Monday, March 26, 2007

"For All The Fury, It Would Be Business As Usual"

An unintentionally revealing comment by Zal Khalilzad today:
The departing U.S. ambassador said on Monday that he believes Iraq is heading in the right direction but cautioned that Iraqi leaders must understand that U.S. voters are increasingly impatient with the war.

"I know that we are an impatient people, and I constantly signal to the Iraqi leaders that our patience, or the patience of the American people, is running out," said the Afghan-born Khalilzad, who has been nominated by President Bush as American ambassador to the United Nations.

Aides to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have said that Washington has signaled that he must make progress on a series of benchmark legislative and political measures by June 30 or face a withdrawal of American support for his government.
If signals are "constant" and over a long period of time -- and our commitment only grows -- how much credibility do those signals have? Has Khalilzad cried wolf in private too many times?


Although they (South Vietnam's military leaders in 1965) were warned that America would stand for no more, that they could not toy with a great power like this, that American support was becoming more difficult, they did not believe it. They had already learned that the worse things got and the more the Americans threatened them with disengagement, the more the Americans coughed up; that they had sunk the hook deeper into the Americans than the Americans had sunk it into them. As if to convince them that for all the fury, it would be business as usual, (U.S. Ambassador Maxwell) Taylor said as they were leaving, "You people have broken a lot of dishes and now we have to see how we can straighten out this mess."

David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, p. 510

8 Comments:

Blogger Lifetime Fiscal Conservative said...

I find it soooooo hard to believe that the Bush administration would repeat mistakes made in Vietnam.

3/26/2007 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush and Cheney never went to Vietnam, so to them these are all brand new mistakes.

3/26/2007 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great quote... That would be "sink the hook", not 'sink the hole'. The hole, of course, is where the US was.

Cheers.

3/26/2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger The Cunning Realist said...

Corrected...thanks to previous poster.

3/26/2007 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then of course there's the fact that what Bushco terms treasonous behavior by Democrats -- stating that our patience is running out -- is used by Bushco to strengthen our hand in dealing with the situation.

3/26/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger DED said...

They had already learned that the worse things got and the more the Americans threatened them with disengagement, the more the Americans coughed up; that they had sunk the hook deeper into the Americans than the Americans had sunk it into them.

That's one bit of history I don't want to see repeated.

3/27/2007 2:23 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Our supposed allies learn quickly. The first rule of working in a government is nothing succeeds like failure. Blame everything on a lack of resources and money...just make sure you stash your money in Switzerland...have a bag packed...and an escape route...because once the Americans decide to hunker down in their Iraqi fortresses and quit trying to police the country...best to leave town before someone puts a bullet in your head.

3/28/2007 11:19 AM  
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