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Persisting in calling what President Bush is expected to propose in a January 10 prime-time speech a "surge," despite no indication that Bush's expected proposal will be for a short-term increase, CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash reported on the January 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room that Democrats "already said that they oppose a surge in U.S. troops to go to Iraq." Moments later, Bash reported that Democrats were considering "withholding funding for what they call an escalation of the war," suggesting that only the term "escalation" has political overtones, while "surge" does not.
But, as Media Matters for America documented, on the January 5 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider noted that the words "surge" and "escalation" imply different timeframes: " '[S]urge' sounds temporary. ... 'Escalation' sounds long-term." And as CNN correspondent Brian Todd noted later on the January 8 edition of The Situation Room, the administration has not said whether the proposed troop increase has a time limit: "What no one is saying, at the White House or the Pentagon, is how long the new American troops will stay." Yet, by continuing to label Bush's reportedly desired troop increase a "surge," CNN reporters are suggesting the proposal is for a short-term increase.
From the January 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
BASH: Well, [host] Wolf [Blitzer], Democrats had already said that they oppose a surge in U.S. troops to go to Iraq, and what's happening now is what they're -- they're trying to figure out what to do about that.
And what we're hearing is something that had been unthinkable. Democrats are trying to figure out ways to say no to some or part of the $100 billion funding request for the war that they're expecting very soon.
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BASH: Senate Democrats opposed to sending more troops to Iraq are now openly considering using a controversial congressional tool -- withholding funding for what they call an escalation of the war.
TODD: The president prepares to turn the corner. Sources tell CNN he'll line up at least 20,000 more troops for Iraq and will reaffirm his trust in the country's prime minister to go after those doing the sectarian killing.
What no one is saying, at the White House or the Pentagon, is how long the new American troops will stay.
ROMAN MARTINEZ (former Bush adviser): I don't think that it would be wise to announce a sort of a -- you know -- a surge of limited duration that allows everyone to know when the good guys are going to be leaving.