Sunday, June 26, 2005

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S pathological inability to take responsibility for mistakes, misjudgments, or wrongdoing leads to some pretty astonishing verbal gymnastics. Take Donald Rumsfeld's comments today, for example. He told the press that the United States would not defeat the insurgency, and that it would take up to 12 years for Iraqis to defeat the insurgency. This assessment contradicts Dick Cheney's recent comments on "Larry King Live" that the insurgency was in its "last throes."

Dick Cheney, Monday, June 20, "Larry King Live":

The vice president said he expected the war would end during President Bush's second term, which ends in 2009.

"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

And Donald Rumsfeld, today, on "Meet the Press" and "Fox News Sunday":

Rumsfeld, addressing a question about whether U.S. troops levels are adequate to vanquish the increasingly violent resistance, said, "We're not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years.

"Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency," the Pentagon chief told "Fox News Sunday."

"We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency," he said. [Emphasis mine.]

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Rumsfeld added, "That's just the nature of an insurgency. And it may take time."

Notice how Rumsfeld spins an obvious failure in an attempt to present it as evidence of a planned strategy that has succeeded.

And at the same time that the Secretary of Defense is telling the media that the insurgency will get worse and persist for more than a decade, he is also denying any inconsistency between his statements and Dick Cheney's assertion that the insurgency is in its "last throes."

Rumsfeld, in interviews on the Sunday news shows, warned that the insurgency could grow through the year as Iraqi leaders develop a constitution for a democratic government.

At the same time, Rumsfeld defended Vice President Dick Cheney's description of the insurgency as being in its "last throes." Rumsfeld said the U.S. commander in the Middle East did not contradict Cheney when he told the Senate last week that the insurgency was as strong as it was six months ago.

"If you look up 'last throes,' it can mean a violent last throe," Rumsfeld said on ABC's "This Week." The insurgency led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "may very well continue to or get more violent because they have so much to lose between now and December," he said.

That is a perversion of linguistic meaning. "Throes" implies a violent, agonizing, or difficult struggle. "LAST" means the struggle is almost over. I'm sure Donald Rumsfeld would say that a war lasting 12 more years is "almost over."

Via TalkLeft.

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