First up:Can We Call Him “Hanoi George” Now?
Q Why is he going to Communist Party headquarters?
MR. SNOW: To meet with the Secretary General of the Communist Party. It’s a Communist Party state, it’s a Communist state and he will meet with the head of the party.
Q The last time an American President went to Hanoi, there was some concern about having the President appear with all of the trappings of the Communist Party headquarters — the photos of Ho Chi Minh and so forth. Have you done anything at this point to diminish the optics of this in any particular way, or have you heard any concern from Republicans?
MR. SNOW: No, David, we haven’t.
Pony Blow Don’t Know!
Q What lessons did Americans learn from the Vietnam War and do any of those apply to what’s going on in Iraq now?
MR. SNOW: I think the two situations are not comparable and I don’t want to try — I will let Americans tell you what their various lessons were from Vietnam. That’s far too large a question for me to contemplate, let alone answer.
Your Standard Non-Denial Denial
Q The Guardian had a report yesterday that Bush is considering sending 30,000 additional troops to Iraq for one last push. Does that have any conception of reality?
MR. SNOW: I’m not going to try to characterize anything. We saw the report, but I don’t want to get into the thicket of trying to characterize it. The best thing to do on that is to throw that over to the Pentagon and let them give you the answer.
I believe — and correct me if I’m wrong — The Guardian story was based on at least what they considered a leak about Pentagon ruminations about possible ways forward, at a time when General Pace is conducting a comprehensive review. I think the best thing to do is to let General Pace do that review and provide a report and then we’ll —
Q So it’s just not true?
MR. SNOW: I don’t know.