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Condi Rice's Faux Apology

April 1, 2006

Visiting England this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered a new twis on that staple of Bush administration communications, the faux apology. Speaking to an audience of British foreign policy wonks, Rice offered a seeming mea culpa for the situation in Iraq, "I know we've made tactical errors, thousands of them I'm sure."
Any notion that Rice was breaking with the Bush doctrine of infallibility was extinguished with her very next sentence. "But when you look back in history," Rice said. What will be judged is, did you make the right strategic decisions." Saddam Hussein, she insisted, "wasn't going anywhere without military intervention. You were not going to have a different Middle East with Saddam Hussein at the center of it." The Bush administration had learned from its tactical missteps. To do otherwise, Rice argued (in an unfortunate choice of words on the one year anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo), would be "brain-dead."
So on this April Fools' Day, we're reminded of that hallmark of the Bush presidency: never admit error. We can only imagine what a Bush statement of apology might look like. For one take, from April Fools' Day 2005, see: "Bush Signs Act of Contrition."

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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