This has been mentioned everywhere already, but since I posted a series of dumb quotes by public figures last week, I would be remiss if I left out the champion:
During a joint news conference Saturday in St. Petersburg, Bush said he raised concerns about democracy in Russia during a frank discussion with the Russian leader.
“I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq where there’s a free press and free religion, and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same,” Bush said.
To that, Putin replied, “We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly.”
I used to imagine, when Bush talks about how well things are going in Iraq, that he’s just lying. But it’s clear that he really thinks democracy is flourishing in Iraq.
Is unbelievable cluelessness considered grounds for impeachment?
I think my brain is still in vacation mode, since I haven’t been able to come up with any deep thoughts for the blog. I have a bunch of stuff to review which I’ll try to post tonight. Meanwhile, I haven’t done a political post for a while, so here are a few items.
- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi killed. Better late than never, I suppose. The Bush administration let this guy operate as long as he was politically useful for drumming up support for the Iraq war. From The Atlantic:
During my time in Jordan, I asked a number of officials what they considered to be the most curious aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and al-Zarqawi, other than the fact that the Bush administration had inflated him.
One of them said, “The six times you could have killed Zarqawi, and you didn’t.”
When Powell addressed the United Nations, he discussed the Ansar al-Islam camp near Khurmal, in northern Kurdistan, which he claimed was producing ricin and where al-Zarqawi was then based. On at least three occasions, between mid-2002 and the invasion of Iraq the following March, the Pentagon presented plans to the White House to destroy the Khurmal camp, according to a report published by TheWall Street Journal in October 2004. The White House either declined or simply ignored the request.
- Bush’s visit to Baghdad. Meaningless political theater, like the “Mission Accomplished” flightsuit stunt. This is just about the only thing Bush is good at. I’m not holding my breath for any changes in Iraq policy.
- No frog march for Karl Rove. Disappointing; as Josh Marshall points out, we all know by now that Rove did leak Plame’s identity.
- The California primary. I normally try to pay attention to primaries, but I think I would have slept through this even if I hadn’t been in Mexico at the time.
Anything else I should have mentioned?