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View Diary: Gannon/Plame research thread: White House Press Briefings. (171 comments)

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  •  Today's briefing transcript (none)
    1/31/05 Briefing

    Q All this talk about an exit strategy from Iraq begs the question of whether the United States has an exit strategy from other democracies that we've set up around the world. Germany comes to mind, South Korea, Japan, Italy. And I'm wondering -- we have far many more troops deployed around the world in these countries than we do in Iraq. What you think is motivating --

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the Department of Defense is --

    Q -- this idea that we're trying to rip everybody out of Iraq?

    MR. McCLELLAN: The Department of Defense is continuing to move forward on our force posture review and how our -- the configuration of our forces will be around the world to address the threats of the 21st century. But you bring up a very important point. We've seen that the elections in Iraq build upon other recent successful elections in places like Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories. Freedom is on the march in the world, and we want to do everything we can to continue to support that march of freedom because it means a more peaceful world and a more secure America.

    The other question and answer I mentioned.

    Q Why has the President had so much to say about democracy and voting rights in Iraq and absolutely nothing to say about voting rights and democracy in the District of Columbia, the capital of the nation in which he serves as President? And isn't it at least a contradiction, and at most, unbelievably hypocritical, that he's for democracy in Iraq but he is not for democracy right here in the nation's capital?

    MR. McCLELLAN: I think his views have been well known on the District of Columbia. And I think he's stated the reasons why the District was created, and his views are well known. There's nothing to really add to it.

    Q If I could follow up. So the President is for the residents of Baghdad to have representation in their national assembly, but the residents of the nation's capital not to have representation in our national --

    MR. McCLELLAN: His views are well known and, no, I don't draw the same contrast that you are trying to draw.

    Q Why don't you draw -- what's the difference?

    MR. McCLELLAN: I've stated our reasons on Iraq, and I've stated -- and the President has stated his reasons on the District of Columbia. And there's nothing to add to it.

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