Saturday, August 28, 2004

Bumiller gets the goods ... but still falls on her bum 
In a NY Times article yesterday by David Sanger and Elisabeth Bumiller, George Bush finally admitted that 'he made a "miscalculation of what the conditions would be'' in postwar Iraq.'

This is seemingly the first time that Bush has admitted to any errors at all during his residency in the White House, but for Bumiller, Sanger, and their NY Times editors, it didn't merit a mention until the fifth paragraph. Talk about burying the lede... They were more interested in flogging that dead horse of a story, the Swift Boat Liars Against America.

In any event, Bush did say it and, however ineptly, the Times reported it. The article continues (in grafs 5, 6 and 7):
...he insisted that the 17-month-long insurgency that has upended the administration's plans for the country was the unintended by-product of a "swift victory'' against Saddam Hussein's military, which fled and then disappeared into the cities, enabling them to mount a rebellion against the American forces far faster than Mr. Bush and his aides had anticipated.

He insisted that his strategy had been "flexible enough'' to respond, and said that even now "we're adjusting to our conditions'' in places like Najaf, where American forces have been battling one of the most militant of the Shiite groups opposing the American-installed government.

Mr. Bush deflected efforts to inquire further into what went wrong with the occupation, suggesting that such questions should be left to historians, and insisting, as his father used to, that he would resist going "on the couch'' to rethink decisions.

Now good ol' Digby is on the case, with some cogent advice for the Kerry campaign.
...the bigger advantage is that he's now simultaneously admitted that he screwed up big time on the single most important issue a president ever faces, while also saying that he has no intention of trying to figure out what went wrong.

. . . Iraq is a massive failure and the president has just opened the door to his own culpability on that.

Kerry should go for the jugular --- this argument is on his turf. Bush isn't talking about the decision to go to war anymore, he's talking about his execution of that war and the decisions he made all by his lonesome. These mistakes are at the heart of Kerry's criticism of Bush on the war.

The contrast is stark. John Kerry believes in planning for contingencies and evaluating what works and what doesn't. George Bush admits he is a poor planner and wants to leave it to historians to figure out where he went wrong. But it will be too late by then. People are dying today. We need new leadership.
I sure hope someone at Kerry HQ is paying attention.

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