9:01 PM: Stumble on the first sentence. He didn’t even get to the “pulling the statue down” segment.
9:02 PM: LOOK! There are books behind him. I sense an air of … smartness…
9:03 PM: “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me”? Where? Like, somewhere else in addition to Iraq?
9:04 PM: First mention, “September 11, 2001”: DRINK!
9:05 PM: “Past efforts” have “failed.” Finally, his academic background has prepared him for something.
9:06 PM: He seems oddly affectless for someone talking about, you know, a failed policy. I would be more assured if he were not speaking in. a. curious. monotone.
9:07 PM: “Why will this effort succeed when previous efforts did not?” Because this time the mission is REALLY accomplished. Actually, he has a point about the rules of engagement being somewhat counterproductive. But so is sending troops into battle without proper body armor.
9:09 PM: “Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering.” Hey, it’s worked for Rupert Murdoch.
9:10 PM: “Debaathification” always makes me think of Peanuts’ PigPen. Only, you know, with more sectarian violence. How many times will we try to kick that football before we give up, huh?
9:12 PM: He said “al Qaeda”! At least three times! DRINK DRINK DRINK! Oh, again! I’m feeling… lightheaded…
9:13 PM: Okay, we’re STILL killing terrorists. Good. I was worried.
9:15 PM: “We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East.” Oh, good, the FULL diplomatic resources. Not like before, when we were fighting with one diplomatic resource tied behind our back.
9:16 PM: “Millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence.” It’s true. Some of them are Americans.
9:18 PM: “Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.” Guess we sort of jumped the gun on that one. And, actually? This victory is starting to look A LOT like his father’s victory.
9:20 PM: Oh so THAT is the new strategy: “If circumstances change, we will adjust.” Brilliant. No, seriously: it’s a radical departure for Mr. STAYTHECOURSE. But, uhm? Name-dropping Lieberman? You need to refresh your Senate social register, dude.
9:22 PM: “We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours.” And the Editor of Freedom, and the Fact-Checker of Justice, and the Special Correspondent of Opportunity, and the Bi-Weekly Columnist of Faith… The WHOLE MASTHEAD OF AMERICA, DAMNIT.
Snap-judgment: ON THE ONE HAND: He’s stopped lying. He didn’t smirk. He admitted that whatever it is we’re doing now (a five-month “surge” of middling surginess) might not work. ON THE OTHER HAND: He did lie.