"An Interesting Construct"
Bush, who has always said that the United States is headed for victory in Iraq, conceded yesterday what Gates, Powell and most Americans in polls have already concluded. "An interesting construct that General Pace uses is: We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said, referring to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs chairman, who was spotted near the Oval Office before the interview. "There's been some very positive developments. . . . [But] obviously the real problem we face is the sectarian violence that needs to be dealt with."If a President Clinton, Gore, or Kerry parsed verb tenses similarly almost four years into a war, what would be the reaction from the Titular Right?
Asked yesterday about his "absolutely, we're winning" comment at an Oct. 24 news conference, the president recast it as a prediction rather than an assessment. "Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win," he said.