I’m liveblogging this turkey. I haven’t read the advance speech release. I want to be surprised.
Iraq is surviving for its survival, he says. Well, who the hell’s fault is that? Petraeus and Crocker say the surge is working. The goal of the surge is to provide security. Our success in meeting these objectives allows us to bring some troops home, he says. That and the fact that we’re running out of troops.
He’s bragging about Anbar province again. He’s not mentioning the death of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha.
Oh, sorry, he’s mentioning Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha now, although not by name.
Anbar Anbar Anbar Anbar.
He’s trying ver hard to look sincere. So far I haven’t seen him smile at inappropriate times.
Got this in email:
* This year is worse than last year for U.S. troops – more were killed every month this year compared to the same month last year. See Icasualties.org/
* Independent investigations by the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times showed sectarian violence is up–not down as Petraeus and Bush have claimed. Bush and Petraeus claim violence in Iraq is down, with 960 civilians dead in August. But AP found 1,809 killed in August, up from 1,760 in July. LA Times found similar numbers, with August worse than July and June.
* As the Washington Post reports, experts “accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators” — such as only counting the deaths of people shot in the back, not in the front.
* A USA Today-Gallup poll shows 53% of Americans don’t trust Petraeus to deliver an independent and objective report.
He’s not saying shit we didn’t already know.
He said that people who saw Iraq as central to American security and those who want the troops home have been at odds.
Not to He didn’t mention those who realize Iraq is not central to American security.
He still wants a free Iraq. I want a free America.
Now he’s speaking to Congress and asking for their support for Petraeus’s recommendations.
He said freedom is not free. Now I know I have to take a drink.
There’s a dog show on Animal Planet.
Oh good, it’s over.
Jack Reed is giving the Dem response. I don’t think Reed was the best choice. I would have liked to see Jim Webb again.
Reed is making good points, though.
I’m watching on MSNBC, so Olbermann and Matthews are doing post-game. Matthews says Bush said there are 36 other countries fighting in Iraq. I missed that. That’s hallucinatory.
Matthews: Bush said we are kicking ass. If we’re kicking ass, how come there’s no government coming together. No mention of why we should be fighting; just the dangers of leaving.
Olbermann: Nothing like making a bad self-fulfilling prophecy work for you.
Howard Fineman: The president talked about a permanent presence in Iraq.
Pat Buchanan is on saying that the President did what he needed to do, which is what he is paid to say.
Olbermann: The changes in Anbar didn’t have anything to do with the surge.
Rachel Maddow: People in Anbar no longer fear being beheaded. Instead, they fear being blown up.
Olbermann said Bush was supposed to be restrained in his certitude. Was he?
Joe Biden: Both Petraeus and Crocker acknowledged there was no political movement. By the President’s own standards this whole thing has been a failure. He’s just trying to keep the soldiers there for the next administration. Bizarre.
Biden says the speech was an insult the American people.
Matthews: We’re given a picture of a nation that is an ally fighting for its life against al Qaeda. No mention of the insurgence. When you meet with the President, does he live in this world?
Biden, short version: No.
Mike Huckabee is on speaking the GOP party line. And I’m missing a good CSI rerun on ABC for this. Appreciate it.
Here’s John Edwards’s response:
Here’s the rebuttal from the Center from American Progress:
Discuss, if you feel up to it.