maandag, juni 16, 2003

Weekend Fun

"General Wesley Clark: Vietnam combat veteran, Rhodes scholar, four-star general, business leader, and with your support—the next president of the United States. Paid for by"

The full transcript of Wesley K. Clark's appearance on Meet the Press yesterday.


Pat Buchanon on whether or not the Neocon Movement Is Over:

"If we have hit the tar baby in Baghdad, the president may be seeking to extricate us before we go to the polls 17 months from now. And should the fruits of victory start to rot, Americans will begin to ask questions of the principal propagandists for war.

It was, after all, the neocons who sold the country on the notion that Iraq had a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was behind 9/11, that Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, that the war would be a “cakewalk,” that we would be welcomed as liberators, that victory would bring democratic revolution in the Middle East. Should the cream go sour, the neocons will face the charge that they “lied us into war.”

Moreover, for a movement that is small in number and utterly dependent on its proximity to power, the neocons have made major mistakes. They have insulted too many U.S. allies, boasted too much of their connections and influence, attracted too much attention to themselves, and antagonized too many adversaries. In this snake pit of a city, their over-developed penchant for self-promotion is not necessarily an asset."


Robert Fisk is fresh out of Iraq:

"One of the problems with the Americans I think is that the top people in the Pentagon always knew that this wasn't going to be "human rights abuses ended," flowers and music for the soldiers, and everyone lives happily every after and loves America. You may remember when Rumsfeld first came to Baghdad, something your president didn't dare to do in the end, he wanted to fly over in an airplane.

He made a speech which I thought was very interesting, rather sinister in the big hanger at Baghdad airport. He said we still have to fight the remnants of Saddam and the terrorists in Iraq, and I thought, hang on a minute, who are these people? And it took me a few minutes to realize I think what he was doing, he was laying the future narrative of the opposition to the Americans. That is, when the Americans get attacked, it could be first of all laid down to remnants of Saddam, as in remnants of the Taliban who seem to be moving around in Afghanistan now in battalion strength, but never mind. It could be blamed on Al Qaeda, so America was back fighting its old enemies again. This was familiar territory..."

"One of the big problems at the moment is the Americans and, to some extent the British, particularly the Americans in Baghdad. They're all ensconced in this chic gleaming marble palace, largest, most expensive palace. There they sit with their laptops trying to work out with Washington how they're going to bring about this new democracy in Iraq. They rely upon for the most part former Iraqi exiles who never endured Saddam Hussein, who are hovering around making sure that they get the biggest part of the pie if possible. When they leave the palace, when they go into the streets of Baghdad, the dangerous streets of Baghdad, they leave in these armored black Mercedes with gunmen in the front and back, soldiers, plain clothes guys with weapons and sunglasses.

One Iraqi said to me the other day, "Who did you think was the last person we saw driving through town like [this]?" I said, "Saddam Hussein?" They all burst out laughing, of course, they said, exactly the same."

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