Thursday, September 13, 2007
In the eye of 'The Decider'
Is it progress or propaganda? Spin or sincere?

Tonight, President Bush will say good things are happening in Iraq. Just days after General Petraeus' positive report on the results from the so-called "surge," President Bush is expected to tell you that political progress is being made, reconciliation is beginning, and thousands of U.S. troops may be coming home.

It's all good. At least from the White House' perspective.

Others disagree.

Many Democrats and most Americans are skeptical, both of the prospects for success in Iraq and the president. In fact, a new poll shows 61 percent of the public is unhappy with the president's performance.

We'll hear politicians sound off on President Bush's speech this evening and in the days ahead. But we want to know your opinion. So send comments and V-Mails. We'll put some on the show tonight.

See you later.

-- By Gabe Falcon, "360" Writer
Posted By CNN: 4:48 PM ET
  25 Comments
If it's all in the eyes of the "decider" all I've got to say is that "decider" must be blind! LOL

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 5:05 PM ET
I am one of the "others disagree". This administration has this country"s military is the biggest mess in its history. We are stuck and no amount of spinning or political wrangling will change this catastrophe. For the first time in my 70 years, my loyalty to my government is shaken.
Posted By Judy Stage/Brooklyn MI : 5:23 PM ET
Hi Gabe, do you want to know what I think? I think I want to ask the President, "What part of '36% approval rating' don't you understand?"
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, Washington : 5:30 PM ET
Hi Gabe,
The American people are skeptical! All we've heard is Iraq is an absolute failure. Over and Over, again and again, for years now.
The other side of the fence has some hope, doesn't want to pull out and watch a country like Iraq crumble...So who is right, who is wrong? I plan on watching President Bush tonight. It appears, according to the CNN poll , at least 80% of the viewers are not going to watch.
What does that say to our troops?
What does that say to all Americans?
Skeptical, Well, yes...But when all is said and done, will tuning out, bring a solution?
Will not listening anymore to the events in Iraq make it go away? I don't think so. I hope those 80% change their minds and watch. Bottom line, we are at war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stop fighting in Congress and come up with a solution...Just my two cents of a know-it-all moment. Sorry. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:32 PM ET
I have found Cooper Anderson to be objective in his reporting. Let's keep it that way and give an honest assestment of Americans against the war. Very recently the
war has taken a turn and many Americans that I talk to are again supporting Gen. Patraeus. Let's mention them tonight also. It is never interesting or in our interest to be biased.
Posted By Michela Novodomszky : 5:48 PM ET
This administration has stretched the truth so much that the rubber band is getting ready to break. They manipulate and “spin” things better than any other administration has. They spend so much time looking at how the future will look back on them I don’t think they are even aware at what the present thinks.
Posted By Marcy B., Mobile, Alabama : 5:55 PM ET
If President Bush went on national TV to say the sun rose in the east, I'd want independent confirmation before I took his word for it.

Credibility? Zero.
Posted By Arachnae, Sterling VA : 6:03 PM ET
Would the world end if President Bush was right and Iraq really is turning around? Would it be so horrible if Iraq became a free nation because of the work of its own citizens and the US? Would it be so bad if America had something other than the anti-Bush bias with which to base its opinions about this war? I'll say what I've always said. We made a promise to the people of Iraq. To break that promise now dishonors every soldier who has fought over there. Breaking our promise dishonors our integrity as a nation to the rest of the world community. Breaking our promise dishonors us. Nobody ever said fighting for what is right and good is simple or without cost and casualty. It always will be in my opinion the right thing to do and what we as a nation should always strive to do. I don't know where the Americans who believed in sacrificing for freedom wherever they were needed disappeared to, but I really wish they'd return. Cheers to "W" being right.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 6:12 PM ET
Of course it's not progress...as reported on CNN, this has been a long-expected development because the military cannot maintain this number of troops deployed past next spring (unless they extend everyone's tours to two years). Give your viewers some more credit, for goodness sake! Some of us know how to listen.
Posted By Sara L. : 6:33 PM ET
Things in Iraq may finally be getting better and things may actually be looking up but honestly, when things hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.
Posted By Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois : 6:41 PM ET
I personally don't think President Bush (or his writers) know what to say anymore. How many ways can he say things are improving without the physical evidence to back him? I think he's painted himself into a corner and short of a miracle (al Qieda surrendering, the situation will remain the same long into the next President's term.
Posted By Bev Ontario Canada : 6:53 PM ET
Saddam Hussein kept the various factions in his nation in line through tyranny and brute force. Now it seems that the US is taking his place in trying to keep the peace. Only we don't have enough soldiers there to do that job nor the will of the American people to use his methods.

I heard rumors today that President Bush is going to propose that we keep our forces in Iraq another 50 years, using South Korea as a model. South Korea? I don't see the similarities in the two societies at all. What I do see is a president who is incapable of admitting his mistakes, of changing his mind, of setting a policy that is of the people, by the people, and for the people - not only the people of the US but the people of Iraq. The Iraqi government, by the admission of Mr. Maliki, is dysfunctional. And Mr. Bush wants to pledge 50 years of American blood and treasure to a dysfunctional government? It's time for Congress to show some leadership and bring our troops home!
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 6:54 PM ET
Dear Gabe,

President Bush has a tendency to lie like a rug.

