Originally posted by drbryankkrutaokay crazy person on board, what vase?
April 11, 2003;
Let me say one other thing. The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it's the same
picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase,
and you see it 20 times, and you think, "My goodness, were there that many
(Laughter.) "Is it possible that there were that many vases
in the whole country?"
Do you think that the words "anarchy" and "lawlessness" are ill-chosen --
Absolutely. I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it. I read eight headlines that talked about chaos, violence,
unrest. And it just was Henny Penny -- "The sky is falling." I've never seen anything like it! And here is a country that's being liberated, here
are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator, and they're free. And all this newspaper could do, with
eight or 10 headlines, they showed a man bleeding, a civilian, who they claimed we had shot -- one thing after another. It's just unbelievable how
people can take that away from what is happening in that country!
Do I think those words are unrepresentative? Yes.
Given how predictable the lack of law and order was, as you said, from past conflicts, was there part of General Franks' plan to deal with
it? And --
Well, what is it?
This is fascinating. This is just fascinating. From the very beginning, we were convinced that we would succeed, and that means that
that regime would end. And we were convinced that as we went from the end of that regime to something other than that regime, there would be a period
of transition. And, you cannot do everything instantaneously; it's never been done, everything instantaneously. We did, however, recognize that there
was at least a chance of catastrophic success, if you will, to reverse the phrase, that you could in a given place or places have a victory that
occurred well before reasonable people might have expected it, and that we needed to be ready for that; we needed to be ready with medicine, with
food, with water. And, we have been.
And, you say, "Well, what was it in the plan?" The plan is a complex set of conclusions or ideas that then have a whole series of alternative
excursions that one can do, depending on what happens. And, they have been doing that as they've been going along. And, they've been doing a darn
Yes, but Mr. Secretary, I'm asking about what plan was there to restore law and order?
Well, let's just take a city. Take the port city, Umm Qasr -- what the plan was. Well, the British went in, they built a pipeline
bringing water in from Kuwait; they cleared the mine of ports (sic); they brought ships in with food; they've been providing security. In fact,
they've done such a lousy job, that the city has gone from 15,000 to 40,000. Now think of that. Why would people vote with their feet and go into
this place that's so bad? The reason they're going in is because they're food, there's water, there's medicine and there's jobs. That's why.
The British have done a fantastic job. They've done an excellent job.
And, does that mean you couldn't go in there and take a television camera or get a still photographer and take a picture of something that was
imperfect, untidy? I could do that in any city in America. Think what's happened in our cities when we've had riots, and problems, and looting.
Stuff happens! But in terms of what's going on in that country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over, and over, and over
again of some boy walking out with a vase and say, "Oh, my goodness, you didn't have a plan." That's nonsense. They know what they're doing, and
they're doing a terrific job. Andm it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad
things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that's what's going to happen here.