Still stupid after all these years
Ladies and Gentlemen, the shifting beliefs of Mr. Lawrence Eagleburger: Nixon Deputy Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, asshole.
We didn’t have the vaguest understanding of the region in which we were sliding. We got ourselves in a terrible mess because we hadn’t thought about why we should be there. We made the same mistake in Somalia. [See below.]Desert Storm, February 2001:
I felt that in the early stages of building up the military plans for the invasion itself, I thought (Colin Powell) had been excessively cautious. I must say, having looked at it since then and having heard him say that what he was trying to do was to convince the political betters that they were going to have to invest a lot in this exercise, I'm prepared to accept that explanation...I think he was being a legitimate general against the background of having seen what happens and happened in Vietnam, when the political betters totally misjudged everything. And all Colin Powell was trying to do, I now am prepared to concede, was to tell all of us from the president on down that if you're going to do this thing against Iraq, you must be prepared, one, to have substantial forces ready to do it; and two, you need to take into account the fact that you may take some losses. I, you know, again -- don't overdo it, please. I was critical of that at the time. I do think things could have moved faster. But in the end it was successful. And who am I to argue with success?Desert Storm, November 2001:
In the end, while I thoroughly understand and totally supported President Bush's decision not to pursue Saddam personally, I am now prepared to admit that it was probably a mistake...One of the things that was clearly a part of the president's decision was that all of his generals were telling him it was time to leave...There is little question in my mind that he has supported terrorism, including Osama bin Laden, with money and support.Somalia (PDF link):
I was one of those two or three that was strongly recommending (President Bush send troops to Somalia), and it was very much because of the television pictures of these starving kids (and) substantial pressures from the Congress that came from the same source.The Second Iraq War, 2003:
We are now seeing the consequences of what may have been our excessive use of faulty intelligence. My problem is that I still believe we will find something somewhere in Iraq that will demonstrate that we knew what we were talking about.The Second Iraq War, yesterday:
I think we also misjudged the amount of influence the terrorists were going to have over a period of time. I think in both of those issues, I think we made some serious mistakes. I think most of that has been corrected now. I think the president now has a different approach to this whole question of Iraq and how to explain it.In the end, it seems, Eagleburger can't argue with failure either.
I'm not trying to excuse the earlier mistakes. I will say, on the other hand, I think it was right to invade -- to go to war in Iraq. I just think we could have done it better. I think we are doing it better now.
How does this asshole have any credibility left?