Snow: Don't give al-Qaida recruiting tool

Feb. 18, 2007 at 1:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- White House spokesman Tony Snow concedes "things" went wrong for the U.S. war effort in Iraq, appearing to reverse his stance of a few days ago.

Earlier, in response to a question about whether prewar planning was overly optimistic, Snow had said, "I'm not sure anything went wrong."

But Snow told NBC's Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" Sunday that "things" indeed went wrong in Iraq, though he refused to give ground on the need for the war.

"Yeah, of course (things went wrong), it's a war," Snow said. "Things always go wrong. As a matter of fact, it happens in every war. But I tell you, you want something to go wrong? Have the United States leave before the job is done in Iraq and ... give al-Qaida the biggest recruiting tool of all, which is to say, 'We made the Americans leave.'"

Snow also said he and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are on the same page about Iran's responsibility for sophisticated new explosives in Iraq.

Pace had said there was no absolute proof the Iranian government was directing the new explosives to the Iraq insurgency. Snow said he and Pace agree now intelligence units of the Revolutionary Guard, under the command of the government, were supplying the explosives.

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