Thursday, July 13, 2006

Untimely and already outmoded


The US vetoes a UN resolution against the Israeli attack on Gaza, John Bolton calling it “untimely and already outmoded.” See, that’s what happens when you don’t turn in your homework on time.

Speaking of outmoded, Rummy Rumsfeld went to Afghanistan this week (it was a “surprise” visit, except that the State Department announced it Saturday, then said that was a mistake and he wasn’t really going to Afghanistan, then he went to Afghanistan. The State Department also throws the lamest surprise birthday parties). Reporters kept asking him about the rise in violence there. He denied that it was in fact rising, attributing it to better “accounting” of such incidents. That double-entry bookkeeping’ll get you every time. He also offered this insight: “I think that we have seen changes in the level of violence with the number of incidents that occur in Afghanistan.” Later, he took this analysis even deeper: “I also think that the levels of incidents are up because of the level of activity.” That’s why he’s the secretary of defense and you’re not.

Also, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “losing”:
Q: But looking to that violence and insurgency, some observers from inside and outside the country are thinking that the U.S. troops are losing slowly, losing the game day by day. What do you think of that?

SEC. RUMSFELD: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand the word. “Losing” is what you said?

Q: Losing the game.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Losing the game.

Q: Losing the fight.

PRESIDENT KARZAI: Against terrorism. That’s what he means.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh.
He then explained, “Well I think if you look at the number of terrorists and Taliban and al Qaeda that are being killed every month, it would be hard for them to say that the Coalition forces and the Afghan security forces were losing.” Ah, body counts, for any of you experiencing nostalgia (or flashbacks) for Vietnam and Robert McNamara.

And then he made a “surprise” visit to Iraq. Some day no doubt the Pentagon website will even put up some transcripts for me to make fun of. AFP headline: “Shiites Massacred as Rumsfeld, Maliki Discuss Security.”

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