Posted on Friday 29 June 2007

Bush and Vice President Cheney’s optimistic predictions about the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular have proved to be almost completely and consistently wrong for years now. ("Last throes," anyone?)

Before the 2006 election, White House political guru Karl Rove was supremely self-assured in his public predictions of Republican victory.

White House spokesman Tony Snow recently assured the press corps that Bush had enough votes in the Senate on the immigration bill. "I’ll see you at the bill signing," Bush himself told a skeptical journalist on June 11.

Bush and his staff’s credibility regarding statements of "fact" is a frequent subject of debate. But their track record on predictions is something else entirely. The evidence is pretty overwhelming that those predictions are unreliable.

I mention this because Bush’s core argument against a troop drawdown in Iraq — something supported by a large majority of Americans — is basically a prediction. As he put it again yesterday: "If we withdraw before the Iraqi government can defend itself, we would yield the future of Iraq to terrorists like al Qaeda — and we would give a green light to extremists all throughout a troubled region. The consequences for America and the Middle East would be disastrous."
Froomkin puts the Administration’s track record on predictions well – "… those predictions are unreliable." It’s still hard for me to get my mind around how incredibly wrong they’ve been. They’ve done lots of things that I’ve personally thought were disasters, but that’s not their only kind of wrong-ness. Their predictions are more like a catalogue of ther wishes than estimations based on fact. It’s staggering, really. Bad motives, secrecy, and deceit are one thing – being clueless is something else. But they’ve always got an explanation for their being wrong – an explanation revealed after the fact. I had a fantasy as I read that last installment of the Washington Post series. In my mind I saw Cheney saying that it was a shame all those Salmon in the Klamath River committed suicide….
    June 29, 2007 | 10:59 PM

    Your fantasy is right because he would never say that he was wrong about anything. He knows best is always his attitude like when he tells us outright lies on Meet The Press and he gets away with it. I used to write to Russert when I saw that Cheney or Bush were going to be on the show and I would say please follow up with the facts like your own son’s life depended on it. Of course Russert never did because Cheney knows best. I stopped watching the show because it was so juvenile at times. There was never any follow questions that mattered. Like the time the top CIA agent in charge of getting Bin Laden after 911 said the he was told to bring Bin Laden’s head in a box to the White House and Russert’s follow up question was “where would you get dry ice”? My theory about Russert is that he was schooled with nuns and Jesuits as teachers and he was taught never to be disrespectful or question authority. I know a little bit about the parochial school educational system. I was in the convent for a short time and you never question your elders or authority. I didn’t mean to go on but if people like Russert did his job back in 2001 I’m not sure Cheney and Bush would have gotten so carried away with so much damage to our country and the Middle East.

    June 30, 2007 | 10:39 AM


    I think that your point is actually not only true, it’s too true. The failure of the Press is huge. I’m not sure exactly why it happened, but I suspect that the Christian Right/Republican Conservative machine made it clear that any paper that made them look as bad as they are would be shut down. I’m not making an excuse for them. I just think they were suppressed rather than simply asleep. I sometimes wonder if the New York Times started Times Select to hide Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd behind a firewall to keep them out of general circulation. Just like I think the Right Wing Media is staying mum about the Washington Post series to keep it from being widely read…

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