Tony Snow's last stand: 'Not a war without end': The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted September 12, 2007 1:27 PM
The Swamp


Tony Snow's last televised briefing. Photo by Getty Images

by Mark Silva

Tony Snow, delivering his final televised press briefing as White House press secretary today, rejected the contention of Democratic congressional leaders that the administration is making an “open-ended’’ commitment to U.S. military forces in Iraq.

“It's pretty clear that it is not a war without end,’’ Snow said today. “As a matter of fact, it is a war that actually has victory as its aim.''

At the same time, Snow appeared reluctant to say that the U.S. is winning the war as it stands today.

“What you can say is that in fighting al Qaeda in places like Anbar it is winning… but it is winning because Iraqis themselves are standing up,’’ Snow said. “This is not the U.S.’s war to win or lose. Ultimately it is the Iraqi people,’’ he said, explaining that the U.S. will not unilaterally win the war but rather establish conditions in which Iraqis can sustain a government.

Snow was challenged to explain why maintaining that the U.S. will remain committed to the fight until victory is declared is not the open-ended commitment that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and other Democrats are calling it.

“Because the job will get done,’’ Snow said, accusing reporters of playing a "verbal game" in trying to label the White House’s policy as an open-ended commitment. “By that definition, every war in the history of humankind is an open-ended commitment… I defy you to find in the history of humankind a situation in which an artificial political defintion won a war.’’

Snow will finish his own job on finished Friday, when he steps down as press secretary after a year-and-a-half – handing the podium to deputy and incoming Press Secretary Dana Perino. But, with the president planning to travel on Friday to Quantico, Va. – the day after his prime-time address on the war – there will be no televised press briefing that day.

“I’ll miss it,’’ said Snow, leaving the White House to concentrate on writing a book about fighting cancer, making speeches and waging his own personal battle against the disease. “Everybody talks about what a horrible job it is to brief the press. I love these briefings,’’ Snow said to applause in the press room. “The only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer.’’

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By the Democrats' definition of an open-ended conflict, then the Korean War, World War II in Germany, Japan and Italy
continue on, since we still have troops stationed in each of those countries. Holy Moley, by the Democrats' definition, the
Confederate War goes on since there are
federal troops at bases in South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama and other Southern states. Sheesh, what a bunch! To Tony Snow, best wishes for health, family and career.

"I defy you to find in the history of humankind a situation in which an artificial political defintion won a war."

They sure have short memories over at the White House these days.

In 1991 President George H. W. Bush made the artificial political decision to end the First Gulf War after 100 hours of ground combat. The decision was his, not the Iraqis. An indefinite continuance of the war was possible, but for various political and military reasons, President Bush decided to end the combat at that point. Chief amongst the reasons was the notion that to continue the war to the destruction of the Iraqi government would in fact endanger the success already achieved in the war. The logic was spelled out quite nicely by his former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in 1994. There are videos of his statement around on yourube if you're interested.

It really seems like there must have been at least a few people Tony Snow could have found around the White House who had some knowledge of those events who could have informed him of the precedent.

"Tony Snow's Last Stand: 'Not a War Without End"

Sorry Tony, you're a great guy and you've done a great job of spinning for this pathetic White House, but you are lying....again:

Well it's nice the White House press corps gave Snow an applause. He is a class guy through and through. A few weeks ago, David Gregory, perhaps the most partisan of all White House correspondents, actually had a very nice interview with Tony Snow.
I will miss him sparring with the press and hope and pray that he does in fact win his battle with cancer.

God Bless You & Your family. You are a "Class Act" who pulled no punches.

Be Well!!!

A mouthpiece says reporters are playing a verbal game? That's a weak and ironic line of defense coming from the Bush Administration. Regardless, the lack of vision in the White House is too much to cover up with glibness. Tony will have to just move on and make $50,000-plus per speaking engagement. Shed no tears.

He's a big liar, but I wish him the best.

Cancer sucks.

Want a fight worth waging? Fight to cure cancer. That goes for all the candidates for President.

I think the Tribune is side-stepping the hard story that journalists could hardly contain their disbelief that Tony Snow was only stating the obvious that this war has "victory as an aim" yet it's not a war without end in sight.

What the White House hasn't been willing to share with it's American shareholders is at what cost is this aim to proceed? It would seem that as long as our CEO is untouchable, he is willing to sacrifice indefinite resources to achieve it.

If we're not winning, and we're not losing, and we're not willing to state what costs we can tolerate, we have an Administration open to leaving us exposed on all other fronts in hope of achieving a narrower aim.

That's the real story the Tribune should be reporting. Shame on them.

Nun A. Tsk is right.

In investing we call it "escalation of commitment." You invest in something and it starts going bad so you invest more into it and it keeps going bad so you invest more into it and etc...

The point being you, at some point in time, have to be willing to cut it off. Yes, you will lose your prior investment, but in a reality based world sometimes that is inevitable.

I don't agree with much of Mr. Snow's politics, but good luck with your fight against cancer and may God bless.

You seem like a decent man.

Press secretary has got to be among the worst jobs in the world.

Whether Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II or whoever.

Your job is basically to not have a mind of your own. Even if you disagree with the president, your duty is to only repeat the presidents "talking points".

Boy does that suck.


Nice try.

Who are we currently fighting in Germany, Italy, Japan and everywhere else you mention? If we still have troops in Iraq, won't they still be under attack by the insurgents in that country?

All we hear from the GOP is "victory" in Iraq. What does victory mean? Is it like Georgie said on the aircraft carrier?

May the good Lord bless you and keep you in the palm of his hand.
Paul Jaeger
Canton, Ga.

Tony, I love listening to you sparring with the press, and your obvious passion and love for the job. Kick the big C to the curb! Blessings on you and your family.
Carmel, IN

I wonder if any of you in the media realize that we in the public domain hate you even more than the politicians. You are pompous and you have no idea how much we hate you. While most of you think you are doing important things to contribute to the betterment of the world, in fact you are just back-stabbing little dweebs with room temperature IQ's.

Gene Wiley (yes, we hate you, we really really hate you).

Thanks, Tony! You are a great guy who believes in doing right. We could tell you loved your job and were the right guy for it. We are sorry you must go. You will be greatly missed and we wish you the best and are praying for a full recovery.

photo caption:

"I'm Tony Snow, and I was TOO STUPID to join the 401(K) that Fox network offered during the years that I worked there. And I'm TOO STUPID to know how to live on $168,000 a year".

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