I don’t believe human beings can predict the future reliably. So for my final 20 years in the investment business, I never made a forecast. But one future event seems about as certain to me as anything could possibly be.
After the Iraqi elections this weekend, when the U.S.-installed interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s party has amazingly won the most seats, the war team in Washington along with a good part of the media will somehow see the completion of the elections as a great victory for George Bush, a confirmation that his decision to invade Iraq was the right choice after all.
They did this when Baghdad fell, they did it when Hussein was captured, they did it when "sovereignty" was turned over to the Iraqis last June, and I can’t imagine that they won’t do it when Iraq holds its first free elections! in history. Of course, we here in America will have no evidence available that these elections will have been any more free than the elections held during Saddam Hussein’s regime. But no matter. All that counts is appearance, and the appearance will prove that George Bush was right all along.
It’s as though we who opposed the war did so because we said the U.S. military could never defeat the Iraqi army and capture Baghdad, that the U.S. could never capture Hussein, that the U.S. could never appoint some Iraqis to ceremonial positions in the occupation, and that the Iraqis couldn’t hold an election. And now we have to admit how wrong we’ve been proven to be!
What everyone knows
Forgive me for repeating something I’ve said before, and before, and before. But in reporting Tuesday’s Senate debate on the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be Secretary of State, some Democrats blasted Rice as being part of the team that made the false claims that led to the Iraqi War. CNN reports:
Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican, defended Rice, calling attacks on her integrity "somewhat astonishing" and noting that many governments had considered Iraq "a grave and gathering threat."
The only reason that many governments had considered Iraq "a grave and gathering threat" was because the U.S. government claimed it had overwhelming evidence that Iraq was "a grave and gathering threat." I really doubt that Poland or Spain or the United Nations or Portugal or South Korea much less Micronesia or the Marshall Islands had its own CIA operatives in Iraq discovering evidence of mobile laboratories and unmanned airplanes that could drop biological weapons on the East Coast of the United States.
It is an old tactic to dispense false information, and then cite those who repeat the false information as evidence that your disinformation has been independently verified.
January 28, 2005