GREGORY: But if you're talking about the number of troops necessary, the level of American casualties, the force and intensity of the insurgency. . . did the president mislead the American people about the cost of the war or was he just simply surprised by what happened?
The primary questions that the Downing Street Memos raise are not about the cost of war (although the lack of planning for the post-war environment does come up), but about the case for war. The question I would have asked is whether or not the president mislead the American people and their elected representatives in Congress about the case for war. Let's start there, before we advance to all the other choices this administration made about the war.
ROVE: I would go back to the president's statements over the last several years and I would defy you to find one speech which he talked about Iraq where he doesn't say there would be difficult times ahead, that we had a long road to hope that a great deal of sacrifice was going to be called for by both the American people and by the Iraqis to achieve this goal. Look, we do not underestimate the ferocity and the anger and the viciousness of the people that we face. We are in a war. Some people may treat it as a law enforcement matter and be worried about indictments from the U.S. attorney from the southern district of New York. But we recognize this administration and the American people we are in a war and the only way you have a successful outcome in the war is to aim for a complete and total victory, which is exactly what we're doing.
Really? So what was this all about?
The issue is not what the Bush administration SAYS. Look at what they DO. Their actions reveal how much planning was put into a post-war Iraq - little to none, and all piss-poor. Their actions reveal how they view 9/11 - 3,000 Americans murdered is just an opportunity to pursue their craven foreign policy. Their actions reveal how they feel about the troops - we have soldiers who are asking their parents to buy body armor for them.
I don't want to examine the words of the Bush administration, I want to look at their actions - that's where we see their intentions.