Got delusion?
October 20, 2004 9:21 AM   Subscribe

"We're not going to have any casualties." This is the response that George W Bush gave to Pat Robertson, during a meeting in which Robertson expressed deep misgivings about the impending war in Iraq. There's been a lot of discussion about just how self-assured the President is on his positions (and how he won't admit any mistakes), but where does assurance end and delusion begin?
posted by almostcool (48 comments total)

 
As evidenced by Robertson's continued backing of Bush, it's clear that his backers don't think he makes mistakes, either. It's truly frightening.
posted by tommasz at 9:30 AM on October 20, 2004


i wish dubyuh would hurry up and ascend into heaven to be seated at the right hand of god.
posted by quonsar at 9:30 AM on October 20, 2004


The key section of the linked article, and also the most important thing to keep in mind when discussing his self-assuredness and how "he won't admit any mistakes":

Asked why Bush has refused to admit to mistakes on Iraq, Robertson said, "I don't know this politics game. You know, you can never say you were wrong because the opposition grabs onto it: 'See, he admitted he screwed up.' "

It would be remarkable if a president wasn't self assured to the point of arrogance, and mind-boggling if one ever admitted to specific mistakes in the midst of an election campaign.
posted by loquax at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2004



posted by Peter H at 9:37 AM on October 20, 2004


No, the key section of the linked article is this:

I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," Robertson said.

Now, we all know Bush is in constant communication with the Lord himself, which, if we believe Pat (who is after all a professional Man of God) leaves us with only two alternatives:

A) The Lord told Bush the same thing, but Bush thought he knew better than the Lord and went ahead anyway; or

B) The Lord told Bush one thing and Pat another, meaning that the Lord was playing a trick on Bush to sabotage his re-election chances.

These are sobering thoughts indeed.
posted by soyjoy at 9:55 AM on October 20, 2004


He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

To quote Socrates: "Only a fool is certain."
posted by psmealey at 10:20 AM on October 20, 2004


Man, you Americans better fire this guy's ass. If I fucked up at work like this guy I'd be kicked out on my can. BOOM!
posted by johnnydark at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2004


To a war pig, 1,141 is just a rounding error.
posted by euphorb at 11:46 AM on October 20, 2004


It would be remarkable if a president wasn't self assured to the point of arrogance

It's even more remarkable when that self-assurance comes from a belief that you're channeling God.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:48 AM on October 20, 2004


That is the hottest picture of Bush I've ever seen.
posted by graventy at 11:49 AM on October 20, 2004


Bush having the gall to say that there would be no injuries sustained by US forces in invading Iraq goes a very long way to illustrating just how seriously out of touch this fool is. Of course, if he'd been in combat then maybe he would have first hand knowledge but he got drunk instead.

How many more days must we suffer this fool?
posted by fenriq at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2004


til the inauguration of President Kerry in January. (look for more no-bid contracts, secret deals, and recess judicial appointments between now and then.)
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM on October 20, 2004


It takes me aback that Robertson would say this about Bush. I mean... given that he wants Bush to be re-elected, he could have no possible motivation for saying this but [gasp!] to want to tell the truth!

Perhaps the man really does mean well. He's just completely misguided.
posted by orange swan at 12:37 PM on October 20, 2004


Pat Buchanan is also no fan of Bush, but considers him the lesser of two evils. I imagine the same is true of Pat Robertson. Neither man is a single issue voter. Sure, Robertson and Buchanan might not like what Bush has done in Iraq or with the economy - however, these are hardly the only issues. Buchanan, for example, believes one should vote for Bush because of the Supreme Court nominees. I imagine Robertson supports Bush for a myriad of social and and moral issues. I totally disagree with both of them, but I admire that they are willing to use their pulpits to speak out against their own candidate - a rare quality on either side of the binary U.S. political system, it seems.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:51 PM on October 20, 2004


Agree or disagree with the war, anyone who believes Bush actually thought there wouldn't be ANY casualties is nuts.

