Tuesday, October 31, 2006

George F. Will: "Cheney Still Doesn't Get It On Iraq"

Long-time conservative Newsweek columnist George F. Will, the bow-tied Beltway fixture known for never seeing a free shrimp cocktail he didn't like (and for being about as progressive as the Secret Service) has officially fallen out of the Cheney funeral procession. He now says "America is losing the war launched to deal with a chimeric problem (an arsenal of WMD) and to achieve a delusory goal (a democracy that would inspire emulation, transforming the region)." That was the genteel equivalent of a World Wide Wrestling Federation sneak attack coming from the top ropes. That's right mo-fuzz, that was the thoughtful conservative himself getting down with his bad word-smithin' self. And here comes Cheney's face repeatedly slamming into the corner turnbuckle:
In a recent interview with Vice President Cheney, Time magazine asked, "If you had to take back any one thing you'd said about Iraq, what would it be?" Selecting from what one hopes is a very long list, Cheney replied: "I thought that the elections that we went through in '05 would have had a bigger impact on the level of violence than they have ... I thought we were over the hump in terms of violence. I think that was premature."

He thinks so? Clearly, and weirdly, he implies that the elections had some positive impact on the level of violence. Worse, in the full transcript of the interview posted online he said the big impact he expected from the elections "hasn't happened yet." "Yet"? Doggedness can be admirable, but this is clinical.

Anyway, what Cheney actually said 17 months ago was that the insurgency was in its "last throes." That was much stronger than saying we were "over the hump" regarding violence. Beware of people who misquote themselves while purporting to display candor.

Wow. I feel like I'm sitting ringside at a Hulk Hogan Extravaganza wiping sprays of fake blood off of me. I can almost feel the righteous indigation, nay, rage, pouring off a stern honest journalist on the warpath. Almost.

To put Will's change of direction in proper context, he had to carefully calculate the need to curry favor with the present regime versus the next one; the nature of his position is that continued access to power, knowledge, and, most importantly, getting into parties and state functions with the good caviar depend on a finely tuned sense for detecting where the wind is blowing, and whom it favors. I'm too lazy to go look, but I'd be willing to bet Will wrote about twenty columns on how evil Saddam was and what a threat he posed in the run-up to the invasion, not including his pro-invasion slaverings before Gulf War One.

You'll notice that the sponsored links below Will's op-ed include things like:
"FATHER LAND: new fiction; 1939; the SS co-opts the Americans for Peace movement." Here's a new book title for you, Georgie: 'The Right Will Eat Itself.'

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