Delusion or persuasion?

I wonder exactly what President Bush is being told in the White House about events in Iraq, which are by all measures getting worse by the day, because he said this yesterday:

My attitude is, don’t do what you’re doing if it’s not working — change. Stay the course also means, don’t leave before the job is done. We’re going to get the job done in Iraq.

Let’s break that down because the (lack of) structure is a bit confusing:

My attitude is, don’t do what you’re doing if it’s not working — change. If what you’re doing doesn’t work, try something else.

Stay the course also means, don’t leave before the job is done. Don’t stop until you achieve your goals.

We’re going to get the job done in Iraq. Ah… Now here’s the tricky bit. What he’s doing in Iraq clearly isn’t working, but he’s against any change of tactics. This bit contradicts the first thing he said.

There’s a technique in hypnosis and persuasion techniques where you use deliberately confusing sentence structures to occupy the rational mind, and then give it a clear and easy direction immediately afterwards. The conscious mind latches onto the clear instruction and accepts it because it resolves the uncertainty that it was facing before, even if that instruction would usually be rejected. Could it be that this technique is being employed by Bush, either deliberately or subconsciously? Either he’s immensely deluded about the situation in Iraq or there is some very sneaky stuff going on in his language.

EDIT: Or he could simply be an idiot with no clue and a lucky linguistic quirk. I really shouldn’t jump to paranoid conclusions!

One thought on “Delusion or persuasion?”

  1. My favorite has always been “Fool me once, shame on m-you. Fool me twice, shame … sh-shame on … you can’t get fooled again.”
    I even saw it live. Priceless moments in idiocy.

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