Jewish World Review March 10, 2003 / 6 Adar II 5763
Administration heavyweights complete President's press conference
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice hit the talk shows to amplify President Bush's terse answers at his Thursday night press conference.
When all was said and done, little was added to the President's words.
Secretary Powell, although non-committal, said he thought the US had "a strong chance" of gathering nine votes in the Security Council for a new resolution. On Meet the Press, Powell addressed questions the President avoided at his press conference, such as why public opinion was against the Administration. "War is always unpopular," replied the Secretary. "We are getting the kind of support we need."
Rice faced tougher questioning than Powell in her two appearances. The usually unflappable Rice almost appeared to bristle at questioning and interruptions by The New York Times' Tom Friedman on Face the Nation. Friedman proclaimed he had traveled around the world seven times with Secretary of State Jim Baker before the first Gulf War and wanted to know why members of this Bush Administration had not traveled as widely. Rice replied, "It's not as if Secretary Powell and others have spent insufficient time with their colleagues."
This Week host George Stephanopolous also aggressively questioned Rice, but did not raise her hackles, even when he demanded to know why heads of state should not travel to the UN for the vote on a new resolution. Rice said that idea "made no sense." She declined to speculate for Stephanopolous whether the US had nine votes, or what the US would do if Saddam Hussein closed Iraqi airports to block UN weapon inspectors from leaving before hostilities commenced.
Last week, Stephanopolous interviewed the French foreign minister; his guest this week was the Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien. Chretien advocated a version of the late Senator George Aiken's Vietnam withdrawal formulation: the US has already won against Saddam.
On The News Hour, The Weekly Standard's David Brooks declared that there was "legitimate" Democratic criticism of Bush, but no "counter policy." Fox's Tony Snow claimed that Democratic leaders, with a few exceptions, were ducking the Sunday talk shows and refusing to debate the war publicly.
Into that breach stepped former Vermont Governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean. He was grilled on Iraq and other issues by Tim Russert on Meet the Press, although an inordinate amount of time was spent on the meaning of "unilateral." Dean's defended calling the Bush policy unilateral because Tom Friedman had used the word, but conceded it was not completely accurate. Dean's counter policy appeared to be tripling inspectors, keeping the troops in place, and lowering the rhetoric. He believes Saddam Hussein is contained and noted that the Soviet Union was contained for 50 years.
Dean continued to maintain that North Korea was a greater threat to the US. He called for bilateral talks with the North Koreans. They had to agree to freeze the nuclear program and the US would agree not to attack.
QUIP OF THE WEEK
ACKNOWLEDGED OVERSTATEMENT OF THE WEEK
HUME ON HELEN
GREAT MOMENTS IN POLITICAL POSITIONING
GREAT MOMENTS IN PUNDITRY
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