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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: We Don't Need Your Civil War

“Occasionally I get a little ahead of the news. For instance, yesterday I was talking about this line…”

“In other words, if you find somebody who's kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. It ought to be clear in society that that kind of behavior is not tolerated.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, July 25, 2006

“I talked about how American troops operating in Iraq were already exempt from international and Iraqi law. I joked about how we policed our own and then pointed out Abu Gharib. Little did I realize that the Administration was already one step ahead of me.”

“An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.”
-Washington Post, July 28, 2006

“Yep. Troops should be immune from prosecution in any way, shape or form apparently, no matter who they torture. Makes you proud doesn’t it?
I didn’t want to talk about this particular item today though. I wanted to talk about Rummy. You may remember this Golden Oldie from last spring. The perpetual question: What do we do in case of civil war in Iraq?”

“’Secretary Rumsfeld,’ Mr. Byrd said a moment later, ‘what is the plan if Iraq descends into civil war? Will our troops hunker down and wait out the violence? If not, whose side would our troops be ordered to take in a civil war?’
Mr. Rumsfeld replied that the ‘sectarian tension and conflict’ in Iraq do not constitute a civil war ‘at the present time by most experts' calculation.’
The secretary went on to say that he believed the unrest in Iraq ‘while changing in its nature from insurgency toward sectarian violence’ was still ‘controllable by Iraqi security forces and multinational forces.’"
-New York Times, March 9, 2006

“Well, it is almost five months later and civilian casualties of sectarian violence are adding up to about 100 a day. Surely, you think, this must me a civil war. Hmm… Let’s find out.”

“Q: Is the country [Iraq] closer to a civil war?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I don’t know. You know, I thought about that last night, and just musing over the words, the phrase, and what constitutes it. If you think of our Civil War, this is really very different. If you think of civil wars in other countries, this is really quite different. There is - there is a good deal of violence in Baghdad and two or three other provinces, and yet in 14 other provinces there’s very little violence or numbers of incidents. So it’s a - it’s a highly concentrated thing. It clearly is being stimulated by people who would like to have what could be characterized as a civil war and win it, but I’m not going to be the one to decide if, when or at all.”
-Press Conference with Donald Rumsfeld, July 25, 2006

“Ah yes. I remember reading in my history books about the fierce battles in Maine and Florida during the American Civil War. And who could forget the war raging in Minnesota? Good lord, are we really still letting this man control the Pentagon? He doesn’t even have a grip on elementary school military history. I expect more from the guy guiding the most powerful military force in the history of the planet.”

"Did we have perfection with our first airplane, our first rifle, our first ship? I mean, they'd still be testing at Kitty Hawk, for God's sake, if you wanted perfection."
-Donald Rumsfeld, on the Missile Defense System, August 2004

“Perhaps, but this isn’t even our first war in Iraq. That was back in the 90s. We got out ok in that one, primarily because we didn’t do the lame brained things that we did this time. We could have at least looked at our reasoning from back then. I mean, we could have just asked the President’s dad…”

“Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in ‘mission creep,’ and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable ‘exit strategy’ we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.”
-President George Herbert Walker Bush, A World Transformed, 1998

“But they thought that they could do better. This time Rummy knew that our faster, more mobile military could do the job.”

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, November 15, 2002

“When five months passed (a couple of years ago) Rummy simply moved the goalposts.”

“To be responsible, one needs to stop defining success in Iraq as the absence of terrorist attacks,”
-Donald Rumsfeld, December 5, 2005

“But no matter how blatantly he’s wrong it doesn’t seem to affect his support.”

"You're doing a superb job. You're a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude,"
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush to Donald Rumsfeld, May 10, 2004

"As a former secretary of defense, I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had.”
-Dick Cheney, May 9, 2004

“Hume: Secretary Rumsfeld, how does he stand with you?
Bush: Ahh-good, he's done a heck of a job.
Hume: Is he here to stay as far as you are concerned?
Bush: Yes, end of my term is a long time, but I tell you, he is doing a heck of a good job. I have no intention of changing him.”
-Brit Hume interview with George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 14, 2005

“You see, war crimes and a civil war in a volatile region of the Middle East are apparently what they were looking for. That is really the only explanation that I have. And if that doesn’t work then I guess that they can just blame the troops for what has happened.”

"You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have."
-Donald Rumsfeld, December 8, 2004

“And I guess that that is the point. We ‘had’ a certain military, and that was a given, but the ‘go to war’ portion was entirely a matter of choice. They were wrong to send the military to war if the military wasn’t configured to handle the way the Administration wanted to wage it. The buck has to stop somewhere, and that somewhere is Rumsfeld and Dubya. Just sayin’.”


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