Being a foreign policy analyst or practitioner in Washington means never having to say you are sorry. When the neo-con lies to get the US to attack Iraq are exposed as such, they simply shrug their shoulders and move on to the next "crisis". Cakewalks become let them eat cake.
That is why it is always so helpful and interesting to see a chronological list of the quotes and perspectives from the soi-disant foreign policy expert class. Reading such quotes should be a humbling experience for those who have uttered them, but alas 2013 will bring untold new opportunities to see their brilliant ideas and we can be sure they will not miss a beat.
Micah Zenko over at Foreign Policy has assembled a must-read list of "The Year in Quotes."
Here are a couple of my favorites:
7. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: "Any government that kills its own people loses its legitimacy as a government." (Statement on Syria before the Senate Armed Services Committee, March 7, 2012.)
12. Jake Tapper: "There are reports that some of the rebels in Syria are affiliated with al Qaida, are extremist. Are you not concerned at all that arming these rebel groups in Syria could end up having a horrible blowback effect?"
Sen. John McCain: "Well, I don't know what horrible blowback effect there would be, besides the fact that extremists may take it over." (ABC News, "This Week," May 6, 2012.)
16. Secretary Clinton: "Some believe that when it comes to counterterrorism, the end always justifies the means; that torture, abuse, the suspension of civil liberties -- no measure is too extreme in the name of keeping our citizens safe. But unfortunately, this view is short-sighted and wrong. When nations violate human rights and undermine the rule of law, even in the pursuit of terrorists, it feeds radicalization, gives propaganda tools to the extremists, and ultimately undermines our efforts."