Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Helen & Tony show


Q Would the administration agree to a referendum in Iraq to see what the people really want?


Q Why?

MR. SNOW: The federal Constitution does not permit for such referenda.

Q Why? We are a conqueror. We should be asking the people, do they really want us there.

MR. SNOW: Helen.

Q Yes, sir.

MR. SNOW: Do you believe -- well, no, you will scold me for asking a question, so I will not. I will phrase my question in the form of an answer.

Q You know, best defense is offense, is that your whole approach?

MR. SNOW: No, my --

Q I'm asking you a very --

MR. SNOW: No, my approach is to -- well, you're asking a simple question that actually has some fairly complex precedents in the terms of the advisability or possibility of a national --

Q You keep saying that they want us there --

MR. SNOW: Helen, Helen, Helen.

Q Put it to a test.

MR. SNOW: Helen, no war is popular. No war is popular.

Q That's not the answer.

MR. SNOW: If you had done -- no, it is -- no, that is an absolutely accurate answer.

Q Nobody wants --

MR. SNOW: If you had asked in 1864 -- I'll go back to the Civil War -- the referendum would have failed and Abraham Lincoln would have failed.

Q How do you know that?

MR. SNOW: Go back and read, just a little history will tell you.

Q Who won the war?

MR. SNOW: You had Republican senators trooping up to the White House telling the President that he needed the cut a separate deal, that he needed to dispatch emissaries to speak with Jefferson Davis and his heirs and assigns.

Q -- the Civil War?

MR. SNOW: Well, I'm just telling you -- I'm trying to make the larger point, and it is getting sort of ludicrous, about the fact that wars are, of course, unpopular, but the important thing to understand is --

Q A referendum is ludicrous?

MR. SNOW: No, no, I'm saying that when we get too deep into historic analogies -- but if you'll permit me to finish an answer, I will let you ask a follow-up question. The point here is that the President understands that a war is unpopular. He also understands that it's necessary. And you can frame questions in a lot of ways -- if you did a referendum to say, will Americans -- do you want to succeed in Iraq; do you want democracy in Iraq; would you like terror on your shores; do you believe that al Qaeda wishes to kill Americans, and if it does, do you want to fight them there or here?

Q Do you want an American military occupation in Iraq. That's the question.

MR. SNOW: Okay, well, you may ask it. Thank you.

What Snow leaves out is Lincoln DID INDEED try to cut a deal, several times. The last offer was to (a) provide the South total amnesty (b) Federal government would compensate slaveholders fair market value for their slaves (c) Federal government would declare war on Cuba in a few years and Jeff Davis would be assigned to lead the Army as a method of national reconciliation, and providing Davis a boost into the presidency.

Davis gave the proposal a thumbs down.

Source: Bruce Chadwick's The Two American Presidents (which has been found to have some problems)