Friday, February 8, 2008

Bush Team Language is MasterCard Worthy

Yesterday afternoon, my car radio broadcast priceless quotes from key American leaders. Condi Rice spoke of the conflict in Afghanistan. The media highlighted what she sees as progress in the region, but her words are worth noting. Condi praised folks for "beginning to turn that picture of Afghanistan around to a better day." Notice the sandbag words, beginning, turn, picture, around, better.

Of course, there is no instant pudding, but the U.S. tossed out the terrible Taliban in October, 2001. After nearly seven years, we're just beginning to turn things to a better day? This leads to other, Bush advisor comments. Consider the top U.S. General Dan McNeil's comments on the Afghan insurgency. He challenged the widely held view that the insurgency there is worsening, saying he thinks "it's probably stayed about the same." More sandbag words, probably, about the same.

Now I'm confused. Secretary Rice talked about progress in the War on Terror, yet the number of terrorists probably stayed the same? So what can turn the corner in Afghanistan?

In the definitive words of Pentagon Chief Robert Gates, "My view is that it represents potentially the opportunity to make further progress faster in Afghanistan if we had more forces there." The sandbag pile grows with such strong words as potentially, opportunity, further progress faster.

Who teaches these people to speak so indeterminately and conditionally? Hedging bets with hedged words is truly the Bush administration's gift to the world. Can I exchange mine for some straight talk, and I'm not talking about the John McCain version?