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February 05, 2006

Bush's Dangerous Ignorance Iraq  Politics

The memo referenced in this earlier post talks about a meeting that took place on January 31, 2003. The article includes this jaw-dropper:

There was also a discussion of what might happen in Iraq after Saddam had been overthrown. President Bush said that he "thought it unlikely that there would be internecine warfare between the different religious and ethnic groups". [Emphasis added]

Bush apparently thought he was competent to make such a judgment — he's President, after all — but we know from other sources that only five days earlier Bush had no idea that there was a difference between Sunni and Shiite. According to Peter Galbraith:

January 2003 the President invited three members of the Iraqi opposition to join him to watch the Super Bowl [on January 26]. In the course of the conversation the Iraqis realized that the President was not aware that there was a difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. He looked at them and said, "You mean...they're not, you know, there, there's this difference. What is it about?"

There's ignorant, and there's so ignorant you don't know you're ignorant. Or maybe he just doesn't care: he's President, so he thinks he can just follow his gut.

Posted by Jonathan at February 5, 2006 04:30 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


Did W actually use the word "internecine?" I don't believe it.

Posted by: Bob at February 6, 2006 01:05 PM