In Baghdad, General Caldwell [the senior spokesman for the American military in Iraq] said that violence had begun to return to some of the areas that had been the focus of the crackdown, as Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda “push back.”Wow. You mean if you secure a neighborhood and then pull out of it, the enemy strikes that neigbhorhood again just to make you look bad? And conditions change after you withdraw? Sorta like, I dunno, Vietnam? What do you say, Tony Snow?:
He said their strategy seemed to be that “if you want to discredit this government, go back and strike at those areas” that officials have announced as newly peaceful.
He said that American forces had recently returned to the Dora neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad, which had been held up as one of the prime successes of the crackdown.
“Obviously the conditions under which we started are not the same today,” General Caldwell said.
In earlier statements, General Caldwell and other American commanders had called for patience, saying that the crackdown would take time to produce results.
General Caldwell did not explain what conditions had changed or say what new approaches were under consideration.
Q Does the President still think that Iraq is a winning issue for Republicans, and can you elaborate on what he was talking about yesterday in the Stephanopoulos interview about linking -- comparing it with the Tet Offensive?Oh, and a vote for a Democratic Congress is a vote for the terrorists. No, really:
MR. SNOW: Well, let's back up. We'll do the Tet Offensive question first. That comparison was made by Tom Friedman. That was a question about a column that Tom Friedman wrote. And the President was making a point that he's made before, which is that terrorists try to exploit pictures and try to use the media as conduits for influencing public opinion in the United States. And as Lieutenant General Caldwell said today in his briefing in Baghdad, it is possible, although we don't have a clear pathway into the minds of terrorists, it is possible that they are trying to use violence right now as a way of influencing the elections.
The Republican Party will begin airing a hard-hitting ad this weekend that warns of more cataclysmic terror attacks against the U.S. homeland.And this would be why:
The ad portrays Osama bin Laden and quotes his threats against America dating to February 1998. "These are the stakes," the ad concludes. "Vote November 7."
Asked who they planned to vote for in the congressional election, 37 percent of those polled said Republicans and 52 percent said Democrats. The 15 percent difference was the highest disparity ever in the poll and up from a 9-point difference a month ago, NBC said.As NPR pointed out yesterday, the Tet Offensive of 1968 is when public opinion turned dramatically, and irrevocably, against the war. By the way, Mr. Snow, "winning" means "not losing." Which is what we are doing in Iraq.