I was watching MSNBC about five minutes ago before I was inspired to come write this.
In the particular segment I was watching, one woman was kind of snidely praising Obama for finally coming to Iraq to see what the situation was like before really deciding on a timeline. I believe she used the words "talk to the troops."
Hello, this is the 21st Century! If Juan Cole can label his mideast affairs blog Informed Comment from the safety of Ann Arbor, Barack can certainly make a decision from America. After all, George Bush went to Iraq with a fake turkey to photo op with the troops. Do you think he cared what the situation on the ground was? I understand it's necessary to visit foreign soil, but at the same time, if someone wants to talk to the troops, well Doonesbury has a blog where soldiers can post, most soldiers have webcams or other forms of communication, etc. And then the whole point of the troops themselves. Does a higher up need to talk to the regulars to see what morale and such is like? absolutely, but Obama's not there to ask GI Joe what he thinks about a 10 month timetable. He's there to talk to commanders.
After I thought about all this, the Republican talking point lady infuriated me into turning off the TV by saying "we don't even know if he meant a timetable." If I'm correct, the post below this one discusses Maliki's desire for a timetable. I read in Informed Comment on friday that Maliki meant a timetable.
I really want to start a no-spin zone show where the liar gets an electric shock or something. If you say something, it will be fact-checked. Welcome to the internet generation.