Bush says he wants Cheney and Rumsfeld to stay through the remainder of his term. Well, lets see what happens next Tuesday.
STEPHEN HADLEY: I think the president gave a very balanced and sober assessment of the situation that we're in, made it clear that there are real challenges, made it clear that, while our basic objective remains the same, we have adapted and made changes in how to pursue that objectives, would be making more changes in the future, that he was open to any constructive ideas, because obviously one thing we can all agree on -- I think Senator Biden would agree -- we need to succeed in Iraq. It's too important for the country.
So I think you saw an openness to be receptive to ideas, but also a steadfastness that we cannot afford to lose in Iraq.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/neocons200612?currentPage=3Eliot Cohen, director of the strategic-studies program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and member of the Defense Policy Board: "I wouldn't be surprised if what we end up drifting toward is some sort of withdrawal on some sort of timetable and leaving the place in a pretty ghastly mess.… I do think it's going to end up encouraging various strands of Islamism, both Shia and Sunni, and probably will bring de-stabilization of some regimes of a more traditional kind, which already have their problems.… The best news is that the United States remains a healthy, vibrant, vigorous society. So in a real pinch, we can still pull ourselves together. Unfortunately, it will probably take another big hit. And a very different quality of leadership. Maybe we'll get it."
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/worst_congress_ever/page/6 [Broken]Perhaps the most classic example of failed oversight in the Bush era came in a little-publicized hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee held on February 13th, 2003 -- just weeks before the invasion of Iraq. The hearing offered senators a rare opportunity to grill Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and top Pentagon officials on a wide variety of matters, including the fairly important question of whether they even had a ****ing plan for the open-ended occupation of a gigantic hostile foreign population halfway around the planet. This was the biggest bite that Congress would have at the Iraq apple before the war, and given the gravity of the issue, it should have been a beast of a hearing.
But it wasn't to be. In a meeting that lasted two hours and fifty-three minutes, only one question was asked about the military's readiness on the eve of the invasion. Sen. John Warner, the committee's venerable and powerful chairman, asked Gen. Richard Myers if the U.S. was ready to fight simultaneously in both Iraq and North Korea, if necessary.
Myers answered, "Absolutely."
And that was it. The entire exchange lasted fifteen seconds. The rest of the session followed a pattern familiar to anyone who has watched a hearing on C-Span: The members, when they weren't reading or chatting with one another, used their time with witnesses almost exclusively to address parochial concerns revolving around pork projects in their own districts. Warner set the tone in his opening remarks; after announcing that U.S. troops preparing to invade Iraq could count on his committee's "strongest support," the senator from Virginia quickly turned to the question of how the war would affect the budget for Navy shipbuilding, which, he said, was not increasing "as much as we wish." Not that there's a huge Navy shipyard in Newport News, Virginia, or anything.
WASHINGTON - President Bush and his national security team will meet Monday with members of a blue-ribbon commission trying to devise a new course for the unpopular war in Iraq.
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana, is expected to report its recommendations before the end of the year.
Members of the group will have a joint conference at the White House with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.
The group will have individual meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, and CIA Director Michael Hayden. They also will talk with Zalmay Khalizad, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad.
Robert Gates, picked by Bush to succeed Rumsfeld, has been a member of the Iraq Study Group. He is resigning and will not take part in Monday's meetings, White House press secretary Tony Snow said.
Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state in the last two months of President George H.W. Bush's term, will replace Gates on the commission, said Anais Haase, Eagleburger's executive assistant. . . . .
:rofl:Bob Woodward is getting the journalistic hero treatment for "State of Denial," his self-revising reassessment of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq -- including a cover plug from Newsweek (which called him "the best excavator of inside stories in the nation's capital") and a laudatory lead story segment on "60 Minutes".
Talk about being in a state of denial: praising Woodward for his very-late-to-the-party Iraq pile-on is like a music critic writing a rave of "Let It Be" and getting credit for discovering The Beatles. Or, more fitting, having someone be the 100th -- or is 100,000th? -- person to call 911 to report a car crash and then getting credit for alerting the authorities.
Yet there was Mike Wallace gushing about how Woodward had "unearthed" a "secret" classified graph revealing that -- wait for it -- attacks on "US, Iraqi, and allied forces... have increased dramatically over the last three years." Wow. You don't say! What did Woodward have to do to "unearth" that one? Pick up a newspaper? Or log onto a blog or two -- or two hundred?
Then there was the revelation, breathlessly delivered by Wallace in his intro, that after two years and more than 200 interviews, including "most of the top officials in the administration," Woodward has come to "a damning conclusion: That for the last three years, the White House has not been honest with the American public." Stop the presses, hold the front page! And burn all the copies of "Fiasco," "Cobra II," "The One Percent Doctrine," "Hubris" -- plus 99.9 percent of the blog posts on Iraq that have appeared on HuffPost since we launched -- that have previously come to exactly the same "damning conclusion." Why fork over $30 for much-older-than-yesterday's news?
In her New York Times review of "State of Denial," Michiko Kakutani says that Woodward paints a portrait of President Bush as "a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war."
To which I say: "Welcome to 2002, Bob."
A little less than 4 years ago, it seems Bush did not know that there were such things as the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam, and that these groups were a dominant part of the Iraqi populace.Well - it's long overdue. Bush should have met with such a group 4 years ago!
Was that an NPR interview? I think I heard part of an interview with Galbraith, and I'd like to hear the whole thing.
Thanks! Very compelling interview. I think it may be the earlier interview to which Gokul is referring.Is this it? Gailbraith has a book out now. "The End of Iraq"
I guess it's not either of those (though I have that first interview and remember being quite surprised to hear that the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi flag are banned in "Kurdistan").Is this it? Gailbraith has a book out now. "The End of Iraq"
edit:the old vision is going the second link is from 05