George Will on Cheney and Iraq
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.