Rice Admits U.S. Underestimated Hamas Strength
LONDON, Jan. 29 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that the United States had failed to understand the depth of hostility among Palestinians toward their longtime leaders. The hostility led to an election victory by the militant group Hamas that has reduced to tatters crucial assumptions underlying American policies and hopes in the Middle East.
"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."
A good enough pulse. Brother. It helps if you know where to look for one, Condi.
This underestimating Hamas comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. The Bush administration has gotten everything wrong from day one. Either that or they've screwed up everything on purpose, a possibility that I'm not entirely prepared to dismiss.
Speaking of screw ups:
Right wing Polly Cracker Mary Matlin was on Imus this morning, braying about celebrating the "fifth year of the economic recovery." Wow. Man. Wow. You just can't pile it any higher that that. It's not humanly possible.
Here's the part that gets me about Matlin and neo-wonks like her. She's way too smart not to know how full of it she is, in which case she knows good and well how much she's lying. You think she kisses her children out the other side of her mouth?
This from NYT's Eric Lichtman:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — As Hurricane Katrina passed across the Gulf Coast last August, the federal Interior Department offered hundreds of trucks and flat-bottomed boats, thousands of law enforcement officers and even 11 aircraft to help with the rescue effort. But much of the equipment and personnel were not used as part of the federal response, or at least not used effectively, according to an account prepared by department officials.
The Interior Department was not the only government agency to offer assistance that was not used, or at least not used effectively. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, said in September that Amtrak had offered, before the storm, to carry residents out, but that its train had left nearly empty. New Mexico offered National Guard troops, but for days officials waited for formal approval to use them.
Funny how when it comes to spying on Americans, Mister Bush has absolute powers, but when it comes to disaster relief, he doesn't.