President Bush yesterday:
As president, I’m responsible for the decision to go into Iraq, and I’m also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities.
This is no great revelation; both decisions are part of being Commander in Chief, along with getting to fly in the big cool plane. So I don’t give Mr. Bush any kudos for acknowledging that he knows what’s in his job description; in fact, he’s dumping the responsibility for the mistakes on the intelligence services without having done jackshit in the last three years about getting better intelligence. So in effect he’s staffing out his buck-passing.
I also don’t give him any extra credit for immediately turning around and saying that if he had to do it all over again, he’d do it exactly the same way all over again. That fits right in with the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The kicker was the president’s claim that the United States “did not choose war – the choice was Saddam Hussein’s.” Uh huh; and Poland started World War II by invading defenseless Germany.
This new “tone of realism” is clearly an attempt to put the brakes on Bush’s slide in the polls. The White House is pinning their hopes on this “Operation Candor” to convince the public that by acknowledging the obvious — quite a refreshing change — the people will forget the demonization of their opponents and take the wind out of the sails of people like Rep. John Murtha. But even that doesn’t tell us any more about where we go from here, and that, more than anything else, is what is needed.