From the briefing today


From the briefing today …

QUESTION: Tony, American deaths in Iraq have reached 2,500. Is there any response or reaction from the President on that?

SNOW: It’s a number. And every time there’s one of these 500 benchmarks, people want something.

The president would like the war to be over now. Everybody would like the war to be over now. And the one thing that we saw in Iraq this week is further testimony to the quality of the men and the women who are doing that, and the dedication and determination to try to ensure that the people of Iraq really do live in a free, effective democracy of their own creation and design.

Any president who goes through a time of war feels very deeply the responsibility for sending men and women into harm’s way and feels very deeply the pain that the families feel. And this president is no different.

You’ve seen it many times. You saw it. You saw it when he was in that ballroom. You had this crowd of service men and women who were cheering loudly for the president, and he got choked up.

So it’s always a sad benchmark.