Asked to name his mistakes in planning the war in Iraq, Cheney said he had not anticipated how long it would take the Iraqis to begin running their own country. Not until after Saddam was ousted did the United States realize the extent of the Iraqi leader’s brutality in putting down revolt in 1991, Cheney said.
“I think the hundreds of thousands of people who were slaughtered at the time, including anybody who had the gumption to stand up and challenge him, made the situation tougher than I would have thought,” he said on “The Don Imus Show” on the radio.
“I would chalk that one up as a miscalculation, where I thought things would have recovered more quickly,” Cheney said.
I’m wondering if there’s more to it than this…but then I read the transcript and realize that there isn’t. I’m sure there’s someone out there who understands Puddinhead’s logical process better than me, but it seems to me that the major issue wasn’t so much the vestiges of Saddam’s rule, but rather the startlingly poor response to the insurgency that began growing hours after invasion.
One of the interesting things about human communication is that when affect between individuals is high, the chance of a successful communication event increases. Cockburn, in particular, references something he calls amicability. What does this have to do with anything?
Because it simply amazes me that whatever Bush, Cheney, or anyone in the adminstration says, the Democrat bloggers either completely misunderstand , or completely distort what they have said, or in Kevin Drum’s case, they don’t even bother to understand it. They just look for the most negative angle possible and call whatever they have said a lie.
I say this, because I do not understand how this Cheney statement could not be understood. When Cheney stated he did not understand how brutal Hussein had been, he meant:
1.) We did not understand the extent to which the citizenry had been terrorized. This makes it easier for Ba’athist leftovers to terrorize the population, because people who have information are less willing to come forward. This is why it was so important to show the bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein when they were killed- people had to see it to believe it.
2.) We had no idea the extent to which Hussein had destroyed his infrastructure. You can’t go a week without seeing a report in a newspaper about engineers and contracters who are shocked at the electrical, sewage, water, and oil systems in Iraq.
3.) We underestimated the extent to which Hussein had planned to run a terrorist guerilla campaign were he to be deposed.
It was crystal clear what he meant- to me. TO my ears, it bordered on excuse making rather than an admission of mistake. But back to this willingness to give others the benfit of the doubt and the impact on communication. I think this is a huge admission, while Jesse doesn’t understand it at all, and his commenters are even claiming that this was a dodge- admitting a mistake that isn’t really a mistake.