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Col. Jack Jacobs on Bush news conference

President Bush's second news conference of 2006 was noteworthy because of the wide variety of subjects addressed. After a brief opening statement, the president fielded questions on everything from Iraq to Social Security.  You can read the complete transcript here.  We will, of course, have complete coverage on tonight's broadcast, led by White House Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell.

For now, here are the thoughts of retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs, who analyzes military issues for MSNBC. He called "The Daily Nightly" to offer his reaction to the remarks. And when one of just 116 living Congressional Medal of Honor recipients offers his insights, we listen. 


Iraq in civil war
The president's response was not enlightening. Militarily, either it is either an insurgency or a civil war. The administration doesn't want to call it an insurgency because it doesn't want to commit the resources to fight it in the time-proven way. And if it's not a civil war, what is it?

Iran
The president is right that a unified international voice is required, but we won't get it. Russia has too much at stake in Iran to be consistently helpful.

Senior staff changes at the White House
Bush doesn't fire anybody because his management style is inflexible. He lures people he trusts and cedes them an enormous -- actually unlimited -- authority. Exactly the opposite of former President Jimmy Carter, who micromanaged everything.

Should Donald Rumsfeld resign?
He won't, but his performance has not been good as a war fighter. The plan for Iraq was fundamentally flawed, and the current strategy will succeed only by sheer luck.

Ayman al-Zarqawi
Bush still has not learned that personalizing the battle undermines his assertion that this is a worldwide battle against terror. Here's some advice: Stop talking about Zarqawi and never mention Osama bin Laden again.

The threat of censure
Bush has a clever response: "Make my day." And he's right. For a relatively smart politician, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who proposed the censure resolution in Congress, does some pretty foolish things.

Immigration
Bush's plan is only half-baked at this point. Europe's guest worker programs have sown a sociologically catastrophic crop. And making the workers temporary visitors won't work either, since they'll just disappear and stay forever.