February 05, 2007
The No-Doubt Zone

More from Bob Woodward’s State of Denial

”Don’t they have moments of self-doubt?” Armitage asked Powell one day. Didn’t Bush within his soul wonder if all this was right? They [Armitage and Powell] always had self-doubt. They lived on it, mainlined it. If you didn’t, Powell said, if you didn’t get up in the morning wondering if you’re doing a good enough job or if you can still hit the long ball, you’re not worth much.

”Not worth a shit,” Armitage said.

Doubt never seeped into the president’s public rhetoric. And as far as Powell’s and Armitage’s experience went, he was the same in private.

Powell said Bush and Cheney didn’t dare express reservations. Armitage agreed. “They cannot have any doubt about the correctness of the policy because it opens too many questions in their minds.

But the president was at the center. Armitage was baffled. “Has he thought this through?” Armitage asked Powell. “What the president says in effect is we’ve got to press on in honor of the memory of those who have fallen. Another way to say that is we’ve got to have more men fall to honor the memories of those who have already fallen.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at February 05, 2007 10:11 AM
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Nixon and Kissinger used this same digusting trope, and unfortunately it still works. The Swift Boating of Kerry by other VN vets was another earlier example.No vet wants to admit that he served and suffered in vain. No parent wants to think their child died for nothing but some politician's pride or ambition. Nobody wants to admit they were played for a sucker. Continuing the killing validates, in some illogical but emotionally satisfying way, their own sacrifice. Too few of us can get past that and see that the best way to honor their son's sacrifice or their own is to do their best to make it so nobody else will get suckered the same way. And to retire from public life, preferably into a penitentiary,the con men who fooled them.

Posted by: CCRyder on February 5, 2007 2:30 PM

read about the psychology of the loosing investor, the inability to give up on the original idea that that pick was correct

Posted by: slothrop on February 5, 2007 7:04 PM

Nixon used to argue that we wouldn't leave VN until they released our POWs,and we were dumb enough to believe that. Even though it didn't make any sense at all, since anyone with half a brain shld have figured out that the way to get prisoners home was to end the goddam war. Our current Nixon must be heartbroken there aren't any American POWs so he could pull the same scam. All he can use is the dead bodies of our brave boys and girls.

Posted by: Abednego on February 5, 2007 9:36 PM

Nixon wasn't the first.

Posted by: Martha Bridegam on February 10, 2007 12:51 AM
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