Friday, January 06, 2006

You know you're in trouble when. . .

. . . you’re looking for help with your own military debacle, and you turn to Robert S. McNamara for advice.

When twelve less-than-angry men and one woman sat around the Roosevelt room shooting the bull for the benefit of the President’s media strategy (screw any help with his military strategy), you knew absolutely nothing of consequence would come of it. The problem is, by showing up for the nostalgic taste of White House coffee, the former Secretaries of State and Defense not only provided GWB with a five-star photo-op, they provided more cover for the administration’s fallacious contention that there is some kind of informed consensus (not to mention informed consent) on our Iraq policy.

In fact, it was even a bit worse than I feared. Almost every news story I saw lead with this BushBite:

“Not everybody around this table agrees with my decision to go into Iraq. I fully understand that,” Bush told reporters during a photo session at the end of the meeting. “But these are good, solid Americans who understand that we've got to succeed now that we're there.”

It is, of course, a bit of a lie, even in the context of that absurd gang. Former Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen, hardly a peacenik, said afterwards, “I don't think anyone walked in there believing this would be a real opportunity to effect changes in policy.”

In that case, one wonders why he or any of the others went, or if they ever even opened their mouths once there. . . unless, in both cases, it was for that coffee.


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