In an exclusive interview today, President Bush told Wolf Blitzer that he "rejects the notion that [Iraq] is in civil war" and that he "can't learn it from the newscasts" and instead trusts "the commanders on the ground" for their assessments. Soledad O'Brien, sitting in for Paula Zahn, asks Baghdad Correspondent Michael Ware how he perceives the situation on the ground. Ware, who always tells it like it is, finds it laughable that Bush cites General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad as reliable sources for honest assessments, saying that: "These are men who could not be more divorced from the Iraqi reality.
They very much live within a bubble. Be it physically within the Green Zone or be it within the bubble of heavy US protection. This is true even for their advisors, and for the commanders and the American soldiers....It's very different than living amongst [the Iraqis]." So, instead of listening to people like Ware who are actually embedded with the Iraqi people themselves, the President relies on the judgment of military commanders and US ambassadors who travel with Secret Service-like protection within the fortified 'Green Zone'. Of course Casey and Khalilzad -- and, thus, President Bush -- don't see civil war; they're all out of touch with the true "Iraqi reality". How can the President possibly maintain that Iraq is not in civil war even in the face of US Military reports like this? Hear no civil war, see no civil war, speak no civil war, I guess..?
(guest blogged by Mike L)