Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The end in Iraq may not yet be near, but it is ordained

* michael wolff in VF:
"But since then, given that Woodward has gotten all his access, and given that he now understands that the war is a historic calamity, I'd have sure liked to know, among other things, that Kissinger (Kissinger!) was advising this White House, as he had advised the Nixon White House on Vietnam, as soon as Woodward found out about it. (It's important to know when the drama turns surreal.) Also, it would have been useful to know that George Tenet had told the White House in July of 2001 that a terror attack was imminent, that, as he later described it, "the system was blinking red," as soon as Woodward knew it. But Woodward, even though on the payroll of a daily newspaper, held his tongue. Why? Well … I guess for dramatic effect. (We've been here recently: Woodward had the key to the Valerie Plame leak mystery—it turned out he was at the very nexus of who said what to whom—but kept it hidden.) And, indeed, few books in the history of publishing have been received like this one (all right, Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, emerging out of the Soviet prison camps)—Woodward's sense of the dramatic is really something.
This is one reason the smarts have such a bad reputation among the stupids, because so many of them, including the Democrats in Congress, the news media, and Woodward himself, as well as the many people who once helped give the president his 80 or 90 percent approval rating, were stupids when that was advantageous. And because so many of them, like Woodward, and the editors of The New York Times, and the Clintons, did not make the break across the information divide until they were confident that they'd be in good company.
So, yes, Cheney is the new Nixon.

It's Kissinger, it's got to be Kissinger, who tells Bush what he's got to do with Cheney.

Cheney, in this respect, is such a gift. Born to be hated. He might even willingly—given his dystopian personality—take the fall. He resigns—his hundred heart attacks could be the gentle cover. But it's clear: the war's on him. It's his mistake. (Since we've regarded him as a virtual president anyway, we ought to accept his leave-taking as a virtual impeachment and removal.) McCain is nominated to replace Cheney as V.P. The Republicans go wild because they have a presidential contender in the White House (likewise, the Democrats might not be so unhappy to have McCain suddenly stuck with Iraq). The smarty-media pendulum swings (or at least hesitates) because McCain is McCain and because he might be the next president. A big conference of Arabs is convened. McCain heads a blue-ribbon delegation to Iraq (Powell comes back for this), which determines that the Iraqis are ready to handle their own security. We cut and run, declaring victory.

And Bush can go to China, or North Korea. With Kissinger.

The end in Iraq may not yet be near, but it is ordained."

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