Wow. Someone actually had the nerve to mention the ever-increasing U.S. casualty count today. But, while both the road to Jordan and the road to the Baghdad International Airport in the hands of the insurgents, Little Scottie is still in la-la land.
Q Can I ask you, the number of U.S. casualties spiked last month to, I think, 134. Should Americans brace for this level of violence through the Iraqi elections? Or is this because of the Fallujah offensive?
MR. McCLELLAN: There were tremendous sacrifices for the efforts to bring stability to the Fallujah area, both Iraqi forces, as well as American forces. We’re all working together to bring about stability throughout Iraq, so that we can move forward on elections at the end of January. And the Iraqi election commission has set the date for January 30th, and we are all committed to helping the Iraqis move forward to hold these elections. But we’ve always said that as we move closer to elections and move forward on building a democratic Iraq, that the terrorists and the Saddam holdouts would become more desperate and seek to derail that transition.
What we are seeing is that they are being defeated, but we cannot forget the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who are partnering with the Iraqi people to prevail in this central front in the war on terrorism.
Q Sounds like you’re bracing Americans to hold tight, it could be this bad for a couple more months.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the President has talked — the President has regularly spoken about what we are working to achieve in Iraq, what we are working with the international community to achieve in Iraq. And coalition forces are there, partnering closely with the Iraqi forces to build a brighter future for the Iraqi people. And certainly that is critical — a free and peaceful Iraq is critical to making the world a safer and better place.
Q Does the President —
MR. McCLELLAN: And we always remember the sacrifices of our men and women in the military are helping to make the world a better place.