Compare and contrast the following quotes:
Quote #1- “The idea that the Americans are going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.”
Quote #2- “There is no doubt that the space in which the terrorists can move has begun to shrink and that the grip around the throats of the enemy has begun to tighten. With the deployment of soldiers and police, the future for the terrorists has become frightening.”
Who said quote #1? If you guessed Osama bin Laden, you’d be wrong. It wasn’t a terrorist. It wasn’t even Baghdad Bob. It was Howard Dean, the face of the Democratic party.
Actually, quote #1 isn’t an exact quote. What Howard Dean said this week was, “The idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea that is just plain wrong.” But changing “we” to “Americans” doesn’t change the substance of the statement. America cannot win this war, according to Dr. Dean.
The second quote? Again, it’s a paraphrase. The actual quote is this: “There is no doubt that the space in which we can move has begun to shrink and that the grip around the throats of the mujahidin has begun to tighten. With the deployment of soldiers and police, the future has become frightening.” The author was Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, writing to senior al Qaeda officials. Replace the “we” with “terrorists”, and you have a statement worthy of Donald Rumsfeld.
Here’s another quote, this time from Ayman al-Zawahiri in a letter to al-Zarqawi. “"I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media." Knowing that, you can’t help but wonder how al Qaeda officials reacted to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, who recently commented, “How can we have ‘Victory in Iraq’ if the man in command has already brought us defeat?”