Buzz words rattle around the Beltway like dead seeds; they roll through the corridors of the Pentagon and traverse the potholes that dot Wall Street. They distract us from the intellectual vacuity that permeates much of our economic and foreign policy by the false sense of comfort their familiarity brings. They ring hollow and we mistake them for anthems.
They are all toxic, but the most toxic of all is that old chestnut, “credibility.”
Basically, what credibility means is that when you step in shit, you stand in shit as if you intended to step in it in the first place, as if the step was the result of careful planning, countless meetings, reams of reports and policy studies; that it was subject to congressional oversight and peer review.
Our leaders must remain standing in that pile of shit because to step out of it and scrape their shoes clean would be an admission that they had stepped into it by mistake, and that would undercut our credibility. So, they stand and stand and tell the world that the stench is really perfume and that the world will be a better place because of their dedication and determination.
This explains why our leaders are standing in two piles of shit at the same time—Iraq and Afghanistan. And why they will remain standing in them for some time to come.
After all, shit is sweet once you get use to the stench.