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Some Good Advice

Christopher Hayes

Not that there's any shortage, but I think this memo from Thom Schaller really hits the nail on the head. Reconnect Iraq to the war on terror. Bush repeatedly claimed (past tense) that Iraq was central to the war on terror - until, of course, the warrants for and management of that war went afoul. Now he wants to disconnect Iraq because his Iraq approval ratings are consistently lower than (and, thus, have steadily weakened) his approval ratings for the generic war on terror. Don't let him get away with that. Keep repeating that the president told America that Iraq is central to the war on terror, and by that standard, he's doing a terrible job on the war on terror. It's really that simple. To make the reconnection hurt, start repeating two very simple facts: (a) according to Defense Department counts, the rate of military fatalities is higher since Saddam Hussein was captured than before his capture; and (b) according to the State Department, the number of global terrorist incidents and deaths is increasing, not decreasing. Have surrogates repeat these two facts endlessly, followed by the question: "If American fatality rates are higher this year than last year, and terrorist incidents are increasing worldwide, what kind of progress in the war in Iraq and the war on terror is the president talking about?" Even the stupid-ass media will be able to follow this argument. And, from this point forward you and your surrogates should cease referring only to "the war on terror" but instead and always jointly as "the war in Iraq and the war on terror." This is political jujitsu, pure and simple; you must turn Bush's best weapon back on him by re-linking Iraq to the war on terror.

Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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