Thursday, October 26, 2006

I’m trying to figure out a matrix that says things are getting better

Cheney, interviewed by radio station WDAY’s Scott Hennen:

Q Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President “for torture.” We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in.

It’s official: Cheney thinks water-boarding is not torture.

Headline: “Bush ‘Not Satisfied’ With Situation in Iraq.” But he’s still self-satisfied, right? Really, really self-satisfied?

Yesterday Bush met with a bunch of right-wing columnists and broadcasters. There’s no official transcript – funny, that – so we must rely on Byron York’s account. Bush seems to have spent much of the session vexed (York’s word) that the Iraq war isn’t being perceived as a success. The problem, as he sees it, is that without body counts – “We have made a conscious effort not to be a body-count team” – there is no way to measure that success. You know, like No Child Left Behind, but for imperialist wars. No Quagmire Left Behind. The Soft Bigotry of Low-Intensity Warfare. Without a score card, Bush said, people get “the impression that [U.S. troops] are just there — kind of moving around, directing traffic, and somebody takes a shot at them and they’re down.” So “the enemy gets to define victory by killing people... And if there’s a lot dying, it means the enemy is winning. (Pause) That doesn’t mean they’re winning.” “And I’m trying to figure out a matrix that says things are getting better. I think that one way to measure is less violence than before, I guess...” And thus “benchmarks” to measure progress in oil, federalism, oil, constitutional reform, oil... “There’s like twenty different things,” Bush said.

I’m a little tired today, and my pancreas (which is the organ in the human body that excretes snark) is a little stressed out, as it always is in a week with a Bush press conference, so I’m just going to repeat without comment: “And I’m trying to figure out a matrix that says things are getting better.”

He also said that he wouldn’t continue this fiasco if he didn’t think it was all noble and shit: “I’m not going to keep those kids in there and have to deal with their loved ones. I can’t cover it up when I meet with a family who’s lost a child. I cry, I weep, I hug. And I’ve got to be able to look them in the eye and say, we’re going to win. I have to be able to do that. And I’m not a good faker.”

In deference to the state of my pancreas (or is it the left kidney?), I’m going to leave it to you, the reader, to complete this paragraph:
He said, “I cry, I weep, I hug.” But to be fair, he also does that when...

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