In the middle of the night, checking up on the news, getting ready to go to sleep, the last thing I expect to do, while reading a Washington Post story, is start busting out laughing...
Bush...acknowledged...that the administration did not anticipate the nature of the resistance in Iraq, and he said that was his greatest mistake in office. "Had we had to do it over again," he said, "we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day."
Democrats tried Sunday to exploit that acknowledgment. "The president is now describing his Iraq policy as a catastrophic success," Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in Washington. "I, like most Americans, have no idea what that means, but it is long past time for this president to accept personal responsibility for his failures and for his performance." Edwards said the Iraq war "has clearly been a failure."
As funny as this is, in terms of Edwards' witty response, it also continues our discussion about leadership and accountability. Iraq has been, by and large, a terrible failure, or at least all or most of our main expectations and objectives have gone astray. That Bush finally seems to want to acknowledge this, on the eve of the Republican Convention, when people are really going to start paying attention, is not comforting. One only need look at all the failures and embarassment courtesy of the Defense Department to see where President Bush can put some proof in his leadership pudding and fire or accept the resignation of several top individuals.