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Fox is only concerned with how the war in Iraq will effect Republicans in '06 and '08

Reported by Chrish - August 9, 2005

Going to a break in the Big Story 8/09/05, John Gibson teased, over a "Politics of War" banner, with "...How the war issue could effect the GOP in 2006 and 2008."

Gibson introduced the "Political Smackdown" by saying that support for the war in Iraq is slipping and now 60% of Americans oppose the war. Could that hurt the GOP in the coming elections?

Guests Bob Beckel (Democrat strategist) and Charlie Black (Republican strategist) spent the entire segment on how the war and its political fallout would be dealt with by Republicans running for office.

Gibson asked Black if the next GOP nominee to replace Bush would be pro-war or anti-war. Black replied that Iraq may not even be a "top-tier" issue in '08. He made the observation that opinion varies with the news out of Iraq, and right now things are not going well. He believes that the completion of a constitution in Iraq will have a positive effect on Americans' view of the war. He says that it's well known that by next year we may be withdrawing troops, but neglects to mention that before that a troop build-up is expected to deal with the anticipated uptick in insurgent attacks relating to the constitution and elections.

Gibson says to Black that Beckel is sitting there, "sharpening his knives", waiting for "some hapless Republican trying to put a good face on this situation."

Asked to give Black a taste of what he (Beckel) was going to do to that republican, Beckel said Black was doing the best he could with the lousy hand he was dealt. Beckel said #1, the war was never popular, and #2, it's not just 2008, it's 2006, and Republicans are running from Bush like scalded dogs. And another thing from the poll, Beckel says, is that people are starting to wonder about the connection between the war in Iraq and the chances of us being attacked again...and the dirty little secret Bush will never believe is that this war has made us less safe from terrorism.

Gibson says that little spiel was almost word for word from the last campaign, and it failed! He asks Black if it has a better shot next time around?

Black says if the election was this week the war would be a drag on the Republican ticket but by next year we should see positive things in Iraq. He trots out the standard "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" and says people get confused when they hear bad news out of Iraq, but when they see a constitution adopted and elections held, and troops withdrawn next year, by this time next year he doesn't think it will be such an unpopular war.

Beckel called him on it, saying that "this lie (line?) that Charlie just gave you,....George Bush's lie(line), if we don't have to fight them here, there, better we don't have to fight 'em here (he screwed this all up but we know what he meant)...the truth of the matter is, we may well have to fight them here because we're fighting them there."

Gibson asked if he thought we weren't going to have to, were they going to stand down after 9/11, saying 'oh, we accomplished that, let's quit'?

Beckel answered that with the brilliance of Afghanistan, if we had gone to war internationally against terrorism and not gotten bogged down in a campaign of nation-building in Iraq, the answer is "yes".

Gibson then asks Black is it possible for a Republican to say, we went to war, it was the right thing to do, glad we did it but we've had enough, now it's time to quit?

Black asserts that we've killed a lot of "the most important terrorists" right there in Iraq. The nation-building is going to be over, it's going to be turned over to Iraqis by January. People understand that it's better to fight them there rather than here, and unlike the Democrats and Clinton administration who indicted and had trials for those who attacked us, we go find them and kill them.

Beckel told Black that if the troops are drawn down next year it will make the war issue easier for Republicans but it will be a political move and will make things "hot".

Comment: On Fox, it's all about Republicans and Bush. We've seen it many times, especially before the 2004 election. Oil prices up? Analyze how that will effect Bush's approval rating. Bad weather? It might hamper shopping and Bush's economy. It's the Fox Narcissism Channel.

And you have to wonder, if we're so safe fighting over there, why are they doing tests floating the idea of US military takeover of law enforcement duties in case of an "event"?


nile.saints@mchsi.com

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