- President Bush seemed to soften his tone today about
military action against Iraq, saying he was open to compromises with
Congress and the United Nations as long as both passed "tough"
resolutions that did not tie his hands if Saddam Hussein refuses to
disarm. But his spokesman said later that Mr. Bush was still
determined to oust Mr. Hussein, and urged the Iraqi people to rise up
against Mr. Hussein and exile or kill him.
Mr. Bush said twice today that his goal was "disarming this man," and, in remarks that may have been intended to placate the Security Council members and allies who would have to approve a new United Nations resolution, he made no reference to engineering Mr. Hussein's overthrow.
Two hours later, his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, whose words do not carry as much weight with foreign leaders as the president's, said the goal of removing Mr. Hussein had not changed.
"The policy is regime change, and that remains the American position," he said, even if it was not the policy of the United Nations. He also used the White House podium to encourage a coup, suggesting that there were less expensive ways to accomplish the removal of Mr. Hussein than a military invasion.
"The cost of a one-way ticket is substantially less than that," he said. "The cost of one bullet, if the Iraqi people take it on themselves, is substantially less than that."
That comes on the heels of a much-noted Newsweek article which describes the Rumsfeld battle-planning process:
- Rumsfeld, an impatient questioner, demands to see a plan of attack. The generals respond that they can’t plan without knowing exactly what they are planning for and with what tools, i.e., what bases and what forces. Rumsfeld becomes vexed and insists on “out of the box” thinking. The generals look perplexed or exasperated and fall back on traditional notions of the American way of war, which is to overwhelm the enemy with superior firepower. Such a campaign takes a long wind-up and a massive attack, which prompts the basic questions—from where? with what forces?—all over again.
Would you buy a used war from these men?
These are the people that promised real professionalism in government, not like those amateurs in the Clinton administration. Not since Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize has anyone worked harder to put political satirists out of business...