Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush Acknowledges Reality (Sorta)

In an interview with the Post, the President almost admits the obvious...

Bush, who has always said that the United States is headed for victory in Iraq, conceded yesterday what Gates, Powell and most Americans in polls have already concluded. "An interesting construct that General Pace uses is, 'We're not winning, we're not losing,'" Bush said, referring to Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the Joint Chiefs chairman, who was spotted near the Oval Office before the interview. "There's been some very positive developments. . . . [But] obviously the real problem we face is the sectarian violence that needs to be dealt with."

Asked yesterday about his "absolutely, we're winning" comment at an Oct. 25 news conference, the president recast it as a prediction rather than an assessment. "Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win," he said.

OK, so let's say that the Giants have a score of 7, and the Dolphins have a score of 31. The fourth quarter has just started. Would you expect Tom Coughlin to say "We're not winning, we're not losing," and if he did say that, how do you think the fans watching at home would react?

Trite comparisons aside, I believe that all people sin. Not only do we make mistakes, we sometimes willfully do the wrong thing. Committing sins doesn't make you a bad person, it is part of the human condition that defines all of us. True evil is when you know that you've sinned, but you refuse to do penance. Or even worse, you realize what you're doing wrong, but you persist in doing it.

Sophocles put it better then I can in Antigone:
All men make mistakes—that’s not uncommon.
But when they do, they’re no longer foolish
or subject to bad luck if they try to fix
the evil into which they’ve fallen,
once they give up their intransigence.
Men who put their stubbornness on show
invite accusations of stupidity.
Make concessions to the dead—don’t ever stab
a man who’s just been killed. What’s the glory
in killing a dead person one more time?

Sadly, I believe that Bush is much like Creon. (Man, I'm just all about bad similes today). He knows something is wrong, but his entire character is built around his role as the undisputed ruler of the land. He's won every political battle of his life, and he sees that as vindication for every choice he makes. He doesn't see the error of his ways, no matter how many times people tell him.
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