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« Justice will be served | Main | It's a shame you two don't get 'long »

May 02, 2004


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This is one of those "behold the power of blogs" moments.

It's like a game of "telephone" but the message gets clearer not muddier.

Great work, Sissy.

Thanks for your quotable quote, Rob (see Kudos, upper right column). Such fun: I find Iraqi blogger Omar at your blog, quote him and you on my blog, which tracks back to Mahmood, who then gets back to me.

Thanks for the "Kudos."

Well with you, me, Mahmood, and Omar that's 4 people who are "talking."

It's a start.

Nice Insta-link, Sissy!

Mahmood: "This is something that we Arabs never get to hear, an official apologising for a wrong done. Never! The higher up officials in their own fiefdoms are above error, almost at part with God, hence they can do no wrong."

I know this is petty and mean, but this awfully reminds me of President Bush's latest press-conference, where he was seriously stumped to recall even a single mistake and would not apologize for anything ever. Does that label the current administration "Arab-Style"? I guess not. But a little (just a teensy weensy bit) more humility would suit/serve the current POTUS quite well, I think...

To Some Guy-

Well, you are right, that is petty and mean.

You are fully ignoring the context in which this particular game of "gotcha" was being played. If Bush had offered any hint whatsoever of regret for his handling of 9/11 and -- especially -- the ensuing war, it would have made the front page of every major newspaper in the world: "Bush admits botching the War on Terror" or even "Bush Calls Iraq a 'Mistake'" (never mind if he had tried to limit the apology to pre-9/11 mistakes -- it wouldn't have mattered).

What would that do to the morale of the troops? What would that have done to public opinion about the justness or long-term strategic objectives of the WOT? And, of course, what would that have done to Bush's reelection prospects?

Simply put - the press gave Bush a lose-lose proposition: he could lose in an epic way by calling his handling of the WOT a mistake, or he could lose in a petty way by refusing to take their bait.

When Bush refused to play, all the professional Bush haters went apoplectic: slamming him with petty slurs and vapid comparisons with tyrants for refusing to acknowledge and validate their low opinion of him.

How sad.

The question was something like "... What was your most serious mistake ..." which is not the easiest question for anyone to answer. What was yours?

Speaking of past mistakes, it seems that there is a lot more concern over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners today than there was 18 months ago. CNN was afraid to report on abuses; Scott Ritter was unwilling to do so. Now we have a situation where not only are the abuses reported without fear, but the POTUS is publicly apologising. What a difference a year makes, eh?

To answer you:

"You are fully ignoring the context in which this particular game of "gotcha" was being played"


"The question was something like "... What was your most serious mistake ..." which is not the easiest question for anyone to answer."

Please don't take me for some loony Troll --- the "Press Conference"-situation had (and still has) me truly puzzled:

Of course I understood the context, and the question surely is hard to answer. What I (to this day) don't get: These are questions that obviously would have been asked, sooner or later. So why wasn't Bush prepared?

The "cool" (reasonable) answer to the questions should (imho) have been:

"Yes, of course we (I) made mistakes! [Give example]. But we have learned from [this], and therefore our strategy now is: [this], [this] and [that]."

That would have been the way to handle this!

True, an indifferent question like "what's your greatest mistake" is offhand not easy to answer -- but if you anticipate a question like this, and come prepared, you define the field.

That's what's puzzling me. Sometimes you win more with a little admission, a small apology, than stubbornness.

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