CBS' Katie Couric (no link) asked the most pointed questions of the two chairmen. She reminded Hamilton that Bush had pledged to keep US troops deployed in Iraq indefinitely. "Is the President's guarantee wrongheaded?" "That is not the way to phrase it," Hamilton demurred, while agreeing. Couric asked Baker about the report's laundry list of proposals. "Is it possible that even if all 79 recommendations are implemented this thing is lost?" "There is no guarantee of success."
NBC's Brian Williams focused on the civic crisis that Iraq represents for the United States. He quoted Hamilton's declaration--"Our Ship of State has hit rough waters"--and called it "almost heartbreaking." As for the President, Williams wondered whether Baker was not asking him "to do a 180 on more than one issue, some of his basic tenets?" "Presidents have done 180s in the past," the former Secretary of State and former White House Chief of Staff replied.
ABC's Charles Gibson concentrated on Iraq instead. "Do you honestly think that the very deep Sunni-Shia-Kurd divisions can be overcome with a central Iraqi government?" he asked Hamilton. "We do not know for sure."
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