Maybe he meant there wouldn't be casualties on a certain scale, but not a single one? Yeah right.

Seriously, I wonder what kinds of casualties they were expecting. Are we higher or lower than that right now? I remember in the 1st Gulf War expectations were over 10,000 Americans lost.

BTW, what's the current count in Afghanistan? I guess one could say we lost 3000+ on 9/11 just minding our own business and since then we've taken over two countries and lost probably less than 2,000.
posted by b_thinky at 12:51 PM on October 20, 2004


look for more no-bid contracts, secret deals, and recess judicial appointments between now and then.

And of course there'll be nothing like any such shenanigans in the Kerry administration, because only Republicans play dirty...
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2004


How is it that Buchanan and Robinson get any part of the national spotlight at all is beyond me. Have they both managed to either cloak, or pretty up their bigotry-based ideologies so that it's now perfectly acceptable for reasonable people to consider their input valuable on this or any topic?

WTF? I suppose I should get David Duke and Fred Phelps's opinions on both candidates before I make up my own mind on whether to vote for Kerry or Bush.
posted by psmealey at 2:03 PM on October 20, 2004


Please show me how Buchanan's ideology is "bigotry-based" or in any way shape or form similar to Fred Phelps or David Duke.
posted by cell divide at 2:08 PM on October 20, 2004


Casualties.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:15 PM on October 20, 2004


Please show me how Buchanan's ideology is "bigotry-based"

.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:19 PM on October 20, 2004


[T]he president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

That is, none other than democratic ideals, transparency in government, civil liberties and, generally speaking, the truth.

b_Thinky: [W]e've taken over two countries and lost probably less than 2,000.

Iraq Body Count -- because we're all the children of Bush's god. I guess.
posted by oncogenesis at 2:21 PM on October 20, 2004


Please show me how Buchanan's ideology is bigotry-based

Perhaps Buchanan's bigotry is not to the level of overtness that Phelps and Duke demonstrate, but it's still just as present and perhaps more corrosive, since his diatribes are mostly delivered in code and by innuendo. Do you not remember the Buchanan "culture war" speech of the RNC of 1988? If not, Here's some more info.

But back to the point, saying that the Batshit Pats will vote for Bush despite their "serious" differences with him is a bit like saying that, "well, I don't think Kerry will do enough to kill the unborn, but I'll vote for him anyway... he's better than Bush."
posted by psmealey at 2:45 PM on October 20, 2004


Don't worry about casualties... Enjoy the Draft!
posted by soyjoy at 2:46 PM on October 20, 2004


In other words, most "fact based" people won't give a crap about what Buchanan and Roberts misgivings are with regard to Bush, but it does help them elevate themselves to a(n undeserved) level of respectability in some peoples' eyes.
posted by psmealey at 2:52 PM on October 20, 2004


Why did Robertson come out with this ?

Easy.

Robertson was merely bitch-slapping George W a little, to remind Bush who's the real boss.

[ I hate that term, "bitch slapping", but it has it's uses ]
posted by troutfishing at 3:19 PM on October 20, 2004


Maybe Bush thought Robertson was talking about Causality? Which would be quite accurate really, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any causalities."

Yep. That's what he must have meant. Bush and his poor talkerating skills. Hell, maybe he really thinks everything he does is Dog's Will?
posted by fenriq at 3:49 PM on October 20, 2004


It appears the White House is now denying that Bush ever said that. Nothing yet from the Robertson camp.
posted by tommasz at 4:26 PM on October 20, 2004


How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

None. There’s nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn’t work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness.

-- John Cleese (via William Gibson's blog)
posted by bashos_frog at 4:39 PM on October 20, 2004


Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure." —H. L. Mencken
posted by rushmc at 5:28 PM on October 20, 2004


It appears the White House is now denying that Bush ever said that.
Hysterical! Are they calling Robertson a liar? God really does work in mysterious ways--i can't see this sitting well with Robertson's flock. : >
posted by amberglow at 5:34 PM on October 20, 2004


oncogenesis: because we're all the children of Bush's god. I guess.

