Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brooks and Gates

I've been listening to today's Pentagon Briefing on CSpan. The issue of David Brooks' interview of Defense Secretary Gates was discussed. The critical quote in the Brooks' column was

I asked him whether invading Iraq was a good idea, knowing what we know now. He looked at me for a bit and said, “I don’t know.”
When pressed as to whether that meant Gates thought it was a mistake to invade Iraq, the spokesman said that Gates did not mean he thought getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a bad idea, but that, knowing what he knows now, would he have done everything the same way, the answer was he does not know.

What an amazing statement! Assuming the invasion of Iraq was appropriate, how can he not know if he would have handled the aftermath differently. It is genrally accepted that the occupation of Iraq has been a disaster. The answer to "would you have done something differently" has to be a resounding yes. To say "I don't know" is either a lie to protect the President's precious little insular world, or incompetence. I think Brooks should have asked Secretary Gates which it was.

1 comment:

Annie said...

It seems that people have become expert at answering questions without actually saying anything. Come to think of it, people are making whole statements that say nothing...for hours!
It reminds me of the phrase coined by Reagan: "Mistakes were made...."
I can't help but think that Gates was saying the only thing he could say without actually saying anything.
Would it be so bad to piss SOMEONE off?
This is the age of covering ones ass.(ets)