The State of the Union address, given last night by Bush (transcipt and video) was a fact checkers' dream turned into nightmare. There were so many distortions -scroll down. It had a slighty surreal aspect, highlighting the success of Iraqi surge against the "uncertainty" of the American economy. Now Iraq is being used as a model of success.
When Bush proclaimed, "Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among terrorists there is no doubt," Clinton sprang to her feet in applause but Obama remained firmly seated. The president's line divided most of the Democratic audience, with nearly half standing to applaud and the other half sitting in stony silence.
It would be interesting to find out what the Iraqi people thought? There hasn't been a recent opinion poll published but I suppose it largely depends on whether you are Kurdish, Sunni or Shiite and how much you loathe the occupation and what has happened to your country? Read Juan Cole, 'One last Argument with Bush'.
Bush continues to frame the argument with Iraq as a fight against terrorism. This was a country that never had one sucide car bombing in its history, until we invaded. Based on previous polls, the last authoritative one was released two years ago, it is safe to assume the majority of Iraqis still want us out today, and quickly.
A large proportion of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Damascus was displaced to Syria during 2007, apparently as a side effect of Bush's troop surge.
Center for American Progress analyst Brian Katulis estimated that Baghdad, which once used to be a 65 percent Sunni majority city, is now 75 percent..
Bush is right that the "The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened." (as a consequence of 'the surge'.)
'Whatever it is I'm Against it'' has a pretty good satirical critique on Bush's other reassurances, that he offered in his SOTU.
For those of you who missed it this interview on Fox, Sunday seems to 'encapsulate' Bush's way of looking at the world.
BAIER: Is being president confining?
BUSH...yeah, there's a bubble but life's pretty comfortable inside the bubble. (for him)
After seven long years of this Presidency, I am committed as President to solve problems, not ignore them. I am committed to working for the middle class, not just the privileged few. I am committed to restoring our leadership in the world through strong alliances, not alienating our friends. I am committed to working towards real solutions for real Americans every day as President of the United States.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!