Watch the Shrub Flip, then Flop.
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Andrew sent me this useful piece of analysis from the San Francisco Chronicle.
It summarizes some of GWB's more relevant flip-flops, particularly on the not insignificant or overly complicated rationale for going to war in Iraq. If we, as a country, bought a bill of goods, this article might function as the receipt written in mutating ink. Marc Sandalow, the Chronicle's Washington Bureau Chief, nails it right here:
"Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament. And in order to disarm, it would mean regime change,'' Bush said at a news conference two weeks before he took the nation to war.
"And our mission won't change,'' Bush continued. "Our mission is precisely what I just stated.''
Six weeks later, speaking to workers at an Army tank plant in Ohio, the goal seemed to expand.
"Our mission -- besides removing the regime that threatened us, besides ending a place where the terrorists could find a friend, besides getting rid of weapons of mass destruction -- our mission has been to bring humanitarian aid and restore basic services and put this country, Iraq, on the road to self- government.''
Sandalow quotes Bush from a pre-invasion interview with Diane Sawyer
:"So what's the difference?'' Bush responded. "The possibility that he could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger.''
The fact that our commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge the difference between having weapons and being able to acquire weapons really ought to be expounded upon more. I also thought this noted change of emphasis was interesting
:"The president no longer expounds upon deposed Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's connections with al Qaeda, rarely mentions the rape and torture rooms or the illicit weapons factories that he once warned posed a direct threat to the United States. "
When I went to the White House (well, really the Old Executive Office Building) this spring, on a Journalism School field trip--with a class dominated by well-dressed women--we got a mini press conference with a "senior administration official" who was just about our age, and whose career was deeply invested in the war. An older, wiser classmate of mine who had once done PR for a major Washington Institution noted that our speaker used the word "rape room" at every possible juncture, and suggested he was "playing to the audience." But the Abu Gharib scandal had just broken (indeed, we had just been lectured by Seymour Hersh
) and it fell a little flat.