The Road to Iraq

I . . . I wouldn’t go so far as to say “irresponsible”. Not well thought out. I think, you know, that we do have a . . . we do have one, because there was almost a 78% to 82% approval rating of the President of going to war and taking care of Saddam Hussein. Granted, we didn’t find the weapons of mass destruction, but we thought they were there. And it wasn’t just the Republicans. The Democrats did as well. It was prior administrations that thought that Saddam Hussein was building a nuclear capability. But the truth of the matter is they weren’t. But once you’re there, you’ve gotta be able to win that war and then have an exit strategy. We didn’t do that. We tried to do it on the cheap. You know, we tried to go in there and say, you know, “We can do this with 130,000 men and women. And we get in, and then we’ll decide when we get out.” We didn’t have . . . we didn’t do the upfront planning. So you know I fault a lot of us. I fault, you know, myself, because I was a part of the administration. I fault, you know, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress not having a better thought out plan. And I fault the Department of Defense. You know? They should’ve had a plan, you know, of going in there. Because they were told that there were just not enough forces to win the war and stabilize the peace. And we made lots of mistakes. And those mistakes, you know, it’s easy to look back and say, you know, we should’ve corrected them; but I don’t think we did enough upfront planning in order to carry out that war. But now we’re there. How do we get out of it? How do we stabilize the region? How do we win the peace? Recorded on: 7/6/07

A less than thorough preparation.

Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
Keep reading Show less

Greenland loses 4 trillion pounds of ice in one day

Normally, the landscape in this photo would be a white ice sheet.

Surprising Science
  • Climate scientists say that Greenland is experiencing ice losses that are unusually early and heavy.
  • Two main weather factors are fueling the losses: a high-pressure system and the resulting low cloud cover.
  • Greenland is a major contributor to sea-level rise.
Keep reading Show less