Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Changing 'Course'

Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.
—George Orwell, 1984

"Stay the course" has run its course, apparently, and the Bush team is changing rhetorical horses midstream. You might even say they're cutting and running from the phrase. Via Bloomberg:
The Bush administration has dropped the phrase "stay the course" from discussions about Iraq as a recent surge in violence has forced a change in tactics on the ground and renewed calls in the U.S. for a different approach to the conflict....

"It left the wrong impression about what was going on," [Press Secretary Tony] Snow said. "And it allowed critics to say, 'Well, here's an administration that's just embarked upon a policy of not looking at what the situation is,' when, in fact, it's just the opposite."

Bush: A flip-flopping cut and runner?

It always seems to be opposite day at the White House, which would explain, amongst other things, the No Child Left Behind program and Bush's extreme confidence in the run-up to a GOP slaughter in November. If utterly failing in over three and a half years to send enough troops to Iraq and claiming the insurgency is in its "last throes" just as the already-bestial violence spikes upwards qualifies as "looking at what the situation is", I'd hate to see what would happen if the administration gave in to delusional thinking.

"It's never been a stay-the-course strategy," said White House Counselor Dan Bartlett. "Strategically, we think it's very important that we stay in Iraq and we win in Iraq." How's that for flexibility? Our strategy is emphatically not "stay the course", just so long as we stay the course. Feel better? And if we've never had a stay-the-course strategy, that what on earth has Bush been blathering on about all these years?

According to Snow, "this has always been a dynamic policy that is aimed at moving forward, at all times, on a number of fronts." It just so happens that we're currently making the most progress in our tireless advance up shit creek.

In other news, the White House has also retired the catchphrase "Mission Accomplished", replacing it instead with the much more realistic "Mission Hopelessly F**ked Up".
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