Under Some Pressure, Administration's Iraq Talking Points Get Muddy
Why is it that the more Kerry and Edwards turn the heat up on the Bush Administration to be specific about their Iraq plans and exit strategy, the more it seems that the Bushies can’t speak with one voice? Yesterday, Rummy told Congress that partial elections in Iraq were possible if security could not be guaranteed nationwide. Today, Colin Powell’s Number Two Richard Armitage basically said forget it.
"I know of no changes and no plans. We're pushing ahead, fully supporting the Iraqi people, and the United Nations and the Iraqi electoral commission to have nationwide elections for a 275 person national assembly before the end of January," he told reporters after a House appropriations foreign aid subcommittee hearing.
Rumsfeld raised the possibility of partial elections on Thursday, just hours after Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and President Bush both insisted national elections would be held on schedule in January despite the flaring insurgency.
"If there were to be an area where the extremists focused during the election period, and an election was not possible in that area at that time, so be it. You have the rest of the election and you go on. Life's not perfect," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Rummy did an about-face today, but it was another example of disarray in the Administration. By the way, where is Condi anyway?
Cheney for his part said that January elections weren’t a certainty, and that it was up to the Iraqis when the elections would be held. This was one day after both Bush and our puppet Allawi said that January elections would take place, and after Bush blasted Kerry for undercutting Allawi. So does this mean that Bush will now blast Cheney for undercutting him as well?
Earlier in the week Bush blasted Kerry for not “staying the course” by talking about withdrawing US troops before the end of the next four years. Today, Rummy said that US forces could leave before Iraq was peaceful. So does that mean that Rummy isn’t staying the course?
Update: Hell, even Allawi smacked down Rummy yesterday. It's pretty bad when you can't even be on the same page with your puppet, and he's the one who has to correct you.
Message discipline, anyone?