Monday, October 30, 2006

George Will on Cheney and Iraq

George Will and I come from different places on the political spectrum. He's a conservative and I'm left of center (though not far left). But in recent months I've found his perspective enlightening. Being a conservative he can't be tarred with representing the views of the Democratic Party. But as a true conservative and not a religiously/social conservative (maybe he's an old style conservative), he brings an important perspective to the table.

In a piece I came across from Newsweek/MSNBC entitled "Togetherness in Baghdad," in which he speaks of Dick Cheney's (among others in the administration) lag in recognizing and acknowledging the realities in Iraq. The President recently dropped "stay the course" from his vocabulary, in large part because the course we're on is proving disastrous. That the Iraqi elections didn't prove to be the salve they were hoping for was clear months ago.

As we consider our political future in elections that are in the not too distant future, these words from Will are worth considering:

In a recent interview with Vice President Cheney, Time magazine asked, "If you had to take back any one thing you'd said about Iraq, what would it be?" Selecting from what one hopes is a very long list, Cheney replied: "I thought that the elections that we went through in '05 would have had a bigger impact on the level of violence than they have ... I thought we were over the hump in terms of violence. I think that was premature."
He thinks so? Clearly, and weirdly, he implies that the elections had some positive impact on the level of violence. Worse, in the full transcript of the interview posted online he said the big impact he expected from the elections "hasn't happened yet." "Yet"? Doggedness can be admirable, but this is clinical.
Anyway, what Cheney actually said 17 months ago was that the insurgency was in its "last throes." That was much stronger than saying we were "over the hump" regarding violence. Beware of people who misquote themselves while purporting to display candor.


2 comments:

Kitty Wenk said...

Isn't it obvious that the people in charge will say just about anything if it will give others the impression that they are open to change? Cheney now thinks admitting he was wrong will do just that. Are you fooled? Me neither.
Kitty Wenk

Delrina said...

There ought to be a way to remove a president from office or strip him of his power when he states that he will stay the course in Iraq even if only Laura and Barney support him.
At the time our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they had no way of knowing that so much power in the hands a delusionary person could endanger the entire world.