"One former senior administration official said Bush is only emboldened by the pressure from U.N. officials and European leaders to lead a call for a cease-fire. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan demanded yesterday that the fighting in Lebanon stop.* emptywheel:
"(Bush) thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians," said the former official, who spoke anonymously so he could discuss his views candidly. "The tacticians would say: 'Get an immediate cease-fire. Deal first with the humanitarian factors.' The president would say: 'You have an opportunity to really grind down Hezbollah. Let's take it, even if there are other serious consequences that will have to be managed.' ""
"Yet we've been operating with an NIE that is now two years old. By stonewalling the production of a new NIE, Death Squads Negroponte is effectively preventing any policy discussion about how to respond to these problems. Iraq was then, according to General Sanchez, on the verge of a civil war. Now, by all sane accounts, it's in the middle of one. Had we had an NIE, what kind of steps might we have taken to prevent that civil war?* ew:
Now, Death Squads Negroponte is in a Catch-22. He can't let the Intelligence Community produce an NIE, because if they do, it'll become clear that Iraq is in a civil war and the Bush Administration ignored growing problems as they occurred--if there is an NIE, it will hurt Republicans in the mid-terms. But, the IC wants to do one before the Democrats win back a House of Congress."
"If Voinovich makes this case, I'm sure the Bush Administration will do so too. Bolton has become our message to the terrorists, our sign of unwavering opposition to terrorists, regardless of the state terrorism launched in turn against civilians.* someone over at EW's place:
On any other issue, Bolton's abrasive personality would appear to be an impediment to fostering multilateral relationships, an issue even some Republicans care about. But in our defense of Israel at the UN, we don't seem to care about multilateral relationships. What better time, then, to present Bolton's renomination to the Senate? I predict, with squabbles over Israel as the backdrop, Bolton may have an easier time getting Democratic support for his renomination."
"I have been crying all day. Now this."