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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 07:39 PM
Original message
'I Haven't Suffered Doubt'
April 26 issue - It was Monday, Jan. 13, 2003, and President George W. Bush had just told his secretary of State, Colin Powell, that he was going to war in Iraq. "You know you're going to be owning this place?" inquired Powell. According to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's new book, "Plan of Attack," Powell "wasn't sure whether Bush had fully understood the meaning and consequences of total ownership." No matter. Bush said something to the effect of "I think I have to do this," and Powell, in essence, saluted and carried on. The whole conversation took 12 minutes.


That's what passed for debate in the Bush war cabinet, at least as the White House is depicted by Woodward. Early press accounts about Woodward's latest behind-the-scenes narrative suggested that Bush kept even his closest advisers in the dark about his decision to go to war because he was afraid of leaks. The real news, however, is not that Bush was secretive about his war planning, but rather that there was so little consideration of the consequences. In Woodward's telling, Bush was deeply involved in the details of the invasion plans from the moment he first grabbed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's elbow in November 2001 and asked, "What kind of war plan do you have for Iraq?" But at no time did the president sit down with his war cabinet and debate whether the war on Iraq would distract from the war on terroror whether the risk of postwar Iraq's becoming a failed state outweighed the reward of getting rid of Saddam Hussein.

Woodward, Washington's premier investigative reporter since he and his colleague Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story more than 30 years ago, has not lost his knack for opening up otherwise secretive government officials. (When Woodward calls, some Washington insiders anxiously joke, "you play or you pay.") While he does not name sources, Woodward apparently had access to all the main players and interviewed Bush for more than three hours. Woodward was criticized by some for painting too rosy a portrait of the president as a resolute and bold commander in chief in "Bush at War," his 2002 book about the president and his top advisers in the wake of 9/11. The picture that emerges this time is less flattering.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4767542/
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fools rush in
Of the many crimes of the Bush administration, one of the biggest is the negligence and incompetence associated with their failure to assess and plan for postwar Iraq.

This is an administration, and a president especially, that disdains intellectuals, the "elite", and any so called "experts" that could have given the mission a better chance to avoid the chaos and carnage now unfolding.

But since most of these experts were cautioning against this adventure, their advice was summarily dismissed. Cheney & company were much more interested in getting into Iraq than in any of the petty details of what to do with the place once they "owned" it.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 11:22 PM
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2. Midori, I remember you saying there was a time you admired Powell
gawd, it must seem like another lifetime now. Can you believe he is STILL working for Bush Inc? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
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cornfedyank Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. sell a book to the right sell a book to the left n/t
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. My thoughts exactly. Has everyone here forgotten "Bush at War"?
The apotheosis of *?
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-19-04 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm beginning to think that Woodward knew just what he was doing
by writing a puff piece. It was a win-win situation for him. He would sell many copies because of the sense of "patriotism" at that time, and he would gain invaluable access to the Bush White House because he would be seen as a good guy.

He played Bush by using the administration's arrogance to his advantage. He then came back and was given complete access to anyone he wanted.

I'm beginning to believe that Woodward is brilliant.

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priller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-19-04 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Condi again comes off looking bad
Missing in action through much of "Plan of Attack" is Bush's national-security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Armitage, Powell's No. 2 and close friend, was contemptuous of Rice. "He believed that the foreign-policy-making system that was supposed to be coordinated by Rice was essentially dysfunctional," writes Woodward. A blunt-spoken former Navy SEAL, Armitage criticized Rice to her face. When a Washington Post article later echoed the Armitage critique, Rice angrily complained to Powell. "You can blame Rich if you want," Powell replied, but "Rich had the guts to talk to you directly about this." According to Woodward, "Powell thought that Rice was more interested in finding someone to blame for the public airing of the problem than in fixing it."

Rice apparently saw her role as Bush's private adviser, not a referee between clashing titans in the cabinet. But here, too, she failed, according to Woodward: "Given her closeness and status with Bush, if anyone could have warned the president to moderate his own categorical statements about WMD, it was Rice."


I guess my opinion of Armitage just went up a bit, even if he does look like James Bond villain.
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