Saturday, April 01, 2006

Honest at Least

Condi With Jack Straw and the Mayor of Blackburn.

At least he's honest.

The Mayor of Blackburn on Condoleeza Rice's visit to Blackburn with Jack Straw:
In front of City Hall a little earlier, Mayor Yusef Janvirmani, a native of Uganda, stood on the steps, resplendent in his ceremonial red robes, the heavy gold mayor's medallion suspended from his neck. He seemed unsure what to do as he prepared to welcome Blackburn's most prominent foreign visitor in decades. He decided to shake hands with the protesters behind the barricades as if he were working a rope line. "I'm delighted they are here," he told reporters. "I am against the war and will tell her that."

"But," he added, "having the secretary of state here is good for the economy."
OTOH, several of the Muslim Leaders who met with Rice requested their names not be published or broadcast, "for fear of repercussions. Five who agreed to be interviewed clearly feared they might be viewed as traitors."

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit phrases this same phenomenon a wee bit more baldly. Gateway Pundit: British Muslim Leaders Admit They are Terrified of... Muslims! But hey, I was going for the understatement.

Later on, Condi explicated what she meant by thousands of mistakes:
On Saturday, a reporter asked Rice to give examples of the [1000s of] mistakes.

"First of all, I meant it figuratively, not literally. Let me be very clear about that. I wasn't sitting around counting," she replied. "The point I was making to the questioner ... is that, of course, if you've ever made decisions, you've undoubtedly made mistakes.

She also added that in large events, it is important to get the overall direction correct, rather than the implementation of every decision; because over time, it is only the sweep of the event, not the minutiae of all the details that will be remembered and will count. This is a point I've made countless times in arguments myself. I'm enough of a historian - as opposed to a political scientist, etc., where it seems absolutely clear to me, too.
"The important thing is to get the big strategic decisions right, and that I am confident that the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein and give the Iraqi people an opportunity for peace and for democracy is the right decision."

"The other point I was making to the questioner is that I'm enough of a historian to know that things that looked brilliant at the moment turn out in historical perspective to be mistakes, and the things that look like mistakes turn out to have been right decisions."


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