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  • Webb Blog

    Convention thoughts from Tom Webb

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    "Unwinnable," revisited 

    The partisan back-and-forth is continuing about President Bush's remark about the war on terrorism, "I don't think you can win it." On Tuesday Bush gave a much more spirited version to the American Legion convention, saying "We are winning, and we will win."

    Now Democrats are reminding everyone how Republican operatives lashed out this spring after a Democrat from Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, said, "the direction (of the war in Iraq has) got to be changed or it's unwinnable."

    Among the GOP attackers was U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who said on May 19, "In a world of instantaneous global communication, we need to be very sensitive to what we say.... We should be very careful not to encourage our enemies. This war is winnable, but if insurgents heard his words, it was harder to win than before he spoke."

    Coleman's remarks were rather mild, compared with the words from Rep. Tom DeLay, the House Republican leader: ""In a calculated and craven political stunt, the national Democrat Party declared its surrender in the war on terror.. It tells our enemies that if it's unwinnable to us, it's winnable to them."

    Tom Webb

    Tom Webb is the Washington correspondent for the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. He can be reached at

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