Monday, December 11, 2006


Bush spent some of the morning being briefed by the State Department about Iraq for a full 90 minutes, which as we know is his limit. Then he talked to the press (didn’t take any questions, in case they quizzed him about what he’d learned in class today or what the difference between Sunnis and Shiites is), made sure to use the phrase “new way forward.”

He said, “Like most Americans, this administration wants to succeed in Iraq”. Ignoring the question of what most Americans really want, it’s funny that things have gone so badly that every time he speaks he has to say that he does really actually want to succeed.

He says that in Iraq’s “neighborhood” – and what is his allergy to the word “region”? did it not focus-group well, or is this a personal thing? – “[w]e believe that most of the countries understand that a mainstream society, a society that is a functioning democracy, is in their interests.” When exactly have countries in the Middle East demonstrated this attachment to democracy? “And it’s up to us to help focus their attentions and focus their efforts on helping the Iraqis succeed.” So the problem is their “focus,” Mister Easily Distracted By Shiny Objects?

Bush is aiming at announcing the, um, new way forward before Christmas. All things considered, I’d rather just get socks.

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