Wednesday, December 27, 2006
between cool confusion and kung fu in the car park:
David Ignatius has lost his mind.
Bush's "state of denial," as Bob Woodward rightly called it, has officially ended. He actually spoke the words "We're not winning" last week in an interview with The Post, coupling it with the reverse: "We're not losing." But in truth, he cannot abide the possibility that Iraq will not end in victory. So a day after his "not winning" comment, he half took it back, saying: "I believe that we're going to win," and then adding oddly, as if to reassure himself: "I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you've got to know. We're going to succeed."
Wow, does it suck when your material rebels against the frame you try to force it into.

Funny Ignatius-related story. In April of 2003, I went home to my mother's for Passover. Ignatius was in Iraq, and he needed to reach Kanan Makiya. He knew I had Kanan's number, so he rang me from Baghdad. Unfortunately, I was out cold, so my mother answered. "It's David Ignatius calling," he told my mom. "I'm very important." My mother was furious and woke me up. Now, I maintain to this day that the guy must have said "It's very important," since no one would ever call up a total stranger and announce his own inherent value, and after all, the guy was calling from 8,000 miles away. But still, my mother holds Ignatius in high contempt. (My father likes his spy novels.)
--Spencer Ackerman
As a New York football Giants fan, it strikes me that Bush's take on the war since April 2003 is a lot like the latter half of our season. You can claim "we're not really losing" since we still basically control our destiny, but it's hard to really claim you are going to win the Super Bowl without really really being in a state of denial. I'll leave it to those more informed than I to pair up the relevant personalities, though Petraeus and Tiki Barber, as those that seem most unsullied by the whole mess, is a somewhat clear choice.

BTW, the new formatting looks great, but the "archives" box on the left sidebar is a little screwy with font/width issues, and is linebreaking in the middle of the date for firefox/linux. One or two points smaller in the "sidehead" class would fix it. Everything else is fantastic.
Blogger jfaberuiuc | 9:56 AM

David Ignatius has written what can best be described as a "time capsule column", summing up the thinking of the DC Media Elite about Bush and the Iraq war.

According to Ignatius and the Washington Post insiderdom the war is not Bush's doing. The war somehow HAPPENED to him. Poor Bush, looking so sad. What he is going through is more than any person can bear. We must all feel sorry for him.

Ignatius and his friends don't feel sorry for Bush's victims; the tens of thousands of dead, maimed, wounded, tortured. They feel sorry for Bush. He launched a ruinous war with lies and deceptions leading to the deaths of tens of thousands they you feel sorry for Bush.
Blogger Miri11 | 12:11 PM

Might there be a future post about Kanan Makiya's role in the runup to the invasion, and since? I'd certainly be interested in your perceptions.

Packer appears to see him as a tragic figure; I'm having a difficult time being quite that generous. In particular, I found the diary Makiya kept, for your old employer, about his perceptions os what he saw as he returned to Iraq, behind our invasion, chilling. As the violence being visited on ordinary Iraqis should be viewed as a cleansing ritual.

Please take care of yourself in Iraq; we need your voice more than ever.
Blogger Leah A | 9:21 AM

What a waste it is to lose one's mind, or not to have a mind.
-- Dan Quayle

What miri11 said. GWB ought not only to be stressed; if he had an ounce of humanity, he ought to feel like disemboweling himself to cut out the pain of being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

I have to conclude that many members of both this Administration and the commentariat are sociopaths: the thousands of Iraqis tortured, the hundreds of thousands dead, mean little to them compared to their political futures, to their theories, and to the well-being of the members of their own class.

They are moral lepers, the scum of the earth. Whether it's Bush or Condi, Ignatius or Hiatt or Will, these people should not be associated with, until such time as 'association,' in the case of members of the Administration, can mean 'bringing them to trial for war crimes.'
Blogger low-tech cyclist | 11:14 AM