Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Words and Numbers

I've just watched Sir David Frost's interview with Donald Rumsfeld on Newsnight. (The programme should be available to view online for 24 hours.)

There were two answers I thought were particularly illuminating. Rumsfeld's answers are quoted exactly as spoken (to the best of my ability) but I've paraphrased Frost slightly.

On Iraq

Frost: "Do you believe the security situation in Iraq is better today than it was on the day after the war ended?"

Rumsfeld: "Well, eh, statistically no, but clearly it has been getting better as we have gone along."

On Guantanamo Bay
Frost: "Is there a chance that Guantanamo will be closed for the reasons that these Republican senators have been saying today, that it's real bad news for PR..."

Rumsfeld: "There is no question but that the phrase today "Guantanamo" has a meaning that's unfortunate."

There we have it.
Statistically, there are more attacks in Iraq than after the war ended, statistically more civilians are dying in Iraq now than a year ago, but it is clearly getting better.
And Guantanamo, well, it's just unfortunate the phrase has aquired negative connotations. Can't imagine how that happened.

You see? Words and numbers, that's all these leftie peacenik criticisms of US policies are. Just words and numbers.

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