January 07, 2006


One Big Happy "Family Picture"
(well, that's what Bush called it)

Photo Op

Supervised by Vice President Cheney, President Bush and Condoleezza Rice stand at the children's table, surrounded by present and former secretaries of state and defense.

Maureen Dowd (free since we subscribe to the Sunday edition):
"Because W.'s mind is so closed to anybody except yes-men who tell him his policies and wars are slam-dunks, uneasy seasoned mandarins are forced to make a noisy stink. Brent Scowcroft, one of Bush Senior's closest friends, had to resort to the pages of The New Yorker to voice his objections. He ominously said Dick Cheney, his old colleague, was someone he no longer recognized.

You wonder whether the other contemporaries of Cheney and Rummy from Ford, Reagan and Bush I days were thinking the same thing at Thursday's meeting: Why have these guys gone so kooky?

W. is drunk on Cheney Kool-Aid. So he got testy when Ms. Albright pointed out that North Korea and Iran were going nuclear while the U.S. was bogged down in Baghdad. Then, after a quick photo in the Oval, he shooed the old-timers out, letting anyone who wanted to stay talk to the security factotum Stephen Hadley.

Still busy spreading fog over the war, W., Cheney, Rummy and Condi had no time to hear McNamara expound on the fog of war. In the picture, as Ms. Albright cringes, Mr. McNamara looks haunted, unable to escape second-guessing over Vietnam."
I'd say Bush was more than a little testy -- he got downright schoolyard on Madeleine:
Saying the war in Iraq was "taking up all the energy" of President Bush's foreign policy team, (Albright) asked Mr. Bush whether he had let nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea spin out of control, and Latin America and China policy suffer by benign neglect. ("Oh no she didn't.")

"I can't let this comment stand," Mr. Bush shot back, telling Ms. Albright and the rare assembly of her colleagues, who reached back to the Kennedy White House, that his administration "can do more than one thing at a time." ("Snap!")
Yes they can do more than one thing at a time. Just not very well (Katrina anyone?). And it's no mystery why:
"It would be a stretch to say he was really interested in many thoughts from around the table," said one former official...

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