Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Pony Sez Chimpy Is Down With The Looo-gar

Q And is the outreach going to extend to Senators Lugar and Voinovich for coming to the White House and talking about some of the concerns they’ve been expressing?

MR. SNOW: Well, we certainly are going to have conversations with them. We’re going to be talking to them. You know, it’s interesting, because I’ve been going back again over the Senator Lugar speech. Really, when you take a look at it, the one thing he rules out very quickly is the idea we just get out — don’t fund the troops, don’t have precipitant withdrawal. What he’s really talking about is the over-the-horizon strategy — and the President has used that term before — that once you have created the space in which the Iraqis, in fact, have stepped up, they’ve made the political progress, they’ve made the military and training progress, where do you go? And you get to the point where U.S. forces withdraw — again, over the horizon is the term the President has used — and it sounds like that’s a lot of what Senator Lugar is discussing, as well.

Part XXXI In The Continuing Helenization Of Pony Blow

Q What is the horizon of this administration to stop the killing in Iraq? And does the President have an exit strategy over and beyond “you guys in Iraq, shape up now,” the collaborators and so forth who were with us and supposed to carry out our mission?

MR SNOW: What the President — I think what you — you focus on exit, Helen. The thing that we’re trying to focus on is success.

Q I think that these Republicans are focusing on exit.

MR SNOW: Well, take a look again at what Dick Lugar talked about. Dick Lugar did not talk about exit. What he talked about is reshaping the way the forces are. But the one he rejected is exit. What he is talking —

Q He said that this is the word and that’s another story. They are talking about exit.

MR SNOW: No, what he’s talking about is a strategy for pulling people, again, over the horizon. Take a look at the speech and also his public statements and you’re going to find that what he’s not talking about is getting out. What he’s trying to come up with is a way of engaging regional powers and also Iraqi powers and the allies in such a way that has to deal with the ongoing problems they’ve had in terms of violence, but also build the institutions that are going to be absolutely necessary to have a safe and free and democratic Iraq.

The Soft Bigotry Of Low Expectations

Q Tony, you talked about the recent arrival of troops in the surge, and you also talked about the late start of the surge, how it’s just got underway, and you’ve got two months basically until September. Are you really setting us up for that to be laying the groundwork for support for a report from General Petraeus saying that there hasn’t been very much progress?

MR. SNOW: No.

Q Are you expecting there to be very much progress?

MR. SNOW: Again, you’ll have to take a look, but, no, this is not a way of setting up a lack of progress. We’re 12 days into the most ambitious military operation really since the intense combat hostilities, and you have seen reports from General Petraeus and General Odierno and others about significant actions on the part of our forces at Baquba, obviously in Anbar, and in Baghdad, as well.

I would expect there to be a progress report about what’s going on and what we’ve achieved not only militarily, but also what sort of things have been accomplished on the political side and the economic side. It is not merely General Petraeus, but also Ambassador Crocker who are going to be contributing to the report. What we’re trying to condition people for is a report that is going to tell us what has been happening. Again, 12 days in to the most significant military action in a very long time, and at the same time, just now getting all of our forces into place — it’s worth giving people a granular look, a detailed look at what has been accomplished and what will have been accomplished by the date.

Q Is it your view that September is too soon for such a report?

MR. SNOW: No, look, we have agreed to make reports in July and September; we’re going to do it.

Les Embarrasses Pony

Q Okay. This morning’s Washington Post headline “After Speech, Aides Scramble To Cover Bush’s ‘Amnesty’ Slip” — while we realize that anybody can make mistakes, can you tell us, just for human interest sake, which aide scrambled first, and did the President commend him or her for being alert, or not, and what was his reaction?

MR SNOW: I did, and I don’t discuss —

Q You were the first one?

MR SNOW: I believe so. I mean, look —

Q Good.

MR SNOW: — the President misspoke. It was a — you recall we issued a statement by the Press Secretary. What was interesting is that Fletch wrote that story; meanwhile I was getting a lot of people saying, what took you so long? So we were getting it from both sides. The fact is that anybody who knows what the President’s policy is knows that that was a slip of the tongue. It was overplayed on Drudge. We thought it was important to go ahead and puncture that balloon, which we did, and to move on so that people who actually knew the issue could discuss other things.

3 thoughts on “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

  1. Tom says:

    Funny thing about “over the horizon” — YOU NEVER GET THERRE!

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  2. MapleStreet says:

    It keeps getting me how Pony tells Helen things along “If you will go back and read…” when it is clear that Helen has done her homework and Tony hasn’t.

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  3. Nora says:

    Was I the only one thinking of the Wizard of Oz when Tony kept referring to “over the horizon”?
    And he goes after the strawman again with alacrity: NOBODY is talking about a “precipitant” withdrawal of all the troops. The thing is that Bush isn’t talking about withdrawing the troops EVER.

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