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A Heady Mix of Pride and Prejudice Led to War (Woodward's Book)

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:29 PM
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A Heady Mix of Pride and Prejudice Led to War (Woodward's Book)
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/19/books/19KAKU.html?pag...

In his engrossing new book, "Plan of Attack," Bob Woodward uses myriad details to chart the Bush administration's march to war against Iraq. His often harrowing narrative not only illuminates the fateful interplay of personality and policy among administration hawks and doves, but it also underscores the role that fuzzy intelligence, Pentagon timetables and aggressive ideas about military and foreign policy had in creating momentum for war.

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In addition "Plan of Attack" ratifies assertions made in two recent controversial books. It corroborates the observation made by the former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill (in Ron Suskind's book "The Price of Loyalty") that Iraq was high on the Bush administration's agenda before 9/11, in fact from its very first days in office. And echoing accusations made by the former counterterrorism czar Richard A. Clarke (in his book "Against All Enemies"), it contends that prior to 9/11 Mr. Bush was focusing on domestic issues and a large tax cut and had "largely ignored the terrorism problem."

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In reporting that General Franks said in September 2002 that his people had been "looking for Scud missiles and other weapons of mass destruction for 10 years and haven't found any yet," Mr. Woodward adds: "It could, and should, have been a warning that if the intelligence was not good enough to make bombing decisions, it probably was not good enough to make the broad assertion, in public or in formal intelligence documents, that there was `no doubt' Saddam had WMD." Vice President Dick Cheney had done exactly that just days before.

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(Cheney)He and his friends are described as chuckling about the secretary of state, whom Mr. Cheney characterizes as someone interested in his own poll ratings and popularity.

President Bush, the object of so much jockeying for position among cabinet members, emerges from this book as a more ambiguous figure than the commanding leader portrayed by Mr. Woodward in "Bush at War." In some scenes he is depicted as genuinely decisive (as in his choice to go to United Nations in 2002). In others he seems merely childish (eyeing Gen. Henry Shelton's peppermint during a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, until the general passed it over.)

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