WASHINGTON -- Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, likened the war in Iraq to Vietnam yesterday and said, ''The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong," comments that drew immediate fire from Republicans.
In an interview with WOAI-AM in San Antonio, Dean criticized what he called President Bush's ''permanent commitment to a failed strategy" while saying, ''We need to be out of there and take the targets off our troops' back." Dean suggested ''a strategic redeployment" of US troops over the next two years.
''I wish the president had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we had gotten in there," Dean said. ''The idea that we're going to win this war is just plain wrong."
Ken Mehlman, Dean's Republican counterpart, said Dean's ''outrageous prediction sends the wrong message to our troops, the enemy, and the Iraqi people just 10 days before historic elections."