Drawing the wrong lessons
Seymour Hersh, New Yorker Magazine, 8/14/06:
The surprising strength of Hezbollah’s resistance, and its continuing ability to fire rockets into northern Israel in the face of the constant Israeli bombing, the Middle East expert told me, “is a massive setback for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in Iran are also set back.”
Nonetheless, some officers serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff remain deeply concerned that the Administration will have a far more positive assessment of the air campaign than they should, the former senior intelligence official said. “There is no way that Rumsfeld and Cheney will draw the right conclusion about this,” he said. “When the smoke clears, they’ll say it was a success, and they’ll draw reinforcement for their plan to attack Iran.”
George W. Bush, press conference, 8/14/06:
He said the conflict was a win for his administration's policy of encouraging democracy in the Middle East and a defeat for Hezbollah, discounting a claim of victory issued by the Shiite Muslim militia's leader earlier Monday.
"Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," Bush said during a news conference at the State Department.
Hersh called it.