Dang, Dana Peroxide Got The Crap Beat Out Of Her Over Chimpy’s SpeechYesterday
Let’s Begin With Bill Plant
Q The President had a lot to say about the surge, but he didn’t say much about the reason that the surge was put into effect, which was to create some breathing room for political reconciliation, which really hasn’t happened. He didn’t mention that at all.
MS. PERINO: I realize some people think that that hasn’t been anything that happened, but I think if you look at the facts, Bill, I think —
Q Well, why didn’t he mention it?
MS. PERINO: In terms of the political reconciliation that they’ve had?
Q Yes. What is there to brag about?
MS. PERINO: Well, they’ve passed a lot more laws than this Congress has this year, and they’ve worked very hard. I mean, they’re going from a complete dictatorship where they have no trust of one another — they’ve never had democracy, and just in January, late January, they finished passing four — three or four pieces of — major pieces of legislation. And they’re continuing to work on more.
He Didn’t Discuss His NCAA Brackets, For Instance
Q If I can follow on the previous question, in the past the President has, in his speeches, put pressure on Maliki’s government and the Iraqi parliament to do more on national reconciliation. Now, does this mean the President is satisfied with what they’ve done up to date?
Q He didn’t mention it.
MS. PERINO: Well, there’s a lot of things he didn’t mention. There’s lots of things he did mention. He can’t talk about every single thing every time.
Q But this was laid out as one of the cornerstone reasons for having the surge in the first place. Now, all he — he did mention today bottom-up reconciliation —
MS. PERINO: — what the facts are. You reported — Reuters has reported on them, on those successes in Iraq yourselves. So I don’t understand where you’re coming from.
Q I’m just wondering why the President doesn’t have anything to say about it. I’d think in a major speech —
MS. PERINO: Well, we could have made it much longer, and we could have had lots of other things in there to satisfy you.
Q When the President was talking about, what Terry was asking earlier, on the large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, when he’s talking about Iraq being poised for a major strategic victory in the war on terror, is there a danger that he is, once again, as critics have criticized him for, overselling progress in Iraq?
MS. PERINO: I think that there is a strategic — there is a significance to what has happened in the turning against — of the Sunnis in Iraq turning against al Qaeda. It’s a significant moment in the global war on terror.
Q But over the past five years, there were many instances where the President has said things like “making progress,” “turning the corner.” The Vice President says “last throes.” Is there a danger that with this kind of sweeping language, he’s again raising false hope?
MS. PERINO: Well, Mark, look at the rest of the speech. The President says, this is fragile, it’s not irreversible, we have a lot more work to do. The President is being very honest with the American people, that we have made gains — that’s undeniable — both on the security side and on the political side. And the Iraqis have helped us get there.
$3 Trillion? That’s A Shitload Of Hair Coloring, Dana
Q Dana, the President accused Democrats of exaggerating the cost of the war — there’s several estimates out there. Speaker Pelosi said $3 trillion. Does he consider that an exaggeration?
MS. PERINO: I think she’s — I think she was probably quoting what we were asked about, I think it was last week, by that report. And we have questioned that in terms of — we don’t know exactly how much it’s going to cost. And they throw a lot of different pieces into that, in terms of cost of care for veterans going forward. The President says that it’s absolutely worth it.
Q I’m trying to figure out if what the President says is an exaggeration. If I understood you properly, you said the $3 trillion cost, if it comes to that, is worth it. Does the President —
MS. PERINO: I don’t know if it’s going to be $3 trillion. And I think that is the assumptions of how far into the future that you plan on — it’s hard to tell. We don’t even know what the projections are going to be in 2011. It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be 50 years from now.
Q But do I understand that the President is not necessarily speaking of the $3 trillion cost when he speaks of an exaggeration?
MS. PERINO: I think that there have been many different estimates that the President was referring to, not just that.
Q Dana, Senator Biden says there’s no end in sight in Iraq. Five years in, I mean, how do you guys respond to that, to that charge?
MS. PERINO: Well, in terms of no end in sight, are we going to be there for a while? Are we going to be there for several more years? Yes. And the President has been very honest about that.
Dana Gets Pissy
Q The President warned of the danger that al Qaeda could gain access to Iraq’s oil resources. But I don’t understand how a fragmented, clandestine, non-Iraqi terrorist organization could produce and sell Iraqi oil on the global market, especially when the majority of Iraqis have turned against al Qaeda. Could you describe a plausible scenario?
MS. PERINO: The purpose of what the President said is that al Qaeda should not be allowed to have safe haven in Iraq and take over —
Q How can they take over Iraq’s oil reserves —
MS. PERINO: Well, if we were to leave we would certainly ensue chaos and not be able to — if we were to leave too soon, it would certainly be chaos and it would be terrible for not only the innocent Iraqis, but the entire region and, in fact, our own national security. That’s what the President —
Q But the Iraqis would let a foreign terrorist organization take over their oil?
MS. PERINO: You’re missing the point, and I think that you should go back and read —
Q No, I —
MS. PERINO: Yes, actually, I think you are missing the point. And I call on you because I see what you write about how you come here and you really want to have questions asked. And I’m calling on you and I’m providing it to you, but I suggest that you read the President’s speech and read it in context, because that’s — what you’re suggesting is not what the President said.