26 September 2003

Bush has a battle on his hands

Rather than spurring the creation of a united front, the recurring attacks have seemed to spark infighting among the hawks. After Cheney revived a two-year-old story on a nationally broadcast television news program last Sunday about an alleged meeting between one of the September 11 hijackers and an Iraqi spy in Prague in April 2001, Rumsfeld told reporters three days later he had seen nothing to connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, an assessment backed up by Rice and then by Bush himself.

At the same time, neo-conservatives outside the administration and close to Cheney, Wolfowitz and Feith kept up an offensive this week denouncing Rumsfeld's refusal to increase the number of US troops in Iraq to reduce insecurity there. Several neo-cons, including Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, also assailed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, for allegedly warning Republicans that there must be 'no more wars' for the remainder of Bush's first term. The public nature of this infighting is remarkable in an administration that has obsessed about message management and spin control.

I think this is history's first case of rats trying to stay on a sinking ship.

While they flog a dead horse. But then in the Middle Ages dead horses were catapulted over city walls as a way to spread disease. Perhaps the Iraq Survey Group will find some dead horses of mass destruction somewhere in Iraq.

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