Q Scott, can we get a clear “yes” or “no” answer on whether the President agrees on the Vice President’s assessment that the insurgency is in “its last throes?” Is it a “yes” or “no”?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think I already answered this question the last couple of days.
Q Is it “yes” or is it “no”?
MR. McCLELLAN: And I’ve talked about it the last couple of days. If you look — if you look at the terrorists and the regime elements that are seeking to derail the transition to democracy, they are in a desperate mode, and here’s why. Let me walk you through this.
First of all, I think, to begin with, you ought to go back and look back at the full context of the Vice President’s remarks, where he talked about the progress we’re making to go after and capture al Qaeda elements that are inside Iraq — like Zarqawi lieutenants. Just last week, we captured one of his top lieutenants, a very dangerous man who is responsible for the killing of a lot of innocent civilians inside Iraq…
So I think you have to look at the facts on the ground. And the facts on the ground show that the Iraqi people are making important progress on the political front to build a free and democratic future. The vision of the terrorists is one of chaos and destruction. They really have no vision. Their only alternative is chaos and destruction and the killing of innocent civilians.
And that’s what I talked about yesterday. They, every step of the way, have not been able to stop the progress that the Iraqi people are making on the political front. And they are being defeated and they will be defeated.
Q So that’s a “yes”?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I said that. I said that the other day.
–White House press briefing transcript, June 21, 2005.
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(More updates on Yamara and our unofficial webcomics poll taken at MoCCA, soon– been a helacious couple of weeks–)