A.A. Bondy
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For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Friday, February 25, 2005

Then Rummy Sat Down at the Piano and Delivered His Classic Interpretation of Stick McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"

Slate: How do you feel about the U.S.-led Iraq war?
Ahmet Ertegun: First I was upset because the [Turkish government] wouldn't let the Americans go through the Turkish border with Iraq. That really kind of destroyed a bridge that my father created between Turkey and the U.S. I saw Rumsfeld a few days after that happened, and Donald said, "What happened, Ahmet, where are our friends?" I said, "Look, I think they voted against it to make [Turkey's Prime Minister Tayib] Erdogan look bad. It was purely a local political thing."

So Rumsfeld was relying on Ahmet Ertegun for strategic advice, which explains a lot. Especially his now-infamous pre-war prediction that "once the Iraqis can dig Mabel Mercer on the Armed Forces radio, babe, it'll be, like, groovy all the way to Baghdad."