Battle Of The Beltway--Woodward Confronts Brooks For Making Up S*&t

David Brooks does with so many pundits do....Make stuff up...Case in point...Meet the Press. Even Timmeh got a piece... [media id=1914] [media id=19

woodward-brooks.jpg David Brooks does with so many pundits do....Make stuff up...Case in point...Meet the Press. Even Timmeh got a piece...

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MR. WOODWARD: And the problem, though, is, we don’t know. People can say, “Oh, it’s going to be a disaster.”

MR. BROOKS: Uh-huh.

MR. WOODWARD: I mean, you cite numbers which you have pulled out of the air of 10,000 dying. I mean, that’s—that—where does that come from?

MR. BROOKS: It’s based on this unknown. I don’t think there’s any possibility that within five years that we’re going to see a drastic diminution of violence. So we could be losing 125 Americans every month for five years.

MR. WOODWARD: I mean, that’s just...

MR. BROOKS: On the other hand...

MR. WOODWARD: ...politically impossible.

MR. BROOKS: But, but—so you think OK, get out.

MR. WOODWARD: No.

MR. BROOKS: On the other hand, if we leave...

MR. WOODWARD: Glide plane.

MR. BROOKS: Well, if we leave, we could see 250,000 Iraqis die. You had the John Burns’ quotation earlier in the program. So are we willing to prevent 10,000 Iraqi deaths a month at the cost of 125 Americans? That’s a tough moral issue, but it’s also a tough national interest issue because we don’t know what the consequences of getting out are. And the frustration of watching the debate in Washington, very few people are willing to, to grapple with those two facts, that there’s—that the surge will not work in the short-term, but getting out will be cataclysmic. And you see politicians on both sides evading one of those two facts. But you’ve got to grapple with them both.

MR. HAYES: And, and one of the things that the president said at this discussion that David was at, and I was at as well, was that he intends to make the case that, “Look, this is going to be a disaster if we get out.” He didn’t say it in exactly those terms, but he’s going to start making, in many cases, the negative case. “Look at what Iraq will look like if we leave. We have a moral obligation to the Iraqis to stay.”

MR. WOODWARD: And the problem, though, is, we don’t know. People can say, “Oh, it’s going to be a disaster.”

MR. BROOKS: Uh-huh.

MR. WOODWARD: I mean, you cite numbers which you have pulled out of the air of 10,000 dying. I mean, that’s—that—where does that come from?

MR. BROOKS: Well, A, it comes from John Burns. Second, it comes from the national intelligence...

MR. WOODWARD: Well, no, he doesn’t say 10,000.

MR. BROOKS: Well, no, no, but it talks about genocide.

MR. WOODWARD: Yeah.

MR. BROOKS: So I just picked that 10,000 out of the air.

MR. WOODWARD: OK, but that—we’ve got...

MR. RUSSERT: But, David Brooks, you, you will hear a lot of people will say, you know, “The administration has made misjudgments before about WMD, about the level of troops needed, about being greeted as liberators. They could be wrong about what would flow from a redeployment of American troops.”

MR. BROOKS: Absolutely they could be wrong. And, and so we’ve—and, and it could be that peace will break out. But I think, if you look at Iraq, you see four or five civil wars going on at once. You see Shia fighting each other. You see the Sunni-Shia thing. It could be that there’s—this is just a process they need to go through, and there’s no way we can stop it in any case. Joe Biden was very honest this week. He said it’s a moral failure if we leave, but we’re going to have to do it. That at least is grappling with the issue.

MR. RUSSERT: Steve, I want to read a quote from your book in a second.

But, Bob Woodward, last week on this program I cited a piece you wrote in The Washington Post about the head of the CIA, General Hayden, ranking threats to Iraq security, and had al-Qaeda last. Senior intelligence officials sent us a statement saying, “He was not rank ordering the causes of violence. He does not list al-Qaeda last.”

MR. WOODWARD: Well, he list—at that moment, he listed it last. And that’s, and that’s all I said. And clearly there’s a debate about whether it’s al-Qaeda, is it sectarian violence, is it criminality, is it all of these things. The point is, in, in that report, it was General Hayden saying late last year that the situation of the government governing seems irreversible. Now, that is a giant word. Irreversible, meaning we can’t change it whether, he said, in the short run or in the long run. via MTP


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