Monday, October 23, 2006

Tonight I'm gonna (Rock you tonight)

It would be funny if it didn't involve about 3,000 people a month dying in Iraq, but here was White House Press Secretary Tony Snow deflecting a question about the failed mission to pacify Baghdad --

Q Tony, I remember a few months ago, we were in the East Room, and Maliki was there, we were talking about the plan to secure Baghdad. And maybe this is a kind of more specific version of what we've been asking. That plan, is it going to be changed drastically? Is the President satisfied? Is it what was expected when the plan was put out?

MR. SNOW: Are you talking about Operation Forward Together -- or Together Forward?

In fact, the current name for this operation is, apparently, "Together Forward II", a name which wouldn't lose much in terms of credibility if you added "Electric Boogaloo" after it.

UPDATE 2 FEBRUARY: The Operation has now been relegated to one that dare not speak its name; Stephen Hadley in a briefing about the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) --

But what we found was, while the initial response [after Samarrah mosque bombing] was good, we began to see the kind of mobilization in the Shia community and the beginnings of retaliation of Shia on Sunni, and Sunni on Shia. And that is talked about very clearly in the NIE.

Q And that wasn't anticipated by the administration?

MR. HADLEY: We did, and we had two security plans, efforts -- because, of course, as you know, most of this is focused in Baghdad; about 80 percent of sectarian violence is within 30 miles of Baghdad. And we took two bites at that apple in terms of Iraq security plans, phase one, phase two. And the truth is, as we've said very clearly, they did not work. And it did not bring down the violence.

FINAL UPDATE: Naming follies with the successor operation.

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