Friday, June 24, 2005


Krugman Offers Plain Talk on Iraq.

Sharp and to the point:
On one side, the people who sold this war, unable to face up to the fact that their fantasies of a splendid little war have led to disaster, are still peddling illusions: the insurgency is in its "last throes," says Dick Cheney. On the other, they still have moderates and even liberals intimidated: anyone who suggests that the United States will have to settle for something that falls far short of victory is accused of being unpatriotic.

We need to deprive these people of their ability to mislead and intimidate. And the best way to do that is to make it clear that the people who led us to war on false pretenses have no credibility, and no right to lecture the rest of us about patriotism.
(Source: Paul Krugman, New York Times The War President, July 24, 2005.)
I expect Mr. Krugman is referring to this type of thing:
Rumsfeld Under Fire On the Hill
He Defends Effort In Iraq, Opposes Setting Pullout Date

By Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 24, 2005; Page A01

Worry in Congress about the course of U.S. strategy in Iraq boiled over yesterday into a scalding attack on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and some of the toughest questioning of the Pentagon leader since the war in Iraq began.

During a day of contentious hearings in the Senate and House, Rumsfeld disputed assertions that the U.S. campaign is faltering and argued that the conflict there remains worth its costs in lives and dollars. He also rejected the idea, backed by a small bipartisan group of lawmakers, of setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops, although he said he favors pressing Iraqi authorities to keep to their timetable this year for a new constitution and national elections.
Or Dick Cheney's clever misdirection here:
Cheney Defends Iraq Insurgency Last Throes Remark
Published: June 23, 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday defended saying the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes," a comment that sparked criticism the White House was being too optimistic about when the violence will end.

Cheney said he was not backing down from his remark. "If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period, the throes of a revolution," Cheney said in an interview with CNN...

"I think the months immediately ahead will be difficult months. I think there will be a lot of violence, a lot of bloodshed because I think the terrorists will do everything they can to try to disrupt that process," Cheney said.
(Source: New York Times)
Note the clever way Mr. Cheney directs reporters toward the definition of "throes" rather than to the definition of "last." Generally, it isn't the "last throes" until the end is in sight - something even Mr. Cheney can't claim with a straight face. Compare Mr. Cheney's words to those of U.S. Army General John P. Abizaid:
Though he declined during his Congressional testimony to comment directly on Mr. Cheney's statements, the commander, Gen. John P. Abizaid, said that more foreign fighters were coming into Iraq and that the insurgency's "overall strength is about the same" as it was six months ago. "There's a lot of work to be done against the insurgency," he added.

His more pessimistic assessment, made during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, reflected a difference of emphasis between military officers, who battle the intractable insurgency every day, and civilian officials intent on accentuating what they say is unacknowledged progress in Iraq.
(Source: New York Times U.S. General Sees No Ebb in Fight
Anyone care to claim General Abizaid loves offering aid and comfort to America's enemies? Why then are "liberals" demonized for taking our top general's assessment of the Iraq situation as simple truth?


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