Saturday, May 01, 2004

Republicans chutzpah on "waffling" 

I love the way the Republicans try to have it both ways. Their Iraq policies in ruins, they change course. Not so dumb, even if it does smack of desperation. But isn't that... waffling?

In its policy changes, the White House has handed the United Nations the lead in selecting an interim government, moved more tanks and heavy armor into the country and softened a harsh policy of excluding members of Saddam Hussein's Baathist government from the new Iraq.

In Al-Fallujah, the administration has turned to a former general in Saddam's army to lead hundreds of former Iraqi army troops in an effort to suppress a violent uprising against the U.S.-led military occupation. The general, wise to the symbols of power in Iraq, showed up Friday in his old uniform. In the Shiite south, the administration has been unable to crush a ragtag militia led by renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Announcing the purge was among civilian administrator L. Paul Bremer's first acts when he arrived in Baghdad a year ago, and analysts said the move frightened and alienated members of Iraq's once-privileged Sunni minority, which had formed the backbone of Saddam's government, and helped give impetus to a violent Sunni rebellion against the U.S.-led coalition.

Bremer recently said he was reinstating thousands of former Baathists.

White House officials sought to downplay such policy changes. ``We characterize it as an adjustment,'' said one official, who requested anonymity. ``Any wise person evaluates the situation and makes adjustments to the realities they find.''
(via the San JoseMercury News)

So when a Republican makes adjustments to the realities they find, it's—besides a virtually unprecedented event—a mature act of statesmanship. When Kerry does it, it's waffling. Typical.

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