Friday, November 04, 2005

Operation No Speculation

Why watching C-Span can be a vertiginous experience - I wish I hadn't missed this (from Justin Logan and Gene Healy's new Reason column on what staying the course in Iraq actually means):

"During recent congressional testimony, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked, "Do you think five years from now some American forces will have come out?" She replied, "I don't want to speculate." Then a softer version of the same question: "What about 10 years from now?" After some brief wrangling, Rice replied, "I don't know how to speculate about what will happen 10 years from now." "

TRANSLATION: "Who knows? Ten years from now it won't be my problem!" Seriously, though - "I don't want to speculate about what will happen 10 years from now." It escapes me why one inquisitive Democratic senator didn't respond with the obvious point that speculation is what enveloped the Iraq question from the very beginning. Or that public policy in general is inherently speculative. I see her point though. Sure - if you started speculating, you couldn't really avoid saying something falsifiable. And you'd have to actually make the regime change policy a real policy, as opposed to another of George Bush's pie-in-the-sky profusions of compassionate conservatism.

It's really ashame that a truly brilliant guy like Christopher Hitchens has to resort to hackery like this.

One wonders why betrothing himself to the liberation of Iraqi Kurdistan hasn't led him to think that maybe those same Kurds might actually eventually come to think of stability and Scowcroftian realism as a good thing.


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