More Bad Iraq PR for Kuhl

In a wire story triggered by the MoveOn ads, Kuhl's over-rosy assessment of his Iraq trip came back to haunt him. Responding to Massa's criticism that Kuhl went to Iraq and returned without any solutions, campaign spokesman Bob Van Wicklin makes the following claim:

"The only person using Iraq as a political issue is this Massa guy," said Van Wicklin. "The fact is that according to Iraq's National Security Advisor, attacks in Iraq are down 45 percent since mid-July."

Because Kuhl came back from Iraq with an unrealistically optimistic take, his staff is now bound to keep pushing a positive line on Iraq.  This is at best risky, probably foolishly so, because it continues to expose Kuhl to the charge of naiveté.

Van Wicklin probably got the 45% figure from an interview in which Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, the Iraqi National Security Advisor, claimed that the influx of troops in mid-July caused the overall rate of attacks to fall by 45%, and "extra-judicial murders" to fall by 35%.  If al-Rubaie is right, and the trend holds, that's wonderful news.

However, it's simply a fact that July was the bloodiest month on record in Iraq, and that the overall trend in killings for the year has been sharply upward.  Disputing that fact with a few cherry-picked quotes that fly in the face of everything else reported in the newspaper is not a winning strategy politically, and it confirms Massa's charge that Kuhl has no solutions.


I liked how he called Massa "this Massa guy". Classic political BS, acting like no one has ever heard of your opponent.

I saw that too. It makes me think they don't take Eric seriously, at their peril.