In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.
"He's tried this two times -- it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' "
Asked if the president had elaborated, she added that he simply said, " 'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."
Now, the reason for the steam pouring out of my ears is not the "Pelosi Says She Wasn't Consulted" headline; I mean, nobody should seriously expect that Bush has been consulting with anybody outside his own little inner circle on anything. If he's gonna blow off the entire Baker-Hamilton Group, he's sure as hell not gonna be giving Nancy Pelosi the time of day. But "I told them it had to"? That's the best you've got? What, have you been telling them, "Eh, guys, don't worry, if this doesn't work it's no big deal" all this time but only now, after four years in Iraq, you're telling them that stuff has to work? (Link via Atrios.)
Over to you, Mr. Cheney.
WOLF BLITZER: How worried are you --
DICK CHENEY: We still have more work to do to get a handle on the security situation, and the president's put a plan in place to do that.
BLITZER: How worried are you of this nightmare scenario, that the U.S. is building up this Shiite-dominated Iraqi government with an enormous amount of military equipment, sophisticated training, and then in the end, they're going to turn against the United States?
CHENEY: Wolf, that's not going to happen. The problem is, you've got --
After "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction" and "my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators," shouldn't "that's not going to happen" immediately set your hair standing straight on end? Seriously, has this guy been right about anything in the past six years? If Dick Cheney told me that giant rocks weren't going to start spontaneously forming in the clouds and falling to earth, the first thing I'd do would be to run out and get a helmet. (Link via Digby.)
It's time to face the reality (even if our leaders can't): This "surge" isn't based on what's right or wrong. It isn't based on sound strategy or policy. It isn't even based on what the military wants. It's based on blind, cross-your-fingers, close-your-eyes-and-throw-a-dart-at-the-wall hope. It's based on nothing more than Bush and Cheney shrugging their shoulders and saying, "Well, fuck . . . OK, heads we send more troops."
And now we have certain nutso elements in the right wing threatening what basically amounts to a purge against people in their own party who aren't satisfied with the Bush/Cheney strategy of merely leaving 21,500 troops under their pillow for the Victory Fairy to come collect. I'd almost have fun watching this, if there weren't, you know, people dying because of it.