Wednesday :: Aug 3, 2005

The Premature End of That Global Struggle Thingie


by Steve

Flip
July 27, 2005:

The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials.
Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President George W. Bush's senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Bush's own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Administration officials say the earlier phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it focused attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military campaign.
"It is more than just a military war on terror," Steven Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview. "It's broader than that. It's a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative.

Flop
Today:

President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "Make no mistake about it, we are at war."
It is not clear whether the new language embraced by other administration officials was adopted without Mr. Bush's approval or whether he reversed himself after the change was made.
In introducing the new language, administration officials had suggested that the change reflected an evolution in the president's thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks and had been adopted after discussions among Mr. Bush's senior advisers that began in January.
But administration officials became concerned when some news reports linked the change in language to signals of a shift in policy. At the same time, Mr. Bush, by some accounts, told aides that he was not happy with the new phrasing, a change of tone from the wording he had consistently used since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

So, did anyone tell Bush what came out of these meetings of his own senior national security advisors that have been going on since January when this new language was cooked up? And how stupid are Andy Card and Stephen Hadley feeling now? I mean, if Bush can have seven months of meetings going on right underneath his nose, and not know that the cue cards have been changed, then I guess it isn't so implausible that the August 6th, 2001 PDB got pushed aside for the nachos tray at Crawford.

And lastly, will Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker of the New York Times go back and burn their sources who fed them the original crap that the new language "reflects the evolution in Bush's own thinking"? It is clear from this episode that Rummy and Hadley basically put words in Bush's mouth, words that arose from months of meetings of his national security team that Bush never knew about. Either that, or Bush didn't like the reaction from the comedians and burned his staff once again. You pick which one to believe.

Plus, it probably didn't help that "struggle" translates into "jihad", but I guess it would have been too much for Rummy, Hadley, or Cheney to have done a little homework on that.

But hey, at least Bush will focus again on Social Security when he returns to Washington, so Christmas will come early for the Democrats.

Steve :: 10:20 PM :: Comments (19) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!