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Thursday, February 19, 2004
Acceptable risk: kudos to Rummy and quit insulting my intelligence
On February 10, when asked "What does this devastating bombing today say about their ability to do that when you've trained tens of thousands of policemen to stop such attacks?" Rummy said perfect security is not obtainable:
...look at any city on the face of the Earth. Everyone's against homicide, and yet in every city -- major city on the face of the Earth, homicides occur every week...I suspect this was just a way to avoid answering a question, but Rummy deserves credit for implicitly acknowledging that the rhetoric of the Bush Administration, which Rummy is a part of, is wrong when it puts forward absolute security as an obtainable goal.
The question that should arise from this is, what risk is acceptable? It won't be put forward or discussed, at least in part due to the near certainty that if it were, it would give the Democrats an easy, but unfair, way of saying that Team Bush is weak on security.
But to just blame it on "politics" is to ignore the ways in which the Bush Administration uses this rhetoric to justify specific actions. When Bush says that as a result "of September the 11th, 2001, I will not take risks with the lives and security of the American people by assuming the goodwill of dictators," he is saying that invading Iraq was justified because not doing so meant taking a risk with Saddam while ignoring that he takes risks every day with all sorts of dictators.
The Bush Administration, I suspect, believes that the general public and the mainstream media either doesn't care or can't/won't see this distortion. I suspect Bush and friends are right.
The Bush campaign... claims... that Bush has proved himself as a competent and daring "war president." And yet his actions in Iraq, and the vicious attacks against anyone who disagrees with his administration's logic, give many veterans serious pause.I'm sure God is getting ready to punish Webb.