Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Our fundamental purpose is more likely to be defeated from lack of will to maintain it than from any mistakes we may make...

From yesterday's Rumsfeld briefing.

Get down into the Q and A with reporters on the role of the media and what a Civil War would look like. It's pretty good.
From what I've seen thus far, much of the reporting in the U.S.and abroad has exaggerated the situation, according to General Casey. The number of attacks on mosques, as he pointed out, had been exaggerated. The number of Iraqi deaths had been exaggerated. The behavior of the Iraqi security forces had been mischaracterized in some instances. And I guess that is to say nothing of the apparently inaccurate and harmful reports of U.S.military conduct in connection with a bus filled with passengers in Iraq.

Interestingly, all of the exaggerations seem to be on one side. It isn't as though there simply have been a series of random errors on both sides of issues. On the contrary, the steady stream of errors all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq.

And then I notice today that there's been a public opinion poll reporting that the readers of these exaggerations believe Iraq is in a civil war -- a majority do, which I suppose is little wonder that the reports we've seen have had that effect on the American people.

General Casey has reported that overall levels of violence have not increased substantially as a result of the Golden Dome bombing. To be sure, violence continues to slow Iraq's progress. That's a fact, and we know that. In the coming months Iraqis will face difficult obstacles in controlling illegal militias, and we know that. They're working to try to strengthen their ministries, and we're trying to help them. And their efforts to fashion a unity government that will represent all elements of their society is clearly being delayed by the situation in Iraq. Nonetheless, the leadership being shown by the Iraqi security forces, by the Iraqi government officials in the wake of these attacks against the shrine has to be seen as encouraging, despite the apparent unwillingness of some to accept it.

Nearly 56 years ago, in 1950, the Truman administration issued what would become a framework for America's Cold War strategy for four decades. In a formerly classified document called NSC 68, the Truman administration said, quote, "Our fundamental purpose is more likely to be defeated from lack of will to maintain it than from any mistakes we may make or assault we may undergo because of asserting that will," unquote. Today our nation is again in a long struggle. And again, the toughest challenge will be to maintain our national will to persevere and to prevail.


Anne said...

I really think it is one of the best things for the President and the country when Rumsfeld engages the media. They can't demonize him and have a grudging respect for him as a smart, witty and tough leader, who has the long view.

Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld is a joke. "Our fundamental purpose is more likely to be defeated from lack of will to maintain it than from any mistakes we may make..." completely separates the Administration's "intentions" from their incompetant actions. In old fashioned (pre-neocon) terms, it's called not taking responsibility.