Settle the quarrel

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The Wash­ing­ton press corps con­tin­ues to pep­per the White House with ques­tions sev­eral days af­ter an emo­tional speech by Sen. Gor­don H. Smith, Ore­gon Repub­li­can, in which he said he “can­not sup­port” the Iraq war any longer.

Mr. Smith, if you hadn’t heard, said he is at “the end of my rope when it comes to sup­port­ing a pol­icy that has our sol­diers pa­trolling the same streets in the same way, be­ing blown up by the same bombs, day af­ter day.”

“That is ab­surd,” he said. “It may even be crim­i­nal.”

Af­ter point­ing out last week that peo­ple on both sides of the Iraq is­sue are go­ing to con­tinue to have dis­agree­ments, White House spokesman Tony Snow said, “We dis­pute the ‘crim­i­nal’ part, ob­vi­ously, and at the same time, un­der­stand the sen­a­tor’s con­cern.”

Mr. Snow was pressed fur­ther about Mr. Smith’s re­marks.

“He’s say­ing what the pres­i­dent is do­ing is im­moral,” one re­porter said.

“Well, then we dis­agree,” Mr. Snow said.

“You’re just go­ing to blow it off?” the re­porter asked. “A Repub­li­can sen­a­tor is say­ing the pres­i­dent’s pol­icy may be crim­i­nal and it’s im­moral, and you’re just say­ing we just dis­agree?”

“And what would you like me to say?” Mr. Snow an­swered. “Should I do du­els at 10 paces?”

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