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President Passes The Buck On Iraq

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchorHarry Smith.
When Tommy Franks retired as the general who won the war in Iraq, he wrote a best-selling book and went on the speakers' circuit. He stood in the White House and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He'd appear in front of crowds and say, "Ain't this a great country," and crowds would whoop and cheer.

I wonder if Gen. Franks was watching President Bush's news conference Thursday. The president didn't hesitate to blame Franks for mistakes made in Iraq. He said, "My primary question to Gen. Franks was 'Do you have what it takes to succeed, and do you have what it takes after you succeed in removing Saddam Hussein,' and his answer was, 'Yeah.'"

Hearing that yesterday, I was stunned. I'm pretty sure I heard the Commander in Chief passing the buck. It sounded to me like he was saying, "We'd have done better; I just got bad advice."

Who else is on that list? Donald Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney? I wonder.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith

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