According to the Woodward book, Colin Powell and Richard Armitage discussed Iraq in terms of a Pottery Barn rule: “You break it, you own it.” Well the good folks at Pottery Barn are none to happy about the slander: “A good percentage of Pottery Barn’s inventory is beds and other furniture, and we do sell ceramics, glassware, kitchenware and other things that are breakable. But if something breaks, that’s the cost of doing business. We always put our customers first – that’s part of our corporate values. If someone breaks a wine glass, for instance, our managers just mark it down as ‘out of stock.’ The customer isn’t asked to pay for it.”
So we now have a new Pottery Barn rule. When anyone asks President Bush for an explanation about the missing WMDs or the poor post-war planning, he can simply say that those answers are out of stock.