Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

No Little Scottie today, but I doe have Terrence Trent d’Uffy aboard Air Force One for you. Today’s topic: Presidential mistakes.

Q Trent, if I could ask you about the past two speeches on Iraq and the one you have coming up on Monday. What’s been most notable about them – apart from the strategy, itself – has been the decision in both of the recent speeches to admit some fairly severe mistakes in the course of reconstruction and in arming the civilian Iraqi police and so forth; there was a long list the President provided.

Why did the President – many of these were criticisms that have been made for some time by outside and the White House has denied. Why did the President decide to reverse course and begin to discuss openly mistakes made in Iraq?

MR. DUFFY: I would challenge your premise. The President has talked about the difficulties in Iraq from the very beginning – whether that be in reconstruction or in building the institutions necessary for an Iraqi democracy to take hold, or in the security. He has acknowledged those repeatedly and he has done so in the past two speeches.


There were a lot of nay-sayers who said that the Iraqis don’t want a democracy, that they can’t govern themselves. [Really? Name one, Trent.] And throughout all this, the President rejected that and the Iraqi people rejected that repeatedly. In January of last year, 8 million Iraqis went to the polls, defied the terrorists, defied the violence. And they voted. And, likewise, we saw at the confirmation of the constitution, you had near 10 million defy the terrorists, defy the violence, and go to the polls.


Q If I could just follow up on that for a moment. When you challenged the premise, you came back and said the President has talked about the difficulties in Iraq from the beginning – which he certainly has. Unless my memory is wrong, what he hadn’t discussed before was specific errors of judgment made by the administration, the Pentagon, the reconstruction effort, and how to deal with those.

And now he has come out and begun to describe some of those. I think these speeches are the first time he’s done that; is that wrong?

MR. DUFFY: I think he’s just gone into greater detail about how our strategy – which is the strategy for victory which has been in place since the beginning – has adapted to changing realities on the ground. And that is one of the key ingredients for victory, is you’ve got to be able to adapt and to improvise and to overcome when you have a challenge like we’re facing in Iraq.

He has gone into more detail about those difficulties, I’ll grant you. But he has always acknowledged the difficulties and the great challenge that we’re facing, as he’s tried to continually discuss with the American people why it’s necessary that we win.

There you have it. Chimpy didn’t make any mistakes, reality changed!