Appearing on CNN's Late Edition, White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow repeatedly defended the President's strategy in Iraq and called on Congress to pass funding without restrictions to support it.
"What I would say to members of Congress is: Calm down and take a look at what's going on, and ask yourself a simple question: If you support the troops, would you deny them the reinforcements they think are necessary to complete the mission?'"
So, I guess I would have to answer his question with a question; When did the troops start setting the war strategy? And, if the addition of the reinforcements "they think are necessary to complete the mission" results in only temporary reductions in ethnic tensions and violence, will the White House then blame the troops for the mistake?
Or, perhaps, by "troops" Snow was referring to General Petraeus. Congress unanimously confirmed this general knowing that his orders are to implement the same mixture of tactical and strategic elements which have failed repeatedly over the course of the last four years. When, a year from now, it is impossible to sustain these troop levels and the civil conflict surges, will he join the ranks of Generals Casey and Abizaid - relieved of duty then promoted? I have no idea what the Senate was thinking when they cast their votes to confirm Gen Petraeus but again, Petraeus does not set policy.
It is a familiar and, by now, transparent pattern; give your subordinates their orders then claim you are only giving them what they need to complete "their" mission. The White House is doing everything they can to dodge responsibility for the decisions they are making.
I wonder how the troops feel about that.