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John Gibson Neglects to Mention Republicans Who Oppose Bush Surge Plan

Reported by Marie Therese - January 12, 2007 -

On Thursday's Big Story host John Gibson and White House Press Secretary and former FOX News employee, Tony Snow, discussed President Bush's speech. Gibson started off by saying that "the President's big job now" is to "sell, sell, sell" his planned escalation of the Iraq war. Bush's first stop on his sales junket was Fort Benning, Georgia where he delivered a lackluster speech in front of a less-than-enthusiastic audience of military men and women. Gone are the days of spontaneous chants and cheering. This could be because a Military Times poll shows that Bush's approval rating among the military has sunk to 35%.

Gibson skewed the report by using positive buzz words for the President and negative buzz words for the Democrats. "While the troop increase is significant, the President's political opponents are playing it as over-the-top," Gibson said. "The President says he wants to win, succeed, prevail. The Democrats seemed to want to hear the words lost, so let's go home."

He followed this remark with a clip of Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) stating a fact, i.e., that we've trying the "surge" approach twice before in Baghdad and it's failed twice before in Baghdad. He then aired a clip of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) pointing out that Bush is operating in contradiction to his own statement that he would listen to the commanders on the ground.

Gibson then dragged out the same stale old talking points, i.e. the Democrats have no plan and the "left wing mainstream media" is beating up on the President again. He cited only The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Los Angeles Times.

Tony Snow then made an interesting admission, claiming that Bush and company considered "everything from complete withdrawal to gigantic plussing-up of military forces."

He continued: "The whole point is, we asked very tough questions and sought very comprehensive answers from a lot of people, and I think what's interesting, John, as people begin to take a look at the plan they're gonna say to themselves, you know, this kind of makes sense. Ya' gotta put the Iraqis in charge but you can't really do the political stuff until ya' stop the rioting and the figghing in Baghdad, so figure out a way to put in the right kind of muscle, make the Iraqis pay for their economic development, make people in the neighborhoods stand up for the Iraqis. You start looking at all the pieces and elements, it not only makes sense, I think it provides a sense of reassurance and, furthermore, there are benchmarks. People are gonna be able to find out real soon how serious the government of Nouri al Maliki is."

Gibson cited yet another Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), who stated "We're not going to babysit a civil war ..." Snow countered with a denial.

He described how the plan will work. In essence Baghdad will be divided into nine different zones, each zone patroled by 6,000 Iraqi troops and 600 American troops. The soldiers "will start goin' after the bad guys without their hands tied behind their back - politicians can't get in the way. If they have to complete an operation, they'll do it."

(Translation: Martial law, no oversight, no legal rights and lots of strong-arm tactics.)

Then Snow bounced off into Never Never Land, claiming that as the army is bashing down doors and hauling off Iraqi citizens at the same time they will bond with the local populace "by going door to door, introducing themselves, building faith in the rule of law so people won't think that they have to turn to a militia or to a bunch of Saddam rejectionists for their local protection. (emphatically) That makes sense ...!"

John Gibson then made more snide comments about House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): "You know, Nancy Pelosi commented yesterday and today and we're calling this San Francisco Treat: No money. No troops. No way. And she also said she came to the White House not to consult with the President. This was a notification, she said. She's notified him of what? That she's not gonna support this at all?"

Snow hemmed and hawed his way around this with a generic comment that the President has been reaching out to Pelosi and to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (obviously implying that the President is a nice guy, trying to do the right thing). However, he followed this by saying that Mrs. Pelosi's position "has been pretty clear." Snow never articulated Pelosi's position, leaving the FOX viewers to conclude that Gibson's statement about the "San Francisco Treat" was correct.

Snow ended his commentary by playing the fear card ("By the way, John, if we don't succeed and Iraq doesn't succeed as a democracy, then you're gonna pay for it, our kids are gonna pay for it, our grand kids may pay for it") and the 9-11 card ("If the U. S withdraws, does it make Osama bin Laden happy or sad?")

COMMENT

Poor Tony Snow. He was tap-dancing so fast, he ran his sentences together in one of the trademarked tactics of the used car salesman.

Unfortunately, for Mr. Snow, the old razzle-dazzle is gone and his words are falling on more and more deaf ears.

Not to mention the fact that neither he or Gibson mentioned the 800 pound gorilla hidden in Bush's speech, the possibility that he's planning major military offensives against Iran and Syria.

Additionally, neither Gibson nor Snow mentioned that a number of staunch Republicans are opposed to or "deeply sketical" about Bush's plan.

According to the Kansas City Star, they are Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen.Norm Coleman (R-MN), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH). In addition, Colonel Oliver North (FOX News Military Analyst) and Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) have serious doubts about the efficacy of Bush's surge proposal.