“An Interesting Word”

A sequel is rarely as good as the original. That’s just how it is. For example, the first George W. to lead this nation has been mythologized as unable to tell a lie. The current George W., on the other hand, seems unable to tell the truth—or even give a direct answer. For example, just yesterday, Mr. Bush held a joint press conference with French President Sarkozy at Mount Vernon, the former estate of George Washington. At one point, a reporter asked, “Can France…help to get out of the Iraqi quagmire? And President Bush, where do you stand on Iraq and your domestic debate on Iraq? Do you have a timetable for withdrawing troops?” Here, in part, is President Bush’s response:

I don’t — you know, “quagmire” is an interesting word. If you lived in Iraq and had lived under a tyranny, you’d be saying, god, I love freedom — because that’s what’s happened. And there are killers and radicals and murderers who kill the innocent to stop the advance of freedom. But freedom is happening in Iraq. And we’re making progress.

And I can’t thank the President enough for sending his Foreign Minister to Baghdad. It’s a clear message that freedom matters; that when people are struggling to live in freedom, that those of us who have comfort — the comfort of a free society ought to help them. [full text]

Not surprisingly, the ever articulate leader of the free world never quite got around to answering the question posed of him. He never even mentioned the issue of withdrawing troops. However, to give credit where credit is due, he did provide scintillating perspective on the word, “quagmire.” Well, Mr. President, since you brought it up, here are some other “interesting” words: deceit • evasion • carnage • devastation • boondoggle. Feel free to look them up. You’ll find the dictionary below that growing stack of DoD casualty reports.