Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To be responsible, one needs to stop defining success in Iraq as the absence of terrorist attacks


The State Dept’s position on the Venezuelan elections, the Miami Herald notes, “was clearly closer to the opposition line” than to the government’s. Funny, that. State spokesmodel Adam Ereli says the low turnout, caused by the opposition boycott (and not even that low compared to other Venezuelan mid-term elections, Left I points out), is a sign of distrust in the electoral system, showing a magical ability to read the minds of the Venezuelan non-voters. (Response of one reporter at the press conference: Isn’t that a bit of a reach? Fifty percent of the people in this country don’t vote. You just don’t like Venezuela very much.) The Herald quotes an opposition leader saying, or possibly miming, “Silence united Venezuelans.” A little silence from the State Dept would also be nice.

Rummy Rumsfeld, criticizing the media’s peculiar habit of focusing on the negative: “To be responsible, one needs to stop defining success in Iraq as the absence of terrorist attacks.” That’s one of the best Rummyisms yet. And he asked, after citing a survey showing pessimism about Iraq among American journalists, academics, think tanks, etc, “Which view of Iraq is more accurate, the pessimistic view of the so-called elites in our country, or the more optimistic view expressed by millions of Iraqis and by some 155,000 U.S. troops on the ground?” Oo, oo, I know this one, oh, I’m gonna have to go with “the so-called elites in our country.”

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