Wars are generally fought on the notion that some people are going to die, so better your people than my people. Bush clearly views this war as necessary to protect our citizens here in the US after 9/11. So his job really isn't to save Iraqi lives.

I don't think one can argue that our side doesn't value Iraqi life more than the other side. They willfully kill many of thier own to get at a few of us. We could have ended this war long ago by not sparing the majority of Iraqi civilians.
posted by b_thinky at 5:42 PM on October 20, 2004


But Robertson meant our casualties--what does he care about heathens? Remember, this must have also been around the time they were saying we'd be greeted with happy, dancing Iraqis bearing flowers.
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2004


"We could have ended this war long ago by not sparing the majority of Iraqi civilians." - b_thinky, what did you just say ?

Let me remove the double negatives there :

"We could have ended this war long ago by killing the majority of Iraqi civilians."


So, you're into genocide, eh? Others in recent history have espoused genocide.

But, those are not well thought of these days.

________


Thought experiment : quick! - there's a single terrorist hiding amidst 1,000 children. The only ordinance you have is a single 500 pound bomb.

What do you do ?
posted by troutfishing at 6:39 PM on October 20, 2004


Also around the time the CIA was planning to smuggle in thousands of American flags, so the liberated Iraqis would have something to wave once they had thrown their flowers in the path of the US soldiers.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:41 PM on October 20, 2004


Troutfishing, come on, you know what b_thinky meant. I think it was obvious he wasn't encouraging genocide.
posted by loquax at 7:09 PM on October 20, 2004


We could have ended this war long ago by not sparing the majority of Iraqi civilians.

Wow, that's certainly some interesting, um, thinking. Any chance we could hear instead from A_thinky?
posted by soyjoy at 7:46 PM on October 20, 2004


No, loquax...I think troutfishing had it right. The original comment seems to suggest that if we had just killed all those pesky civilians, then the war would be going much better.
posted by dejah420 at 8:11 PM on October 20, 2004


No, I read it as suggesting that the US administration does care about Iraqi citizens as evidenced by the fact that they aren't committing genocide.

Now, whether you want to accept that as true or not is open to discussion, but there isn't much point in putting words into people's mouths.
posted by willnot at 8:32 PM on October 20, 2004


willnot - I parsed that paragraph a few times, just to make sure. In logical terms, I'd say the last sentence is not logically contingent on or tied to the two prior sentences.
posted by troutfishing at 8:46 PM on October 20, 2004


Um... yeah... I guess pointing out that our military does in fact have weapons much stronger than those currently being used is the same as advocating genocide.

You do realize we don't HAVE to send our soldiers out on the foot patrols on which they get ambushed. Zarqawi and co bomb a market full of scores of Iraqis just to get a few US soldiers. If we were to place the same value on Iraqi life as Zarqawi does, dropping the 500 lb bomb to get one terrorist amongst 1000 kids would be expected.

But we don't do this because we value life more than the enemy. I don't think this point can be disputed.
posted by b_thinky at 8:51 PM on October 20, 2004


Re "denying"...

Karen Hughes, a longtime confidant of the president, said she was "certain" Bush would not have said anything like that to Robertson. "Perhaps he misunderstood, but I've never heard the president say any such thing," Hughes said on CNN's "Inside Politics."

So the President is not actually denying saying those things. Hughes didn't even bother to ask him so that she could say did not say and Pat Robertson has.

Finally, you've got to love Robertson's Twain quote about the contented Christian with four aces... but, hello, Pat, notice the IRONY? You betcha Bush is Twain's very image.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:00 PM on October 20, 2004


b_thinky - you really can't wiggle out of it that way. Your statement was too direct : "We could have ended this war long ago by not sparing the majority of Iraqi civilians."

Interesting : the Iraqis didn't even attack the US, but since the US invaded anyway (for unclear reasons) you're saying we could have solved all our problems by killing millions of innocent people ?

America - by your logic - might as well bomb the whole world preemptively.

