Goddammit, does Pony Blow not work on Friday’s anymore?
Here we are again, stuck with former Rick Santorum mouthpieceTony Fratto, who’s mastery of the English language is rivaled only by that of the Chimp himself.
Q And has it become clearer to you what the Democrats are doing?
MR. FRATTO: You know, it’s hard to say. I think what’s clear is that there’s a lot of shifting sands in the Democrats’ positions right now.
Fratto also seems to have caught the president’s SICness.
MR. FRATTO: Now that’s — so we’re operating under a mandate. If you look at U.N. Security Council Resolution 1723, it specifically authorizes the presence of the multinational force in Iraq, at the request of the government of Iraq —
Q — under military occupation —
MR. FRATTO: This isn’t — this isn’t —
Q They requested — would you take a referendum on that issue?
MR. FRATTO: This isn’t military operation [sic]. As the current U.N. Security Council Resolution 1723 makes clear, we are in Iraq at the invitation of the government of Iraq. And it’s very clear on that.
Dig up the corpse of Saddam Hussein.
Q Tony, as you went through the initial 2002 resolution, its first element referred to the continuing threat. And the threat that was envisioned at the time that resolution was passed was, obviously, Saddam Hussein. He has been gone now for nearly four years. Why would it be unreasonable for the Congress to consider that since the first of those two conditions has long since been met, that you wouldn’t be in need of a different kind of resolution?
MR. FRATTO: Because it’s simply not necessary. I think the second part of that section on authorization is still important, and envisioned the changing nature there. The President said this isn’t the fight we entered in Iraq, but it’s the fight we’re in. I think that is what is recognized in the international community now. Certainly at the U.N. Security Council it envisioned changing circumstances in Iraq. There have been a lot of changing circumstances in Iraq. We went in as a multinational force under U.N. authorization to take military action in Iraq; we were there as an occupying force, and now we’re there at the invitation of the sovereign, elected government of Iraq. But — and this U.N. Security Council resolutions that came subsequent to the war authorizations envisioned those kind of changes.
Q That’s fine, but that’s the U.N. operating subsequent, as you say, to Saddam’s fall. The last time Congress acted on this was very different conditions, and by your own admission, a very different mission. So why wouldn’t it make sense for Congress to redefine what mission it is that it is now authorizing?
MR. FRATTO: Because I don’t think it’s necessary. I think the war authorization spoke to, and certainly envisioned subsequent U.N. Security Council resolutions, and the authorization is very clear in that the President has the authority to strictly enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions. So that’s where we are right now. Now I’m not sure if the Democrats are contemplating that the United States should not enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions. If that’s something that they’re contemplating, I think that would be interesting to some people, to say the least.
How many are left in the “coalition”?
Q But those resolutions apply to all member states of the United Nations, and clearly there are member states of the United National who have interpreted those quite differently.
MR. FRATTO: No, they refer to the multinational forces in Iraq.
Q Even some of the multinational forces have interpreted it differently. The Italians were there under that, and they’re gone now. The Koreans were there; they’re leaving.
MR. FRATTO: That’s true, but there are still a significant number of countries represented there, they comprise the multinational force, and the U.N. Security Council resolution speaks to the multinational force. It’s very clear.
When I say George W. Bush is a dumbass I’m only criticizing his policies.
Q Do Vice President Cheney’s comments about Nancy Pelosi undermine the President’s attempts to work cooperatively with Congress on Iraq?
MR. FRATTO: You know, Vice President Cheney didn’t make comments about Nancy Pelosi — Speaker Pelosi. He made comments about the strategy that Speaker Pelosi and Representative Murtha are advocating.
There’s saying and there’s doing.
Q So is this the tone and the message the President wants communicated?
MR. FRATTO: No, the tone — the President has — I’m not sure if there’s — if a President has spent more time talking about bipartisanship and common ground on —
Q “Talking about it,” but the question is engaging in it?
Tony Foot-In-The-Mouth Fratto
MR. FRATTO: One issue, Iraq, is going to be a little bit tougher. It’s going to be a little bit tougher if — also, if Democrats don’t seek the same goal.
Q The President’s goal is victory, so you’re saying the Democrats’ goal is not also victory?
MR. FRATTO: No, the goal is — the goal, with respect to the strategy that we have outlined, is to bring peace and stability to Iraq, to bring security to Iraq so that this government can proceed.
Q And the Democrats’ goal?
MR. FRATTO: Well, I don’t see — you know, when I talked earlier about consequences, what I don’t see is any analysis that counters the view of the National Intelligence Estimate that pulling forces out of Baghdad would lead to chaos.
The gaggler here is unidentified in the transcript, could this be Your Daily Les?
Q Considering the widespread news reports of the absolute political bloodbath between the Democrat senators from New York and from Illinois, how can we interpret a refusal by you to comment as anything other than the President’s delight at this decisively demonstrative Democrat development?
MR. FRATTO: That is a carefully crafted question. I will leave my non-comment for your interpretation.