Friday, October 01, 2004

Whoda Thunkit?

Debate transcript, courtesy Washington Post:

LEHRER: New question, Mr. President, two minutes. You have said there was a, quote, "miscalculation," of what the conditions would be in post-war Iraq. What was the miscalculation, and how did it happen?

BUSH: No, what I said was that, because we achieved such a rapid victory, more of the Saddam loyalists were around. I mean, we thought we'd whip more of them going in. But because Tommy Franks did such a great job in planning the operation, we moved rapidly, and a lot of the Baathists and Saddam loyalists laid down their arms and disappeared. I thought they would stay and fight, but they didn't. And now we're fighting them now.


“We were shocked that the Iraqi Army didn’t want to get themselves blown up when they saw us show up with a massive ground-and-air campaign that would have been been impossible to resist on any conventional battlefield. We never contemplated that many of them still hated us and would instead hide in cities and engage us in urban guerilla warfare, killing hundreds of American service men and women, and getting 10,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the process. Nobody’s ever heard of such a thing before. Now, I thought the enemy had laid down its arms, but now it sure does look like they kept a few of them now [sic]. The enemy is tricky. I have to give them that.”

For some reason, I just had a flashback to Dan Quayle's gaff at a 1989 UNCF fund raiser: ""What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

You'd also think that if there's one person in the world that Dubya would listen to, it would be his beloved Daddy:

"We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different—and perhaps barren—outcome." —"Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft. Time Magazine, 1998.


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