Pony Blow Says Surge Opponents Are “Gambling on Failure” — Meaning That They Want The US To Fail In Iraq
Q Well, let me ask you, the President seems resigned to the fact that the House is going to pass this today. What is his position on the conditions on funding that the Democrats — House Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha — are beginning to outline?
MR. SNOW: Well, first, I would not characterize the President’s mood in anything as “resignation.” That’s not the way he approaches things. But he understands that members of the House are moving forward. And right now everybody is playing with numbers about how big the margin is going to be — we’ve heard everything from 12 to 60; we’ll find out.
Q You mentioned the margin of the vote, 12-6. In the end, does it matter what the margin is, Tony?
MR. SNOW: The question is what the margin is; does it matter. I don’t know. Again, members — it’s going to be interesting, because members of Congress have taken their own gamble here. They’re gambling on failure — some members, at least. The President has a plan for success. It’s all aimed at success. And there’s going to be a vote before long where they’re going to have to vote about whether they are going to supply the funds and the flexibility necessary for success. And, remember, in the case of the Senate, the success as defined by the guy that they’ve just appointed as a top general and the CENTCOM commander, who was also approved, and the man who is now the Chairman — the Army Chief of Staff, who also approves of the plan, there are a whole series of folks who they, in fact, approve for their new offices who believe that this is vital.
And so, ultimately, members — this is “a non-binding resolution.” But what we’re afraid of is that this is, in fact, going to serve as a precursor for cutting off our troops.
Q What do you mean, “gambling on failure”?
MR. SNOW: I mean because all of a sudden, it’s — suppose suddenly that you start to see signs of success. Then are these members going to come out and say, you know what, we were wrong — they’re going to have another resolution?
The American People Are Way Ahead Of Congress And The President
Q The question is, does the debate about supporting the troops obscure the real debate that Americans want to have, which is, increase the number there, or start to bring them home?
MR. SNOW: You know what, we’d love to bring them home. We’d love to bring them home. We’d love to — no, let me continue. But what you have is somebody framing a debate as if the rest of the world didn’t exist — as if Iran didn’t exist, as if al Qaeda didn’t exist, as if the terror network didn’t exist, as if the oil fields did not exist, as if this could not set — as if Israel didn’t exist, as if Hamas, Hezbollah did not exist.
Q His point was that, yes, they understand all that.
MR. SNOW: No, the source — no, the source’s point is to ignore all that and not —
Q Well, actually, I had the conversation with the source, so the source’s point was — the source’s point was, yes, they’re aware, Americans are aware of all of that; they’re looking at it and saying, you know what, we still want to bring the troops home.
MR. SNOW: You know what, the President — the President understands that to operate under those circumstances is to invite bloodshed on a level that is absolutely appalling, not only in Iraq, but possibly in the United States of America. And if this offends your source, okay. Your source, I’m sure, means well, but the President also is absolutely determined to keep this country safe and do what’s best for Americans. That is his job.
Pony Blow Is Wrong? Not Surprising. The White House Admits That Pony Blow Is Wrong? Surprising!
Q Thank you, Tony. A few inquiries about the reported dissent on the North Korean treaty within the administration. You spoke yesterday about Elliott Abrams’ emails when I asked you about it. Now, I am told that there are at least two people within the Executive Office of the President, one at the same level as Mr. Abrams, one a step higher, who also have the same questions and doubts about the North Korean treaty.
MR. SNOW: Who are they?
Q Well, I’m not going to say the names — (inaudible) that there were others.
MR. SNOW: Not that I’m aware of.
Q All right. Do you expect any resignations over this?
MR. SNOW: No. Again, you talk about an over-hyped story. Elliott asked the question: Do we have credibility when it comes to — to make sure that the North Koreans will earn it if they are delisted as a terror state? And the answer is, yes, they’re going to have to earn it. There is a process by doing it, and you have to go through certain things, such as, stop being a sponsor of terrorism.
Q All right. Well why do his emails — his inquiries, wind up in the newspaper, then?
MR. SNOW: Because somebody broke the law.*
* The Press Secretary was in error. This instance was not a violation of the law.
Pony Blow Don’t Know If Muqtada al Sadr Is A “Significant Player” In Iraq
Q Can I just follow up on Jim and Kelly’s question about al Sadr? I mean, wouldn’t you concede, Tony, that the skepticism about — some of the skepticism about the President’s Iraq plan centers on the Prime Minister’s ability to reign in militias, including those followers of Muqtada al Sadr. So you’re saying it should not be viewed as any kind of glaring omission that the President and the Prime Minister did not talk about al Sadr or his whereabouts?
MR. SNOW: Yes, because they’re talking about success. Am I reading this wrong? It did not seem to me that the recent stories about al Sadr were designed to demonstrate strength on his part. I don’t — maybe I read them wrong, but without getting into the merits of them, the fact is that the Prime Minister is succeeding and the Iraqi public is building confidence because he’s delivering on what he said.
And so when you’re trying to sort of portray this as al Sadr versus somebody else — look, this is a guy who is still trying to make choices, I think, and has to make a choice about where he’s going to be.
Q Is he still a significant player?
MR. SNOW: I don’t know. I don’t know how you assess that. It’s a good question. I’m not sure I have an answer.
Finally, In A Very Special Edition Of Your Daily Les, Kinsolving Regurgitates One Of Chimpy’s Talking Points — And Pony Blow COntradicts Him!
George W. Bush, February 14, 2007:
When General Petraeus’ nomination was considered three weeks ago, the United States Senate voted unanimously to confirm him, and I appreciated that vote by the senators. And now members of the House of Representatives are debating a resolution that would express disapproval of the plan that General Petraeus is carrying out.
Les Kinsolving, today:
Q Thank you, Tony. Two questions. Can you recall any other case in American history where the United States Senate unanimously voted to approve a general to top command in a war zone and then passed a resolution opposing what that general has stated that he has been ordered to be there to do?
MR. SNOW: Les, I’m unaware of that, but I don’t want that to be definitive because I don’t have full knowledge.
Q You don’t know any other generals?
MR. SNOW: No, unless George Washington, I don’t know.
Q George Washington was —
MR. SNOW: He ended up paying expenses out of pocket, as you recall. The Continental Congress, lacking the funds for fulfilling, I believe George Washington, if you go back and look, was paying for clothing and supplies for his own men out of his own pocket.
Q But he was reimbursed.
MR. SNOW: Well, no, he took a dollar a year, I believe.
Q No, no, I think you’re wrong. (Laughter.)
MR. SNOW: I am wrong. He took no pay. That’s correct.