategic or tactical, that didn’t turn out to be either a bad idea or a complete disaster? Anything? One good call?”


Sally Quinn writes in a Washington Post op-ed: “I hope that when President Bush discusses sending more troops to Iraq, knowing that we will have to pull out sooner rather than later, that the conversation comes around to the human suffering. Does anyone at the table ask about the personal anguish, the long-term effects, emotional, psychological and financial, on the families of those killed, wounded or permanently disabled?”


Liberal blogger Arianna Huffington proposes “a diagnostic checklist” to evaluate the level of Bush’s delusion.

“Does he exhibit signs of the classic layman’s definition of insanity: repeatedly doing the same thing but expecting a different result?…

“Does the patient — I mean, the president — demonstrate magical thinking, signs of a belief that merely wishing for something can make it so?”


This has been another edition of Simple Answers To Simple Questions.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Media,Politics,Wankers,War

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