During the press conference today, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow blindly defended the President’s “surge strategy” and inexplicably argued that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) supports the policy. “If you look at what Senator Lugar has said about the surge so far, he says that it’s working,” said Snow. “His comments indicate that he thinks it’s working.” Watch it:
In reality, two weeks ago, Lugar issued a sharp rebuke of the President’s “surge strategy.” On the floor of the U.S. Senate he specifically stated that the Bush administration’s “surge” is failing:
In my judgment, the current surge strategy is not an effective means of protecting [U.S.] interests. Its prospects for success are too dependent on the actions of others who do not share our agenda. It relies on military power to achieve goals that it cannot achieve. It distances allies that we will need for any regional diplomatic effort. Its failure, without a careful transition to a back-up policy would intensify our loss of credibility. It uses tremendous amounts of resources that cannot be employed in other ways to secure our objectives. And it lacks domestic support that is necessary to sustain a policy of this type.
While Lugar has yet to agree to act on his rhetoric, it is laughable for the White House to suggest that Lugar’s comments — and the comments of several other prominent conservatives — are any sort of endorsement of the President’s policies in Iraq.
QUESTION: And what does the president say to Republicans like Senator Lugar who say we can’t wait? What is his response…
SNOW: Again, I’m just not sure Senator Lugar is saying we can’t wait. What he’s saying is he’s concerned about the political atmosphere in this country and he’s trying to make sure that we don’t rip ourselves apart politically short of achieving the goals.
If you look at what Senator Lugar has said about the surge so far, he says that it’s working. His comments indicate that he thinks it’s working.
What he’s a little concerned about is the political atmosphere in this country, whether we can hold it together long enough to go ahead and give the surge an opportunity to demonstrate what the men and women of our military, what the men and women who are contractors, men and women working for the State Department and other departments and agencies of the federal government, whether they’re going to have an opportunity to demonstrate what their efforts have yielded in the last couple months.