the middle east
Source Jim Devine
Date 06/07/18/12:17

July 17, 2006/New York TIMES
Op-Ed Columnist
March of Folly

Since those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
and since the cast of characters making pronouncements on the crisis
in the Middle East is very much the same as it was three or four years
ago it seems like a good idea to travel down memory lane. Here's
what they said and when they said it:

"The greatest thing to come out of [invading Iraq] for the world
economy ... would be $20 a barrel for oil." Rupert Murdoch, chairman
of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), February 2003

"Oil Touches Record $78 on Mideast Conflict." Headline on, July 14, 2006

"The administration's top budget official estimated today that the
cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60
billion," saying that "earlier estimates of $100 billion to $200
billion in Iraq war costs by Lawrence B. Lindsey, Mr. Bush's former
chief economic adviser, were too high." The New York Times, Dec. 31,

"According to C.B.O.'s estimates, from the time U.S. forces invaded
Iraq in March 2003, $290 billion has been allocated for activities in
Iraq. ... Additional costs over the 2007-2016 period would total an
estimated $202 billion under the first [optimistic] scenario, and $406
billion under the second one." Congressional Budget Office, July 13,

"Peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical
experience in the Balkans suggests. There's been none of the record in
Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much
bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia." Paul Wolfowitz, deputy
secretary of defense and now president of the World Bank, Feb. 27,

"West Baghdad is no stranger to bombings and killings, but in the past
few days all restraint has vanished in an orgy of 'ethnic cleansing.'
Shia gunmen are seeking to drive out the once-dominant Sunni minority
and the Sunnis are forming neighborhood posses to retaliate. Mosques
are being attacked. Scores of innocent civilians have been killed,
their bodies left lying in the streets." The Times of London, July 14,

"Earlier this week, I traveled to Baghdad to visit the capital of a
free and democratic Iraq." President Bush, June 17, 2006

"People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse. ... These
were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing
the same things." Ayad Allawi, Mr. Bush's choice as Iraq's first
post-Saddam prime minister, November 2005

"Iraq's new government has another able leader in Speaker Mashhadani.
... He rejects the use of violence for political ends. And by agreeing
to serve in a prominent role in this new unity government, he's
demonstrating leadership and courage." President Bush, May 22, 2006

"Some people say 'we saw you beheading, kidnappings and killing. In
the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor.' These
acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a
Jew and the son of a Jew." Mahmoud Mashhadani, speaker of the Iraqi
Parliament, July 13, 2006

"My fellow citizens, not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are
winning the war in Iraq." President Bush, Dec. 18, 2005

"I think I would answer that by telling you I don't think we're
losing." Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, when asked
whether we're winning in Iraq, July 14, 2006

"Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits for the
region. ...Extremists in the region would have to rethink their
strategy of jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart,
and our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would
be enhanced." Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002

"Bush The world is coming unglued before his eyes. His nave dreams
are a Wilsonian disaster." Newsweek Conventional Wisdom Watch, July
24, 2006 edition

"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge
that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years,
and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at
our nation's peril." Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat of
Connecticut, Dec. 6, 2005

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it
is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just
learning that lesson right now." Representative Tom DeLay, Republican
of Texas, on the campaign against Slobodan Milosevic, April 28, 1999

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