A View From The Handbasket

Thursday, March 23, 2006
The Iraq war just sorta happened
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:58 AM
Here's an eye-popper of a quote from the New York Times:

One person who met Mr. Rove said he attributed Mr. Bush's problems more to external events, in particular Hurricane Katrina and Iraq, than to anything the White House did wrong.

Yes, it's a third-hand quote, so it might be completely off, but it's completely in keeping with the "create your own reality" nature of the White House that Karl Rove would consider the Iraq war an "external event," rather than something the administration "did wrong."

After all, Bush's famously stubborn refusal to accept any blame or admit any mistakes is getting increasingly untenable as large majorities reject the war. So this is a classic Rovian gambit -- make the Iraq war an "external" unpleasantness that the President is manfully wrestling with, rather than a situation that he was wholly responsible for creating.

Unfortunately, Bush took that "not my fault" script a little too far in his press conference on Tuesday and pushed the problem of how to disentangle from this inconvenient "external event" onto future Presidents:

Q Will there come a day -- and I'm not asking you when, not asking for a timetable -- will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future Presidents and future governments of Iraq.

Which resulted in big headlines in many papers the next day along the lines of "Bush: Troops to stay until at least '09," which I tend to doubt was the message the White House was hoping to get out.

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