We've heard about the fog of war, but we always thought the fog was where the fighting was. Turns out that isn't the case because there was certainly a lot of fog at a Senate hearing on Iraq yesterday.
Vice President Cheney speaking from his undisclosed location (that's where the fighting isn't), said the insurgency was in it's "last throes." Then General John Abizaid, top American military commander in the Persian Gulf, having returned from Iraq (that's where the fighting is) for the hearing said, the strength of the insurgency is basically "undiminished" from six months ago.
Hmmm...Whom to believe...A dilemma to be sure. On the one hand, Mr. Cheney, while sipping on a fine Chardonnay and enjoying a crisp Salade du Chef says, "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline."
Then we've got this General guy who probably actually carries a gun in Iraq and most likely has thrown hand grenades and stuff, and he tells us, "I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago."
Oh my. Our poor citizen heads are spinning. Can you help us out Secretary Rumsfeld? "Between now and when an Iraqi constitution is drafted and voted on later this year, they may very well be in their last throes by their own view because they recognize how important it will be if they lose,"
So Mr. Cheney is saying that the insurgents believe they are in the last throes?
"While I didn't use that term and I might not use it, I think it's understandable that we can expect that kind of a response from the enemy," Rumsfeld added.
"Isn't it time for you to resign?" Senator. Edward M. Kennedy asked. "I've offered my resignation to the president twice," Rumsfeld shot back, "But Bush keeps spilling his chocolate milk on it and I have to type it up all over. I don't type fast so it takes a while."
Some lawmakers have called for the Bush administration to set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. "That would be a mistake," Secretary Rumsfeld said. "I should think it's pretty obvious by now that doing anything by a timetable is way beyond us. Besides, don't timetables take planning?"
Speaking to General Abizaid, Senator Carl Levin asked if he realized he was contradicting Cheney. The general shrugged and said, "Well, that happens when you work for idiots."