Revisionist history

The White House rewrites the purpose of the "surge."

Published August 24, 2007 7:24PM (EDT)

Remember when the purpose of the "surge" was to give Iraqi politicians the "breathing space" they needed to pursue political reconciliation? It shouldn't be so hard: Just Tuesday, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker was saying that "the whole premise of the surge was ... to bring levels of violence down and keep them down so that there would be the time and space for political leadership to get on with the business of national reconciliation."

That was so three days ago.

With political reconciliation pretty much a dead letter now, deputy White House press secretary Gordon Johndroe has just written that part of the "surge" right out of the discussion. As Think Progress reports, Johndroe was asked today whether the Bush administration's commitment to Iraq is "open-ended." He dodged for a moment, then volunteered this: "The surge was designed, as we have said repeatedly, to help bring security to Iraq."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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