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Waiting for Karl...

As many of you are aware, yesterday the US government announced another grim milestone in their effort to find and destroy WMDs take the fight to the terrorists establish a beacon of democratic hope in the Middle East try to torture the word "victory" into something that they can apply before the mid-term elections. The Department of Defense announced the 2,500th death to American service personnel in Iraq.

Naturally, after spending his entire first term wrapped in, or hiding behind the uniform, one would like to think that W would have something to say to honour the sacrifices. One would think.

Instead, in yesterday's press briefing, when asked whether the president had any response or reaction to the tally, Tony Snow replied:
It's a number, and every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something. The President would like the war to be over now. Everybody would
like the war to be over now...
He's right of course, it is only a number, the 2,499th soldier killed has family and loved ones left behind just like the 2,500th. However, even jaded me was taken aback by the callous response "every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something". It's as if the "people" were just an annoying kid tugging at your sleeve asking for Froot Loops while you're trying to steer the shopping cart down the aisle.

Further on in the same press conference, Tony was asked:
The President said yesterday, as you remember, that he and Republicans have a record to run on. With regard to Iraq, if you look at our recent poll, the public has in fact rendered judgment about that record. They think the war is a mistake. They trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the situation in Iraq, and they don't think things are going to get better. So does the President have to answer for that record?
The annoying kid in the supermarket has concluded that dad doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, in short. So how does Tony respond to this?
The President will always -- people will have to answer for the records when voters render their judgments, of course. But on the other hand, one thing as you look at the poll data, people want to win the war. They do not want the -- and the President wants to win the war.

The President understands fully what public opinion is, but he also understands what his obligations are as Commander-in-Chief, and he's said that all along. If you allow the polls to dictate, you're not always going to do your job, and what the President is doing is leading as Commander-in-Chief. And he knows that some of these things are unpopular, but he also knows that they are the right things to do.
The people and the President both want to win the war and He knows that it isn't popular. In short, Tony did not address the concensus that the war is a mistake, instead he laid out that old plum that the President wants to win it. I can almost hear him thinking "don't use the 'M' word, don't use the 'M' word"... "Oh yeah, it's unpopular but the right thing to do".

And besides, since (god)father Karl is free again, you'll see the polls turn around on this issue shortly anyway.

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