Q The governor of Kansas, in the wake of the tornadoes, has talked about the fact that she can't get equipment into the areas that have been ravaged because the equipment is now over in Iraq. What type of help is the federal government going to provide?I love the "answer a question by raising a question" tactic here. Given the photos I've seen of the small Kansas town flattened by the disaster, if there is any one else left, they would be asking, and shouldn't need to ask. Don't you think the help should come regardless, not at the behest of some official doing some asking?
MR. SNOW: Well, first, take a look at whether such help has been requested. But what I would do is I would ask you to go ahead to DOD for really the specific answers about that. But there's been an enormous amount of help on the scene already, frankly, when it comes to what's been going on with the tornado. FEMA has certainly been actively engaged, and the administration is doing whatever it can. And if there's a need for equipment, it's going to be arrived -- it will arrive.
As you know, there are prepositioning points throughout the country for National Guard and other equipment in the case of emergency. So some of those plans, again, if called upon, are going to be put into motion. But I just can't tell you precisely how it goes. And in order to get -- the best way to get an accurate response is to call DOD on that one.
Even so, if nothing else, Katrina taught us not to rely too heavily on FEMA to get anything done, particularly if you have a Democrat in charge of any particular area.
But surely, if the missing equipment isn't deployable to Kansas, it must be doing some good in Iraq, no?
The White House warning came on a day when 25 people were killed near Ramadi in two suicide bombings police blamed on al Qaeda. They were the latest in a string of big car bombings across Iraq in recent weeks that have killed hundreds despite a U.S.-backed security crackdown in Baghdad and outlying areas.Oh, great, more casualties. That sounds like a winning strategy. No wonder Bush is polling below thirty these days in some polls.
"We are getting to the point now with the Baghdad security plan where there is going to be real engagement in tougher neighborhoods and you're likely to see escalating levels of casualties," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.
But there is always the tried and true spanking of the Nine Eleven Monkey that has gotten the W, Rove and Co support before. Will it work again?
Q Are you saying we want this war, the American people want this war?Yes we have, but you and the whole of the W, Rove and Co are clearly not getting the message. The American people are tired of having our troops killed for your adventure and grand experiment with Iraq. Phase withdrawal looks like a good option.
MR. SNOW: No, the American people don't want this war, but they --
Q Well, you say the will -- they had the will?
MR. SNOW: Helen, the American people also do not want the Middle East in flames. They do not want millions of people dying. They do not want the economic dislocation, the geopolitical danger that would be ignited should, in fact, Zawahiri and others get their way. Americans still remember September 11th; they remember the fear it inspired --
Q But the Iraqis had nothing to do with it.
MR. SNOW: I understand that. But on the other hand, al Qaeda now has decided to make Iraq the central front. And it's pretty clear --
Q We decided that.
MR. SNOW: No, I don't think so. But --
MR. SNOW: We've gone through this many times.