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Sunday, June 26, 2005

The "last throes" could last "five, six, eight, 12 years."

Posted by Frankie at 6/26/2005 11:19:00 PM

It seems like Rummy and Cheney need to get on the same page here, I guess that's Bush's job this Tuesday from Fort Bragg. Let's just wish they do not use troops as props behind Bush just because they have to. If it does happen, let's only hope there is another Spc. Thomas Wilson (soldier who questioned Rumsfeld) among them to speak up about reality.

There is a great article from Knight Ridder Newspapers by Dick Polman. Here are some highlights:

...91.5 percent of all American military deaths have occurred since Bush declared on May 1, 2003, that "major combat" was over.


Rumsfeld told "Fox News Sunday," for example, that he had not made optimistic predictions during the prelude to war. Such a claim, he said, is "false. ... I have been balanced and measured." Yet, on Feb. 7, 2003, more than a month before the war began, he predicted that "it could last six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." On Feb. 20, 2003, he told PBS that the Americans "would be welcomed," as happened in Afghanistan, where people in the streets were "playing music, cheering, flying kites." (Seven months later, when a broadcast journalist asked Rumsfeld about his PBS remarks, he replied: "Never said that. Never did. ... You're thinking of somebody else.") Also Sunday, Rumsfeld told NBC's "Meet the Press" that any rosy prewar predictions (which he denies were made) would have been inappropriate. He said: "Anyone who tries to estimate the end, the time, the cost, or the casualties in a war is making a big mistake." Yet it was Cheney, on March 16, 2003, who said "I think it will go relatively quickly ... weeks rather than months." A month earlier, Bush budget official Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. publicly estimated that the war could cost roughly $60 billion. (The current cost is $208 billion.)


Rumsfeld did seek, at several points, to defend Cheney's contention that the insurgency is in its last throes. He told "Fox News Sunday" that "last throes could be a violent last throes, or a placid and calm last throes," his way of saying that the insurgency could burn out quickly or persist for years. He did say, however, that "I will anticipate that you'll see an escalation of violence between now and the (next round of Iraqi) elections" next winter.


Hence, the new message - upbeat, downbeat and defiant, coupled with fresh charges that liberals and Democrats are weak on defense. In the words of conservative commentator and blogger Andrew Sullivan, "If you want to know how well the administration really believes the war is going, listen to their rhetoric."


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