Karl Rove’s Astounding Interview with Charlie Rose
On Wednesday evening, former White House adviser and current Newsweek columnist Karl Rove sat down with PBS's Charlie Rose for one of the most astounding interviews I've seen in a while.
From the Iraq war, to the Valerie Plame scandal and media bias, there was something for everyone in this 51-minute segment.
In particular, near the end, Rove stated that the White House wished the October 2002 war resolution vote in Congress would have been delayed until after the elections.
That's not part of the conventional wisdom from today's press, is it?
Some of the highlights were (video available here):
- I want to write a book that I hope will be compelling and interesting and will give people a sense of several things. First, of how we got there and what we did once we got there, of how the place works. I`d like to have people -- I`d like it to be durable, so I want people to understand what really happened and why it happened the way that it happened, and to do so in a way that they find interesting to read and interesting to talk about.
- Look, when the most skeptical parts of the media, "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" and the evening networks acknowledge the progress in Iraq, then there`s progress in Iraq...What it says is that the reality on the ground in Iraq has become even impossible for serious critics like "The New York Times" to ignore.
- If -- if 10 years from now, Iraq is a functioning democracy, not a New England townhall meeting, but looks democratic with democratically elected...A relatively stable democracy...In which -- a federalist society in which Shia, Sunni, Kurd, Christian can all live, and it can defend itself against external enemies and is an ally in the global war on terror, history is going to make a judgment about this president...It will be the same treatment that we had for example, of Harry S. Truman when South Korea emerged as a major economic power that is an ally of the United States of America and an important bulwark in the front -- the front of freedom in the Far East...It`s going to require the same kind of commitment from the United States, however, which was we not only stabilized it -- South Korea -- but then in an appropriate way, we remained in the region, both in Japan and Korea.
- You can make an argument that the surge should not have been implemented in January, but the surge should have been implemented at an earlier state. It should have been implemented -- the Samarra mosque sent the violence in a dramatically different direction, and we should have begun to send additional troops there not in January, but in November, or August, or September or October. And I understand that argument and I have sympathy for that argument.
- I also know how much discussion there was about it. I also know how much opposition there was. I mean, remember, we have Democrats in Congress today who can`t acknowledge the success that`s on the front page of "The New York Times" or in the editorial column of "The Washington Post." We have -- we just had a debate in which we had virtually every single member of the Democratic pack running for president stand up and call the war lost. I mean, I was astonished at the debate in Las Vegas.
- I do have a theory, though, about the Internet. And I think the Internet grants people a pseudo anonymity that allows them to say things that they would never say to somebody in person, would never put in a letter. But feel comfortable saying as accepted political discourse on the Internet. And after a while, you know, it becomes ingrained as -- you know, as accepted practice.
- If you can`t find any proof or evidence, Rove did it...By the absence of proof. He`s so good, that by the absence of it, he did it...I read about things that I supposedly do or am capable of doing that make me laugh.
- [O]ne of the untold stories about the war is why did the United States Congress, the United States Senate, vote on the war resolution in the fall of 2002...This administration was opposed to it...Because we didn`t think it belonged within the confines of the election. There was an election coming up within a matter of weeks. We thought it made it too political. We wanted it outside the confines of it. It seemed to make things move too fast. There were things that needed to be done to bring along allies and potential allies abroad, and yet...There was a vote, and I`m -- I`m...But it happened. We don`t determine when the Congress votes on things. The Congress does...It would have been better for the country had we been able to resolve that issue after the election -- maybe before the new Congress came in -- whatever. But instead -- and the story will be told later -- we didn`t.
Honestly amazing stuff.
Do yourself a favor and take 51 minutes out of your long weekend to watch the whole thing.