holding the administration to its promises
...speaking of which, don't miss this USA Today analysis of the Bush administration's ah, evolving war rehetoric.
Prewar predictions coming back to bite
Armchair generals and media critics aren't the only people whose comments are giving heartburn to administration officials defending the progress of the war with Iraq. The officials also face questions about their own remarks made before the fighting began.
Then, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke optimistically in interviews and at briefings about the prospects that the war would be short, Iraqi resistance limited and Iraqi citizens welcoming.
Now, the president has pounded the podium when asked how long the war would last — "However long it takes," he replied Thursday with open annoyance — and Myers said Sunday, "Nobody should have any illusions that this is going to be a quick and easy victory."
Four weeks ago, it was Myers who spoke with reporters about "a short, short conflict" against an Iraqi force that was "much weaker" than it was in the 1991 Gulf War.
The contrast in rhetoric has put the president and his aides on the defensive and raised questions about the administration's credibility. Although the battle began just 13 days ago and has put U.S. troops within 50 miles of Baghdad, the optimistic talk that launched it has contributed to a sense that the war hasn't gone as quickly or as well as expected.
There can't be any question that credibility--on everything--is this Administration's Achilles heel. I hope that in the coming election the Democrats continue to confront Bush with instances where his rhetoric hasn't matched reality.