Senators John Kerry and Jack Reed held a press conference this morning after Bush’s speech on Iraq. During the press conference, Kerry and Reed both “said they were disappointed by Bush’s plan, which they said fell short on specifics and ignored basic realities in Iraq.”
From the WaPo – Democrats Attack Iraq Strategy – Sen. Kerry, Sen. Reed Say Bush Plan Ignores Basic Realities:
“The president,” Reed said, “failed to answer the question that all Americans are asking: how do we know progress is being made there?”
“This debate is not about an artificial date for withdrawal,” Kerry said. He said a Nov. 15 Senate resolution, which called on the administration to hasten an eventual U.S. pullout by turning over more control to Iraqis, did not advocate “an artificial date for withdrawal” but sought to “set an estimated timetable for success which will permit the withdrawal of our troops.” The resolution, which passed 79 to 19, said 2006 should be “a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty,” creating conditions for “the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq.”
“No one has ever suggested or believes that we should run in the face of car bombers or assassins,” Kerry said, referring to a passage in Bush’s speech. “No one is talking about running in the face of a challenge. We’re talking about how to win, how to succeed, how do you best achieve our goals? That’s the choice here. And what the president did not do today again is acknowledge the fundamental reality of the insurgency.”
It should be noted that in a line of total “presstitution” to Bush’s speech, Daniela Deane of the WaPo stated:
“In a 45-minute speech before a receptive audience at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bush again rejected a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, saying conditions on the ground rather than “artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington” would dictate when American forces could return home.”
As noted in a post here yesterday, I think Dan Froomkin was on the money yesterday, when he stated in the WaPo that Bush’s speeches are held before “captive audiences.” As John Kerry noted this morning in the press conference, Bush once again using a military audience as a “backdrop” for his speech, “reminds you of an aircraft carrier” and a “Mission [NOT] Accomplished.” John Kerry does not need a backdrop to speak the truth to power.