Need Fewer Troops?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry came out firing in his response to the president's plan for victory in Iraq, saying that the presence of U.S. troops, "presents food for the insurgency. And you need to reduce that presence." But just five months ago, Senator Kerry argued exactly the opposite. During a June TV appearance, Kerry said U.S. generals were telling him, "We don't have enough troops in Iraq," and "There aren't enough people on the ground,” adding, "The way you honor the troops and the way you provide a policy to America is to do everything possible to win."

Where's Joe?

Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman, who just returned from Iraq, defended U.S. efforts there in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal and a subsequent news conference on Capitol Hill, saying the military has "a good plan" for victory in Iraq, that progress is "visible and practical" and warning that such progress could be turned back by a premature withdrawal.

But the major media that played up Democratic Rep. John Murtha's call for withdrawing U.S. troops largely ignored Lieberman's remarks. Neither ABC nor CBS mentioned the senator in their nightly newscasts while NBC aired a short sound byte. And The Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today ran not a word of Lieberman's praise for U.S. efforts in Iraq.

Blame Game

The four activists kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq are part of the anti-war group Christian Peacemaker Teams and you might think the organization is furious with their captors, but you'd be wrong. Instead, the peace group is blaming the U.S. and Britain for the abduction, saying, "We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. governments due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people."

The group's Web site reveals that it's a left-wing organization that has also stood with Palestinians against "Israeli occupation," and with illegal Mexican immigrants against harsh "U.S. immigration policy."

Who's that Soldier in the Uniform?

Liberal activists at have yanked an anti-war ad blasting the administration for leaving U.S. troops in Iraq over the holidays after the Pentagon pointed out it used British soldiers to represent Americans in Iraq. The picture appeared as the ad's narrator says, "A hundred and fifty thousand American men and women are stuck in Iraq."

But a Pentagon spokesman tells Cybercast News that American men and women wear darker fatigues with a different pattern and don't have shorts as part of their combat uniforms. After trying to fix the error by doctoring the original photo to darken the uniforms and put long pants on the soldier in shorts removed the ad from its Web site.

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report