Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Breaking News! Analyst: President May Soon Need To Deny He Has Troops In Iraq

White House Plunges Into New Iraq Strategy; Moving From ‘Keystone Cops’ To ‘Marx Brothers’

Denials Of “Stay The Course” Signal Major Shift; Possible Complete Erasing Of Iraq May Come In Time For MidTerms

In a shocking departure from what has become a mantra for the Bush Administration, a new Iraq strategy (or “tactic”, as the White House prefers it referred as) has leaped out, with President Bush taking the lead.

It began Sunday, in what is being called ‘Operation Hello, I Must Be Going’,, when President Bush denied, during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, that he has ever had a “Stay The Course” strategy.

That was followed up on Monday, first with White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett, in an interview with Hannah Storm, on CBS’s Early Morning program. Bartlett, responding to a question, stated that “it’s never been a stay-the-course strategy.”

Later yesterday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, after a head-banging exercise of redefining the words “strategy” and “tactics”, acknowledged ‘Operation Hello, I Must Be Going’, indicating the President has, indeed dropped the strategy of “Stay The Course”.

Snow wouldn’t define ‘Operation Hello, I Must Be Going’ as a new strategy.

“I’m not sure we can launch a new strategy,” Snow offered, referring to the Inspector General’s report earlier this year that indicated the Bush Administration was “out of strategies”.

Poll Booster Or Is Bush Making His Bed For Final Days Of His Term?

This wouldn’t be the first time the Bush White House has turned on a dime.

After building up for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, with calls of WMD’s, mushroom clouds, and that Saddam Hussein was in bed with Al Qaeda and involved in the attacks of September 11th, the administration has, for the past year, or so, denied that they ever present the case in that fashion.

“Yes,” said David Aaronson, editor of 'What Color Is My Coat Today?', the Capital Hill Newsletter that tracks politicians who turn on their own party, “but they were married to the Keystone Cops strategy at that time. They were just continuing that policy. I think you’ll see a much smoother operation, now that they have moved over to ‘Hello, I Must Be Going’ and the Marx Brothers. They’ve got a lot more to work with going this route.

What isn’t clear as of yet if the ‘Operation Hello, I Must Be Going’ is an interim move, designed for poll-boosting just before the Midterm elections, or if the Bush White House plans on riding it out, perhaps through the end of his term in 2008.

New Sophistication Highlights Bush, White House Still Sharp

“This is pretty significant,” offered Hugh P. Varicator, a consultant with the conservative hawkish think tank, “Cry Wolf”, that is said to be closely affiliated with The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and, some say, may be an adjunct to the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG. “It shows an administration, sharp as ever, on their toes, and coming out punching.”

Varicator said, that on a deeper level, it shows that the President is undertaking a much more sophisticated approach to his Iraq War policy.

“It signals that they’ve come to realize their Keystone Cops approach isn’t working ... They need to step up and shifting to the Marx Brothers shows a sophistication that we haven’t seen before. They’re going to have to be even sharper - Snow’s fumbling and head-banging not the best presentation you want to come out of the box on - with their rhetoric now.

Operation Hello, I Must Be Going Laying Ground Work For Complete Denial Of Iraq?

Aaronson agreed and said that it opens the door for an even bolder strategy that may now be available.

“The President has within in his reach, now that he’s moved away from ‘Stay The Course’, an even bigger message he can start pounding out - denying he even has any troops in Iraq.”

“That’s what could be the big picture behind all this,” offered Aaronson. “It would take an enormous effort on the part of the White House to undertake denying troops are in Iraq, but not that much of difference on what they did to get them into Iraq in the first place.”

A key factor in denying troops are in Iraq, concedes Varicator, is the health of Vice President Dick Cheney.

“With his heart condition and after the woozy spell he had last month, after his appearance on Meet The Press, it’s not clear he could keep up the pace required for such an operation.”

Aaronson says the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be able to buy into it (“She has no problem pitching whatever it is the President wants out there), however Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, like Cheney, could also be a liability.

“First off, we may not have to worry about Rumsfeld,” said Aaronson. “It’s pretty likely, with Operation ‘Hello, I Must Be Going’, that they throw him under the bus, sometime between the Midterms and January. If not, the White House knows, it’s a ticking time bomb with Rummy, the way, at press conferences, he asks and answers his own questions ... He’s likely to let something slip out.”

In Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malaki said that he was “unaware” that President Bush has shifted over to ‘Operation Hello, I Must Be Going’.

“They haven’t told us about it, said a visibly stunned al-Malaki. “It’s been nothing but ‘Stay The Course’ for months and months every time we talk. I don’t know what to make of this ... We’re still waiting for that Road To Democracy he’s promised us ...Sounds like he wants us to build it now.”

With two-weeks to go before the MidTerm elections, President Bush is hoping it's "thumbs up" for his new Iraq War Policy, "Hello, I Must Be Going"

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