Rummy's Alternate Universe On Display Again
After General Peter Pace told us over the weekend that things were going well in Iraq, Rummy followed up today by telling us that Al Qaeda is influencing the media to report bad stories from Iraq. What an embarrassment this man is. He should check his comments with the family of Maj. Gen. Mubdar Hatim Hazya al-Dulaimi.
Rummy should also check with our ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who gave a sober assessment of the situation in Iraq amidst all this alternate universe pap from the Pentagon.
The top U.S. envoy to Iraq said Monday that the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime had opened a "Pandora's box" of volatile ethnic and sectarian tensions that could engulf the region in all-out war if America pulled out of the country too soon.
In remarks that were among the frankest and bleakest public assessments of the Iraq situation by a high-level American official, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the "potential is there" for sectarian violence to become full-blown civil war.
Khalilzad's central message that the United States cannot immediately pull out of Iraq jibed with Bush administration policy. But he offered a far gloomier picture than assessments made in recent days by U.S. military spokesmen.
On Sunday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a televised interview that things in Iraq were "going very, very well, from everything you look at."
Khalilzad's comments came just before key U.S. decisions are expected on whether the situation in Iraq has improved enough to allow for a reduction in U.S. forces this year.
Khalilzad, to his credit, has been trying to broker an agreement to keep the Iraqi government from splitting apart. Rummy, on the other hand, is keen on blaming everyone else, including as if on cue the Iranians, for his own failure.
Of course, there could be another reason for Rummy to sugar-coat the situation in Iraq. A proud man, who has presided over one of the gravest mistakes in this country’s history, and who knows that he will soon pull out his forces regardless of the situation on the ground, will see a need to spin the situation in the best possible light in a lame attempt at ensuring he is not tagged with cutting and running from his failure.