President Bush says a prominent U.S. columnist who compared the recent surge of violence in Iraq to the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War "could be right."
Mr. Bush was asked about the comparison made by Thomas Friedman of the "New York Times" during a nationally televised interview with ABC news Wednesday. The president acknowledged a "stepped-up level of violence" with U.S. congressional elections just three weeks away.
The Tet Offensive was a major military campaign carried out by North Vietnamese forces against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in early 1968. Although historians say it was a major military defeat for the North Vietnamese, it turned public opinion in the U.S. against the war.
Mr. Bush said al-Qaida forces operating inside Iraq "believe if they can can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and cause the government to withdraw."