Mrs. Malaprop Stikes George Down Again
Yesterday I was half-listening to the TV news when I heard President Bush say
"Conditions change inside a country," he said. "And the question is, are we going to be facile enough to change with - will we be nimble enough - will we be able to deal with the circumstances on the ground? And the answer is, yes, we will."I owe the exact language to the San Jose Mercury News. I was a bit taken aback by our President's use of language. I have already blogged on his infamous propensity to engage in malapropisms where I discussed a variety of explanations that have been given and won't repeat that exercise. What is remarkable is that he used the quite inappropriate word "facile," switched to "nimble," which is better, but apparently unhappy with his first two efforts went with the simplest way of forming the lie he wanted to tell.
I am inclined to believe George was told what to say by Rummy or Cheney or Rove or some general, telling him that we we must be nimble in how we adapt to changing circtumstances in dealing with what is, to say the very least, a very elusive enemy in Iraq. It is not so different from the the enemy in Vietnam, an enemy we couldn't defeat. My guess is they gave him "nimble" to work with and he slipped up and put in "facile" and things went South from there. One theory that I may not have discussed in the earlier referenced blog is that George simply doesn't know a lot of words and isn't sure how to use his more recently acquired ones.
Clearly, George did not anticipate how events would proceed in Iraq when he made the ill-fated decision to invade. He was doubtless in the throes of a testosterone rush when he made that decision. Were that not true, there would have been sufficient blood flow in his brain to have prepared a more facile -- whoops, I mean nimble post-war plan. So, we will lose in Iraq. A fundamentalist Shiite state will be created in the regions not created by the Kurds (unless the Shiites are stupid enough to go after them), as was fully predictable by anyone with a modicum of understanding of the demographics of Iraq and how Muslims view Westerners.
Bush's nimble policy won't change anything. As Shimon Peres said in a CNN interview yesterday, Hezbollah has no uniforms, does not maintain a headquarters unit, does not try to maintain a front line and hides its rockets in people's homes, which makes it difficult to fight them, much less fight them without killing civilians. He also claimed that 10,000 civilians were killed by the Allied bombing raids in Kosovo so by that standard the Israelis are doing pretty well -- or, at least, were doing well before they killed UN Observers. That will give Israel's political enemies grist for their mills, probably enough for the Euros to demand a cease fire.
The fact is that Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah and we can't defeat whoever the hell it is we are fighting in Iraq -- is it the insurgents, the Sunni militias, or the Shiite militias or all three? I doubt that Bush knows. We couldn't defeat our nimble enemies in Vietnam, and couldn't defeat the nimble Sandinistas with our proxy Contra Army. One could go back in time to the Revolutionary War where we used a nimble guerrilla-style method of defeating the Brits. Indeed, I think we may have invented guerrilla war. But we didn't learn anything from our victory if the Vietnam and Iraq wars are any measure of the wisdom we have acquired from history -- in this case our own.
So, we are left with a facile President. I am embarrassed by the man.