Blogs > Liberty and Power > The Administration’s Leaked Mea Culpa on Iraq

Aug 19, 2005 7:14 pm

The Administration’s Leaked Mea Culpa on Iraq

Robert Higgs asks, What does it portend?
The Bush administration, [a Washington Post] article explains, no longer expects to produce a model democracy, a well-functioning oil industry, or “a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges” in Iraq. In short, the country is in terrible shape, and the U.S. government cannot solve the Iraqis’ most pressing problems. According to a senior U.S. official, “what we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground. We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we’re in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.”

To appreciate just how shocking this statement is, one must recall that not so long ago, a Bush staffer was quoted as saying, “We’re an empire now, we make our own reality.” Indeed, since 9/11 the Bush administration’s foreign policy has been everything that foreign-policy realism is not. The government’s faith-based occupation of Iraq, however, has not held up well against the rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, small-arms fire, and mortar rounds that continue to batter it with distressing regularity, inflicting casualties of nearly 2,000 dead and some 14,000 wounded among U.S. military forces so far. An administration notable for its arrogance now undertakes to “shed the unreality” that underlay its invasion and occupation.

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David T. Beito - 8/20/2005

I wonder if these officials represent Bush's own views or just an emerging split lower in the ranks. In public at least, he is still the true believer.