Burns was a guest on this morning's "Today." In the set-up piece, NBC White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell rolled a clip of precisely the kind of politics to which Burns later alluded, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] fumed: "No more will the Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration's incompetence and dishonesty." When's the last time Reid spoke with such vitriol about al-Qaeda? Just wondering.
View video here.Moments later, Matt Lauer asked Burns: "By its very nature a surge is a temporary dynamic. What is the biggest factor in your opinion as to whether they can have success in the near term and the longer term?"
NYT BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF JOHN BURNS: Well, the number of troops, that's finite. The amount of time they can stay, we think that's probably finite, too. And the calculations of the insurgents, who, as one military officer said to me, will always trade territory for time. That's to say, they will move out, they will wait. Because they know the political dynamic in the United States is moving in a direction that is probably going to be favorable to them.The Dem party is often described as a coalition of interest groups: racial/ethnic minorities, Big Labor, gays, pro-choice activists, etc. Shall we add the Iraqi insurgents to the mix?