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Bob Novak - Says Iraq Unwinnable War - Then Says It's Not -- Flip/Flop

Reported by Donna - March 14, 2006

In a hilarious segment with Bob Novak on Studio B with Shepard Smith I started to wonder if Novak himself even knew what he was saying. One minute he was saying he's 'been through many unwinnable wars' when speaking about the war in Iraq and then in the next sentence he retracted and said he didn't think Iraq was unwinnable.

At one point in the segment he even went as far as saying that people in the administration don't really care if we leave Iraq and they're killing each other as long as Al Qaeda or terrorists aren't doing the killing. (My emphasis) The man is losing it big time after leaving CNN.

Below is a copy of my transcript between Shepard Smith and Robert (Bob) Novak. Plus, Fox has a new banner, this one reads 'Battle For Iraq.'

Shepard Smith: The battle for Iraq is it down for the Iraqis to win? Well, along the way the president's approval ratings at an all time low, so's the American's confidence in the war in Iraq. With us now, syndicated columnist and Fox News Contributor, Robert Novak. Bob, good to have you on with us, good to see you.

Robert Novak: Thank you.

SS: To whom does the president listen to these days and to what does that person or what are those people telling him?

RN: Well, he listens to the generals, of course. (Comment: Excuse me, when did this start to happen?) And, the generals don't want to leave there, the ones in command, until they believe they have the situation under control. But, Shepard, he was talking the other day not to the critics, not to the left wingers, not to the Democrats who are against him anyway, he was talking to the Republicans who are losing faith. (Comment: Forbid we have a president who speaks to all Americans, huh?) They feel that there is a civil war brewing there. (Comment: No, really c'mon, the Republicans are really waking up?) That it's going to happen and it's time for us to get out. So he's trying to tell them to have patience. (Comment: We know, that's what he said yesterday, thanks for all of the special 'insider' information)

Many people speaking privately to me in the administration have said that some time or another the United States is going to have to walk out of there and permit a civil war. (Comment: Who are these people? Emphasized to catch your attention, he's saying that people inside the administration said we're going to have to walk out of there and permit a civil war. So very nice of us.) Just hope that it's not the Al Qaeda involved that presents a threat to this country. (Comment: Well, Al Qaeda wasn't there before we invaded, it was so nice of us to invite them in)

SS: Of course, along the way, if you lose the poll numbers, if they continue to go down, it's like losing that political capital that the president talked about awhile back. He said he had some and he was going to spend it. Did he spend it properly?

RN: I don't think he did...uh....because...uh...I've been through several of these, these unwinnable wars and you cannot......

SS: ....Is that what you think this is, Bob?

RN: I don't think it's an unwinnable war. (Comment: You just said so, I mean you were talking about Iraq) I think it's just a case that we're going to get out with as less damage as possible. And the politcal capital, I would have hoped would have been spent greater on tax reform, (Comment: For the rich, right?) or budget reform or the things that the Republican base is really most interested in. (Comment: Guess that capital is gone now, shame, he was going to spend it on the Republican base)

But the president has got to come to some point where he says, ok, things are not perfect there. (Comment: Perfect? How about barely livable?) These people have been killing each other for centuries they're gonna continue. (Comment: Wouldn't it have been great if George Bush had picked up a history book before he invaded the country?) We're going to have to get out and hope there's not a threat to our country. (Comment: Carefully read Novak's last statement, "we're going to have to get out and hope there's not a threat to our country" Is he saying to cut and run and hope? Well, that was worth over 2,300 American soldiers dead, over 16,000 American soldiers maimed or injured and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives gone, all for a -- hope.)

SS: Is it your sense that that's the part of the base that he's losing? The part that says 'I don't really believe that a civil war is inbrewing. (Comment: His word, not mine) I don't believe it when they say things are improving and they see signs of progress.' What I wonder is -- if there has been a discussion internally about coming forward and saying, 'You know, we didn't think it would go on this long. We thought the insurgency was only going to last a few months.' (Comment: Yeah, I could see the president saying this, couldn't you?) We were talking about drawing back troops back...when..uh...back in the moments of victory..uh...back on that aircraft carrier. (Comment: Yes, we remember) Is there talk on leveling on one side and then trying to make the point that politically and diplomatically we think we're on the right track now?

RN: I think, I think, there's a lot of deceptions in the fact thatt we can leave that place in really very good condition, where they're not killing each other, where there is stability. Where the Iraqi Security forces are able. I think the people I talk to in the administration, I feel, the real hope, the only hope is not to prevent them from killing each other (Comment: Bolded to get your attention that he really said this - he's saying people that he talks to in the administration say the only hope is not to prevent them from killing each other, see, we don't care about that) but at least to leave them in condition where the Al Qaeda. the terrorists are under control and they are not in danger of taking over Iraq as a terrorist base as Afghanistan was before 9/11.

SS: So you have to hold some of the support of the people to get there. Otherwise, you can't get there. What's Karl Rove's plan? What are his closest advisors telling him?

RN: What the president's closest advisors are telling him?

SS: Yes, about how to keep the people on board.

RN: I think they tell him, obviously, that he should go out and say, 'Have patience, things are not as bad', but the American people don't have patience because no western democracy is going to have patience for a prolonged war like this. I think we have a lot more patience than any other country. What I can't imagine is the British or the Germans, or the Italians committing a large number of troops to this kind of an operation for this period of time with so little outburst. (Comment: And you work for the cable station that puts down any ot these 'outbursts')

You know, Shepard, I want to tell you something. I just was at the ACC tournament in Greensboro and all kinds of people there, basketball tournament. When they introduced some of the wounded veterans who were at the game, people gave up a standing, long, standing ovation. You didn't have that during the Vietnam War. People are still very supportive of the troops buy they're getting tired of the war ant they'd like a door, a light at the end of this tunnel.

SS: Yeah, who wouldn't. Bob Novak, nice to see you.

Comments: I don't really have much to comment on as I've commented throughout the long segment. As far as troop support goes, however, it's true - people do support the troops - all people. However, for him to come out and say he's been speaking with people in the administration who are close to the president and saying they don't really care when we leave if they kill each other? Somehow 'Mission Accomplished' takes on a whole new meaning.

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