In this 60 Minutes interview, President Bush explained why he brought up mistakes that had been made in his recent speech to the nation
asking fordecreeing that more troops be sent to Iraq:
PELLEY: You mention mistakes having been made in your speech. What mistakes are you talking about?
BUSH: You know, we've been through this before. Abu Ghraib was a mistake. Using bad language like, you know, "bring them on" was a mistake. I think history is gonna look back and see a lot of ways we could have done things better. No question about it.
OK, let's see what's wrong so far. First of all, Abu Ghraib was not a "mistake." It was a crime. (Actually, it was a whole bundle of crimes rolled up into one very messy scandal, but why be pedantic about it.) Second, the problem with "bring it on," (and you'd think the man could at least quote himself accurately) was not the language, it was the basic idea. When you are commander in chief of the nation's military, you do not, do not, do not invite attacks on the people you command. Ever. A formal written invitation expressing that same concept in flowery Victorian English would be no more acceptable than George "All Hat" Bush's pathetic attempt at channeling John Wayne.
PELLEY: The troop levels . . .
BUSH: Could have been a mistake.
No, George. The troop levels were a mistake. Everyone knows that at this point, so there's really no reason to keep dodging that particular point.
PELLEY: Could have been a mistake?
BUSH: Yeah. [General] John Abizaid, one of the planners, said in front of Congress, you know, he thought we might have needed more troops. My focus is on how to succeed. And the reason I brought up the mistakes is, one, that's the job of the commander-in-chief, and, two, I don't want people blaming our military. We got a bunch of good military people out there doing what we've asked them to do. And the temptation is gonna find scapegoats. Well, if the people want a scapegoat, they got one right here in me 'cause it's my decisions.
No, no, no, no, no. A scapegoat is, at least in those parts of the world that are connected to reality, the term used for someone who is blamed in an effort to distract attention from the real source of the problems. By that definition, it is impossible for George W. Bush to be a scapegoat because he is, by his own admission ("it's my decisions") the real source of the problems. If you want to see a scapegoat, a look at the history of the Abu Ghraib mess is probably a really good place to start.