What the hell is a "catastrophic success?"


Bush served up a hanging curve ball for Kerry and Edwards with this line and I’m trying to figure out what the hell he meant to say. Usually when Bush garbles his lines you can figure out what the intent was, even if it comes out a little humorously. Did Shrub unintentionally substitute the word “catastrophic” for something else like “unqualified” or “resounding?”

Does he just not know what the word means? (It wouldn’t surprise me).

I can’t believe that any competent handler or speech writer would hand him a phrase like that (and if they did, they should be fired immediately), so he must have come up with it on his own.

So WTF, was he thinking? What is he, fucking stupid or something? Can anybody discern what his intended point what?

Reeder, is that you?

Well, without intending to I think that a man is on base and a few more idiot moves like that and we might get a grand slam.

Why yes, I did play baseball in school.

Giving him the biggest benefit of the doubt, you could read it as another way of saying it was a Pyrrhic victory.

Hmmm…is it something like a Pyrrhic victory?

Awww, crap, you.

“Catastrophic success” in this case means that the military swept the entire country far faster than expected, and caught Bush and company with their pants down - no follow up plan, no exit plan, no real plan for transfer of power, nothing. It is like “Holy shit, you guys did it too fast”. Then again, it sort of sums up Bush’s entire life - “Born on third base, thinks he hit a triple”. He has made a life out of screwing up everything he touches and somehow falling UP the ladder of success, in spite of himself (or because of Daddy and Daddy’s buddies).

Well, he was “successful” in that he overthew Saddam, which he wanted all along.

However, everything else is a fucking mess now.

I’d say it’s more of a successful catastrophy.

“President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He’s half right,”

Which half? :slight_smile:

Bush does have a way with words, doens’t he?

My best guess about what he meant to say is that the invasion happened so quickly that the terrorists had a chance to get away - which implies, I suppose, that if we took longer we would have caught them flat-footed. :confused: :confused: :confused:

I wondered about whether he was trying to say it was a Pyrrhic victory but isn’t that the same as conceding failure? By definition, a Pyrrhic victory is a victory that isn’t worth the cost.

And if W wants to claim that we won “too fast,” and the enemy got away, the whose fault is that?

I’m also curious about this assertion:

If the enemy neither surrenders nor is “done in,” and in fact, is still fighting, then how exactly was the enemy defeated?

SteveG1 got it right: ‘catastrophic success’ = succeeded too well, leaving oneself open to consequences that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

That’s bullshit, in this particular for-instance. They weren’t exactly expecting a long war; if they had been, they would have either started earlier, or waited until fall. Summer comes early in Iraq, and it’s no time to fight a war.

Not to mention, they’d been planning for this war, off the radar, practically since January 21, 2001; hell, some of these guys had been planning this war for a lot longer than that. And they’d been officially planning it since right after 9/11. Things didn’t go to hell in a handbasket over there simply because our troops got to Baghdad a week or two ahead of somebody’s schedule.

Not to mention, Rumsfeld’s whole approach to the war was to aim at a quick KO. So what Bush is saying is, things went according to plan, and because of that, everything went wrong. Like that makes sense.

No, things went bad because they didn’t do a lick of risk management. They didn’t think about what could go wrong, and as a result, they didn’t have plans to mitigate the risks. ‘Miscalculation’, my ass. It’s not a matter of calculating rightly or wrongly; it’s a matter of planning for all the possibilities with a significant likelihood of happening, the whole range. This involves making sure knowledgeable, experienced people with a lot of different relevant backgrounds are in the room, asking what could go wrong at each phase, what the probabilities are, what the consequences might be, and what can be done to head off the risks ahead of time, or mitigate their fallout if they should happen. And from that, you come up with a plan to handle the risks.

But that’s exactly the sort of environment these guys hate, from Bush on down. They don’t like people who might question, and come up with ‘wrong’ answers.

The State Department did this exercise, and the Bushies tossed it in the wastebasket, of course.

Originally Posted by Shrubya: “an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day.”"

It’s like the Far Side cartoon: “They’re shooting flaming arrows! Can they do that??”

Only with Bush it’s “They disbanded and melted into the countryside. Can they do that??” Yeah, sucker, they could and did. But maybe if you hadn’t disbanded the army, they’d have shown up at the barracks to collect their paychecks, and our guys would have known who and where they were.

Oh. You must have missed the RNC coverage.

Zell Miller is a catastrophic success. Y’all might as well vote for Nader.

A catostrophic success is simply the opposite of a triumphant failure–a synonymous antonym, if you will.



Sorry, the classicist in me just had to. No political axe to grind here.

Maybe you’ve forgotten, but after things went to hell it came out that State had a team working on what to do in Iraq after a victory to tie things down. They offered the plan, and the geniuses in the Pentagon told them to get lost.

Never underestimatepower of the Bushies to fuck things up.

or misunderestimate the power of bad typing after midnight.

Did he not merely mean to say a categorical success?