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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Baghdad Bob also put spin on who was winning war

President Bush's bold assertion that Israel defeated Hezbollah in the monthlong Mideast war sounds a bit like Baghdad Bob giving progress reports on Iraq's success in the war.

As Coalition forces systematically chewed up Saddam Hussein's so-called elite Republican Guard, Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf never blinked as he routinely gave glowing reports of the heroic resistance. He continued to do so even as Coalition troops surrounded his press conferences.

President Bush's assertion this week that Hezbollah lost the battle in Lebanon also sounds more like Baghdad Bob's propaganda than fact. The war wasn't Israel's fault, but it succeeded in turning many Lebanese citizens into Hezbollah sympathizers.

The war took far longer than Israel planned, killed far more of its soldiers than it thought would die and its air strikes were far less effective than planned.

That Hezbollah took the pounding and continued to slug it out with Israel up to the Monday truce suggests something other than a defeat for the terrorist organization.

Trying to put the best face on news that is less than glowing — in this instance the war in Lebanon — continues to take away from the president's credibility.

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