Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thomas: Standing on a rooftop...

Helen Thomas, surely the doyenne of DeeCee political beat reporters, was called on at President George Bush’s Tuesday press conference. That in itself made news. The room came alive. It was the first time in years the sitting president had deigned to recognize the venerable Thomas thusly; her punishment was apparently over.

Never short on pluck, Thomas promptly told Bush he’d be sorry. Once she asked her question about the origins of the war in Iraq, it was obvious she was right. She followed up when Bush tried to bob and weave. The prez shouted her down, almost. It was good theater. Click here to read Thomas’ column that reacts to that Bush press conference.

“...Bush says he ‘will settle for nothing less than complete victory‘ but admitted that 'more fighting and sacrifice' are needed. He remains optimistic ‘because slowly but surely our strategy is getting results.’ He couples that statement of hope with the warning that the terrorists 'will attack us again.'

“He told a news conference Tuesday that future American presidents and Iraqi governments probably will have to decide when to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq . In other words, we will remain at war in Iraq at least through 2008 and beyond. In the run up to the war, reporters heard almost daily from White House officials trying to make the link between ‘9-11 and Saddam Hussein,’ though the president later acknowledged that he knew of no link between the two.

“Now Bush claims that the terrorists have made Iraq the ‘central front’ in the war on terrorism. Not so. That designation was first heard in the White House press room when the administration was running out of credible rationales for the war.”

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