Stranger Fruit

Reality was a friend of mine

A recent Harris Poll found that 50% of Americans polled now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when it was invaded (up from 36% in 2005) and 64% say Saddam had “strong links” with al Qaeda. In other news, huge numbers of Americans have no “strong links” with reality. And the administration likes it that way:

In the summer of 2002, after I [Ron Suskind] had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend-but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” (source)


  1. #1 Marcus
    July 30, 2006

    That has an almost eerie resemblance to 1984. Orwell would be proud…

  2. #2 John Marley
    July 30, 2006

    That’s just plain scary.

  3. #3 Doc Bill
    July 30, 2006

    No, no, no! We invaded Iraq because Dubya’s daddy didn’t finish the job. How hard is that to understand?

    Of course, the flaw to the plan is there was no “success scenario” when Bush I kicked Iraqi butt, and there’s no “success scenario” with Bush II.

    Like father like son?

    Kicking butt is easy. Building nations is hard. Perhaps Bush II slept throught that class.

  4. #4 Sean
    July 30, 2006

    This reminds me of something Adam Savage said on Mythbusters: “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

  5. #5 Corkscrew
    July 31, 2006

    I like “I decline the invitation to join your hallucination”. Think it’s a Dilbert-ism.

  6. #6 Roman Werpachowski
    August 1, 2006

    (Let’s assume this conversation really happened.)

    It’s not Orwell, it’s a conviction that you’re uber-powerfull and can set the rules of the game as you like. Bush’s men, mostly, did not serve in the army and do not have the sense to listen to the people who did. That’s why they overestimate US military capabilities (hence their reluctance to send enough troops to Iraq) and overestimate the possibility of changing politics with military means. Gross incompetence is evident here.

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