THE BLOG
10/26/2006 01:55 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

State of Denial on Display at Bush Press Conference

At his press conference Tuesday, President Bush confirmed that he will think positive thoughts, and not even consider negative outcomes, regardless of what might actually be happening. Asked about the "benchmarks" he claims have been set up by the Maliki government and what would happen if they were not met, Bush dodged and weaved for a while and then stated that the Iraqi government "must respect the fact that we've got patience, but not unlimited patience."

Then this exchange occurred:

QUESTION: Follow-up: What happens when that patience runs out?

BUSH: See, that's that hypothetical he was trying to get me to answer.

Why don't we work to see that it doesn't work out -- run out? That's the whole objective. That's what positive people do. They say, "We're going to put something in place and we'll work to achieve it."

So the failure of the Iraqi government to establish security is something we will not even consider being a possibility, let alone plan for.

Bush also illustrated how this sort of "positive" thinking is just what got us into this mess. Earlier in the news conference he said "[w]e did not expect the Iraqi army, including the Republican Guard, to melt away in the way that it did in the face of advancing coalition forces."

Yet, that was exactly what happened in war games conducted to predict what would happen. (see Fiasco, pp. 136-37) " . . . there was no way a regular military force could stand up to the U.S. onslaught. So,. . . career officers and intelligence officials would take off their uniforms and disappear into the neighborhoods, stay in contact with some key subordinates and "tell out people to keep their weapons oiled." Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld just chose to go on belief rather than facts.

They need Groucho as a spokesman, not Tony Snow.

This sort of positive thinking may give a football team confidence, but it is a supplement to a scouting report or a plan, not a substitute. This is born-again Christian thinking, in other words: not fact based.

And if you think about it, not so far from expecting 72 virgins to greet you for your deeds.