Lo! - No more problems or conflict.

Just billions of corpses.

__________

Zurishaddai - nice spin deconstruction.
posted by troutfishing at 9:46 PM on October 20, 2004


b_thinky - you really can't wiggle out of it that way. Your statement was too direct :

You know, when I read that, I hear Bush telling Kerry that he clearly said American would have to pass a "global test".

troutfishing - generally I respect what you have to say, but what's the point of ignoring context for the sake of an incredibly minor score on a little web discussion of very little consequence?

I think it's pretty clear b_thinky didn't mean what you're trying to say (s)he meant. Now, I'm not sure that (s)he's right that the Iraqi insurgents value life less than the Americans. In fact, I'm pretty sure (s)he's wrong about that, but it's so obvious that (s)he isn't pushing for genocide that I can't believe you're seriously continuing to insist on it.

Bigger fish, you know?
posted by willnot at 10:19 PM on October 20, 2004


Close, zurishaddai, but not quite spot on: I'd say it's not that Hughes didn't bother to ask Bush or Robertson, rather that she failed to so so on purpose. When quickly heard, her statement sounds like a denial of Robertson's account, which is what 99% of American's will "hear," shielding Bush at least immediately from the fact that he thought he could take Iraq without casualties (which is so in keeping with his delusional world view that I have no problem believing he actually did say it). A week from now, if Robertson gets around to forcing the issue, Hughes will be able to slither backwards into her hole a bit by saying she "didn't say in her statement that Robertson was a liar, only suggested that the President 'wouldn't have said that.'" It's the semantic game that allows Dick Cheney to continue denying he's ever said there was a link between Sadaam Hussein and the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks: everybody knows that he has, repeatedly and continues to depsite impressive evidence that says it's not true, because of the precise phrasing of his claims. It's bullshit, but hey, welcome to BushCo MiniTruth...
posted by JollyWanker at 5:28 AM on October 21, 2004


Willnot - It seems to me that b_thinky doesn't really care if a few million Iraqis die and I think b_thinky shares this view with a large part of the American electorate.

And that I think that makes it a pretty big fish.
posted by fullerine at 5:49 AM on October 21, 2004


Robertson's said it before (6/04 ): Well, I don't think God`s opposed to the war, necessarily, but it was a danger sign. I felt very uneasy about it from the very get-go. Whenever I heard about it, I knew it was going to be trouble. I warned the president. I only met with him once. I said, You better prepare the American people for some serious casualties. And he said, Oh, no, our troops are, you know, so well protected, we don`t have to worry about that.
posted by amberglow at 5:54 AM on October 21, 2004


But we don't do this because we value life more than the enemy. I don't think this point can be disputed.

Well, you may not think so, but it can easily be disputed. This isn't necessarily the case, but one obvious rationale for us not wiping out as many innocent civilians as possible is that we're playing to a different audience than the religious fanatics are (and even than the not-so-religious insurgents are) and what might play to their audience doesn't play to ours.

Also, I think trout skewed this by equating that original comment with "genocide." Killing 100 innocent children collaterally in order to destroy one terrorist is not necessarily genocide, which entails a conscious goal of wiping out an entire ethnic group. It is, however, reckless, reprehensible, unethical and utterly counter to America's supposed values - especially considering that this war we're discussing "ending long ago" is one we started without any justifiable cause. This is how and why I think the comment should be attacked, not by equating it with "genocide."
posted by soyjoy at 7:04 AM on October 21, 2004


"...but I've never heard the president say any such thing." --Karen Hughes

Man, these folks are pieces of .... work. Reminds me of John O'Neil of Swift Vote Vets for Truth (sic) saying that because he didn't see any war crimes committed they couldn't have happened and therefore Kerry had to be lying. So now Karen Hughes informs us that because she never heard Gee Duh-bya Bush say that there wouldn't be any casualties, it couldn't be true.

Wow. These people really do live in an alternate reality.
posted by terrapin at 7:18 AM on October 21, 2004


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