Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!

Apparently warnings of imminent danger to the United States are routinely ignored. We all remember Condi Rice's answer at the 9/11 commission when asked about the title of the Presidential Daily Briefing memo dated Aug. 6, 2001. She looked up as if trying to recall and then said, "I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." Then she and W went back to clearing brush at the Crawford ranch. Two years before her "Who's on First" testimony at the 9/11 hearings she had said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." After the recent Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections Condi once again shrugged and said, "I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by Hamas' strong showing." I'm afraid to think of all the other things that escape her imagination. "No one imagined bird flu could kill people. I mean it says 'bird' right there in the name!" Sssshhhhh. Genius at work.

Now it appears this condition is genetic in the DNA of Republicans even if they don't believe in the science of genetics or DNA for that matter. Former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger says he implored Ronald Reagan to put Marines serving in Beirut in a safer position before terrorists attacked them in 1983, killing 241 servicemen.

"I was not persuasive enough to persuade the president that the Marines were there on an impossible mission," Caspar Weinberger says in an oral history project capturing the views of former Reagan administration officials. He said one of his greatest regrets was in failing to overcome the arguments that "'Marines don't cut and run,' and 'We can't leave because we're there'" before the devastating suicide attack on the lightly armed force. "They had no mission but to sit at the airport, which is just like sitting in a bull's-eye," Weinberger said. "I begged the president at least to pull them back and put them back on their transports as a more defensible position."

Ignore warnings. Stubborn refusal to re-visit bad decisions. Paper it over with spin and slogans. Put politics over national security. The 2006 platform of the Republican Party. Rah-rah.

BONUS POSTING: James Kuhn, Reagan's second-term executive assistant, said Nancy Reagan was hard to please. He described her as a first lady who "could ask questions that there were no answers to." For example, she would demand details of the weather in whatever place the Reagans were going. "And she'd say: 'Rain. Why is it raining? Why is it raining in Cleveland?'" Kuhn related. "I'd say, 'Well, I guess there's a low pressure system that came in.'
"'Well, why?' "I'd think, 'Oh God, I'm getting in deeper here.'" Birds of a feather.


Blogger phinky said...

At least Nancy was curious about stuff.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...


8:15 AM  

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