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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Another team of rivals

One of the top news stories today was the group of former Secretaries of State and Defense assembled by the White House for a friendly chat regarding Iraq. According to NewsLINK, President George Bush met with:

  • Former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III, Madeleine K. Albright, Alexander M. Haig Jr., Colin L. Powell, Lawrence S. Eagleburger and George P. Schultz; and
  • Former Secretaries of Defense Harold Brown, Robert S. McNamara, William S. Cohen, William J. Perry, Frank C. Carlucci, James R. Schlesinger and Melvin R. Laird.

Missing from the show were Henry Kissinger (Nixon), Caspar Weinberger (Reagan), and Warren Christopher (Clinton). (NY Times, no link at this time.)

In his remarks afterwards, Bush said:

Not everybody around this table agree with my decision to go into Iraq, I fully understand that. (Emphasis added.)

From that, can we infer that Bush takes ownership of the decision to send troops to Iraq? That the burden is his, and his alone?

Perhaps I'm too much of a cynic about this president and his actions, but sincerity seems to be missing from this event. Instead, it looks staged to give the appearance of sincerity.

It does make me wonder if someone on Bush's staff thought up putting this group together while reading Doris Kearns-Goodwin's, "Team of Rivals."

Posted by Marie at January 5, 2006 11:13 PM


after watching The Fog of War ( i'm curious to know what McNamara's thoughts were. i'd bet he was among those who disagreed, but maybe not.

Posted by: jason at January 5, 2006 11:44 PM

According to the NYT article, Colin Powell was silent. Madeleine Albright was "riled." Bush responded to Albright. The briefing only lasted 40 minutes, of which the group was allowed five to ten minutes to speak. Then, photo-op. McNamara probably didn't get a chance to say anything.

Posted by: Marie at January 5, 2006 11:59 PM

Yeah, the original idea was based on "Team of Rivals." But when Bush's aides got frustrated explaining to the president who Lincoln was, they told him they got the idea from "Porkys," whereupon he agreed it would be fun to have such a party.

Posted by: Dan at January 6, 2006 1:19 PM