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Tony Snow: What Message Are We Sending?

4:05 PM, May 1, 2007 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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McQ of QandO asked for some indication of what the White House would be looking for in the next bill. But Snow demurred, saying that he did not want to try to negotiate ahead of time. The president would insist on a measure that did not tie the hands of the generals and did not undermine the Iraqi government. The real question he asserted, is what the Democrats would do--would they support the troops and a chance at victory?

Mark Finkelsten at Newsbusters offered a chance to slam George Tenet over his recent book, but Snow didn't rise to the bait. He noted that Tenet had a difficult job and had tried to do it well; that his famous promise of a 'slam dunk' merely represented the considered view of all the agencies that looked at the question of Iraqi WMD. He also pointed out something that few have commented on: that the book has nothing about the White House pressuring analysts to conclusions about WMD, or 'cooking' data. There were undoubtedly many on the left who would have liked to find that, but it's not there.

When asked by a Human Events writer about the report that the Iraqi parliament would take two months off this summer, Snow said that the U.S. government is communicating to the Iraqi regime the importance of making progress on key priorities--such as the oil law. He said that a message has been sent clearly that the patience of the American people is not unlimited.

When Hawkins of Right Wing News asked whether Harry Reid should resign for having said that the war is lost, Snow again demurred--saying that that was up to Reid's Democratic colleagues. He chose to point out, instead, that the main point is how out of sync Reid's comments are with those of the people who are reporting back from Iraq. In fact, re-enlistment rates are now higher he said, among those who have fought in combat than those who have not.

Robert Bluey asked what can be done to get the message out about the pork in this bill, and Snow said (among other things) that it's important just to have fun with it.