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Gates Goes Off Message

This week, perhaps more than any in months, the White House its allies have claimed the momentum on the debate. It looks like the Defense Secretary di

This week, perhaps more than any in months, the White House its allies have claimed the momentum on the debate. It looks like the Defense Secretary didn't get the memo.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that he was discouraged by the resignation of the Sunnis from Iraq’s cabinet and that the Bush administration might have misjudged the difficulty of achieving reconciliation between Iraq’s sectarian factions.

In one of his bluntest assessments of the progress of the administration’s Iraq strategy, Mr. Gates said, “I think the developments on the political side are somewhat discouraging at the national level.” He said that despite the Sunni withdrawal, “my hope is that it can all be patched back together.”

First, Mr. Secretary, hope is not a plan. Second, so much the administration's "momentum."

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