Maggie C.
Posted By Maggie, GVMO : 7:01 PM ET
When the rich wage war, the poor die.
And 6 years later...progress means different things to different people. I understand that sometimes war is necessary but we're not just fighting one truly recognizable enemy here. I don't know about everyone else here and maybe I'm just dense, but the "progress" in this war has become so confusing to me. I watch and I listen and I'm still uncertain about what to support. We're spoon fed by the media and the government at the same time. Everyone has their own agenda. What I go to sleep thinking about are the thousands of people who have died and continue to die on both sides.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 7:17 PM ET
To quote President Bush's own words from "Dead Certain", an authorized biography written by Robert Draper..."I'm playing for October-November, to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence."

This is not a game. The president needs to stop "playing" with American lives and American dollars.

I doubt the President will ever be completely honest with the American public, and admit that the war in Iraq is as much about oil, and having a strong U.S. military presence in the Middle East, than about democracy.

Proof of this is evident by the oil contract Hunt Oil of Dallas, TX (a large financial backer of the Bush family) has signed recently (Sept. 8, 2007)directly with the Kurdish Regional Government. Mas'ud Barzani, president of KRD has warned that "if Article 140 of the 2005 Iraq Constitution is not implemented, then there will be a real civil war." (see www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.ctm?ID=18118)
Posted By Jan from Wood Dale, IL : 7:26 PM ET
In my opinion, this promise was made on falsehoods. Of course we need a good, solid plan for ending the war. But it is becoming endless, and I don't see the Decider talking about any plans for an exit.
Posted By Anonymous : 8:07 PM ET
Arachnae of VA is typical of the mindset held by many Americans-

no matter what the President says, they will not believe it.

My take on it is that some people are determined to undermine President Bush's legacy and credibility to justify not having voted for him.
Posted By Cary- Lowell, IN : 8:12 PM ET
I'm voting spin and propaganda but i'll let you know after the speech!
Posted By Kathy Chicago,Il : 9:01 PM ET
I don't like or trust Bush but if he bases his decision on the recommendations of Petaeus and his staff whose analysis I do trust then I will accept it. After watching the coverage from Iraq this week from the 360 crew I realize now just how complex the situation is over there.

As Tammy from LA says we made a promise to the Iraqi people. Once upon a time not keeping a promise was the most dishonorable thing you could do. Is America a dishonorable nation? I hope not.

While staying is hard, leaving may in the future reap us even harder consequences - leaving Iraq in its present state of instability will open the door to Iran to step in with al-Queda and give them a state sponsored training ground with weapons and perhaps even nuclear weapons. I shudder at the thought. I would like to see our soldiers along with my nephew who is serving over there come home but I realize now it needs to be when we can leave a stable Iraq that will not be home to extremists whose only purpose in life is to kill those who are not like them, including Americans.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 9:17 PM ET
I’m not sure Mr. Bush’s speech tonight could even be confused with propaganda. We have been inundated over the past six years with the words “security”, “terrorists”, “evil doers”, and several other one-dimensional rants. I found the president’s speech tonight lacking in passion and truth; it felt cheap and insincere. Mr. President please stop. I can’t believe I had to miss The Office.
Posted By EF : 9:23 PM ET
It's hard to believe anything this President says anymore. I don't trust him as far as i could throw him. Honestly, it's kind of sad. We should be able to trust our leaders.
Posted By Deanna : 9:24 PM ET
OK given the fact that Bush is an oil man and Cheney is a Halliburton man, what is their true definition of success in Iraq? What is their ides of normal in Iraq? Don't we still see markets bombed on a regular basis? At least Mr. Bush admitted that this conflict will last past his presidency. Yikes!
Posted By Kathy Chicago,Il : 9:29 PM ET
I absolutely support our men and women who are overseas at the request of our Nation. However the president absolutely makes me sick to my stomach, he is the most unbelievable liar in all my years as a human, not to mention he looks like a deer in the headlights ready to collapse. I can think of a 100 other things, which are extremely important between our shores needing the attention of our government. Someone please get him out of office....... I am tired of blood for oil and war profiteering.
Posted By Anonymous : 9:32 PM ET
It is propaganda plain and simple. The President acts if he cares about the Iraqi people which we all know is not true. Just who has been taking care of the millions of the Iraqi refugees who fled Iraq for the past four years? What about the money needed right here in the USA for so many problems.

Something to think about is the following.

The Treasury Department stated: “from 1776-2000, the first 224 years of U.S. history, 42 U.S. presidents were loaned a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions, but in the past four years alone, the Bush administration borrowed $1.05 trillion”.

Breaking it down http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/10/3730/
Posted By Princess Mandy : 9:44 PM ET
I listened to the speech before commenting. As Bush's speeches go it was not a bad one. However, just as when we got into this war his rhetoric was long on describing a military solution and short on diplomacy. As westerners and infidels, we are not wanted in the Middle East in any great numbers for any length of time. Reconciliation to us may not mean the same thing as reconciliation in the Middle east and probably doesn't. The speech did nothing to change my mind about that. Any alliances formed now are for convenience and will go away in an instant. Remember how we accepted France's help during the Revolution? We needed it and appreciated it, but then wanted French influence gone.

Let's declare victory and leave. I can't believe I agree with Pat Buchanan, but he queustions why in the heck we are still in Korea. And now we are making that a model for Iraq? God help us.
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 10:01 PM ET
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