August 23, 2006

Politics: Political Zen

One of the secrets of zen is to never expect. If you do not anticipate what is coming, then it cannot surprise you and you can then act without hesitation.

A shout out to President George:

"Frustrated? Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times."

-Press conference, August 21, 2006

Many folks have picked up on Bookworm Bush (heh) sometimes being "happy" about circumstances in Iraq; in this they miss the more interesting point, that he's been "rarely surprised."


So, which part didn't surprise you, George?

The part where IEDs aren't flowers?

As for the reaction of the Arab "street," the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are "sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans." Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.

-Vice President Dick Cheney addressing the Vetrans of Foreign Wars, August, 2002

That "weeks rather than months" is now years?

And it is not knowable if force will be used, but if it is to be used, it is not knowable how long that conflict would last. It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

-Secratary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld addressing U.S. troops in Italy, February 2, 2003

That there were no chemical or biological weapons found?

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe Saddam Hussein will use chemical weapons against U.S. troops?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: I don’t know. I assume he may try. Of course as soon as he does it will be clear to the world we were absolutely right, that he does, in fact, have chemical weapons.

-Meet the Press, March 16, 2003

That there have been far more deaths after you and you codpiece declared "Mission Accomplished"...

Bush, addressing the nation not from the White House but from the dramatic setting of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, announced: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

-CNN, May 2, 2003

...than before it?

At least 50,000 Iraqis have died violently since 2003

-LA Times, June 25th, 2006

Well over 2500 US Forces deaths
Over 100 other coalition troops from various countries
Over 100 journalist deaths
All since May 2003

-Iraqi Coalition Casualties

That the "link" between Saddam Huessein and al Qaeda was tenuous at best?

Speaking in Poland, Rumsfeld said U.S. officials shared information linking Iraq and al Qaeda with NATO defense ministers meeting in Warsaw.
"The deputy director of central intelligence briefed on that subject. I have no desire to go beyond saying the answer is yes," Rumsfeld told reporters.

-CNN, September 26, 2002

That it's turning out to be just a hint more expensive than first projected?

“The oil revenues of Iraq could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

– Paul Wolfowitz, [Congressional Testimony, 3/27/03]

Running total so far: over $300,000,000,000. And counting.

The massively negative backlash from what should have been allies?

"Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers."

-Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, February, 2003

The cafeteria menus in the three House office buildings changed the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," in a culinary rebuke of France stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq. Ditto for "french toast," which will be known as "freedom toast."

-CNN, March 12, 2003

"I have serious doubts about the extent to which we need a coalition [...] a broad coalition is not dedicated to winning the war on terror."

-Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle, PBS interview, October, 2001

Or just that it's not as easy-peasy as originally thought?

And a year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush.

-Richard Perle again, this time addressing the American Enterprise Institute, September, 2003

(Of course, it doesn't help that one of your chief advisors knows jack-shit about terrorists...)

But these fellows are not working for themselves; they're working for governments like Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

But the important change [in the U.S.] came with the discovery that anthrax, a lethal biological weapon, can be delivered anonymously to Americans. It was done on a small scale, by posting letters with anthrax in them. But surely the lesson of that is that we can be attacked anonymously with biological weapons.

[Q:If we go into Iraq and we take down Hussein?]
A:Then I think it's over for the terrorists.

-Richard Perle, same PBS interview, October, 2001.

Or maybe it's that you were so hot to believe anything about Iraq that you even trusted these guys:

Amhad "Okay, so I lied!" Chalabi
Ihsan Saeed "Let me ask my coach" al-Haideri

All told, bub, you should have been surprised one hell of a lot more than "rarely". Unless, of course, everything's gone according to plan...

American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.

-Ahmed Chalibi, Washington Post, September 15, 2002

But hey, who am I kidding? Things in Iraq are actually going... er... miraculously?

What's happened there is nothing short of a miracle.

-Senator James Inhofe, August 22, 2006.

Good to know.


posted by Thursday at 7:32 pm


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