Sunday, October 29, 2006

In a recent Wolf Blitzer/Michael Ware exchange:
BLITZER: The president flatly said today the United States is winning. We're winning, he said, in this war in Iraq. From your point of view, does it look like the U.S. is winning right now?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president's remarks are absolutely striking, Wolf.

I mean I would very much like to ask President Bush how he defines winning, because on the ground here, it looks like anything but.

Given the state of chaos, given the near civil war, given the rising tempo of the Sunni insurgency, given the increasing influence, as Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad pointed out, of Iran and, to a lesser degree, Syria, I would like to know how the president defines victory.

So far in this war, what we have seen with the way things have developed is that two of America's greatest enemies are the only beneficiaries of this conflict -- al Qaeda, which 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say has become stronger, not weaker, as a result of this war. So the very thing the president says he came here to prevent, he has fostered.

And the other one is Iran. Iran's sphere of influence once stopped at Saddam's border. Now, they have great sway not only in southern Iraq, but within the central government, arguably, more sway than the United States.

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