This column was literally dictated to him from Dubya’s inner circle, including National Security Adviser “Steve” Hadley (maybe my imagination, but just a tad informal?), and the following talking points were communicated:
- Dubya and his people refuse to refer to what is transpiring in Iraq as “civil war” and are calling it “sectarian violence” instead.
- Dubya does not consider himself beholden to Jim “The Fixer” Baker and the Iraq Study Group (and by the way, how much longer is it going to take for this insulated gang of Beltway “players” to issue their findings? I mean, it’s not like lives are on the line or anything, right?).
- Dubya is going to be a “good listener” when he meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (as if that somehow is news, thought I guess it is for Dubya sadly…and for some perverse reason, while Dubya and his Iraqi-proxy-du-jour meet concerning some of the worst violence on earth, Allen perversely leads this piece with the line “Get used to seeing the Four Seasons Amman,” as if any of our people fighting and dying could ever hope to spend time there – and James Russell earlier couldn’t figure out why we aren’t on “a war footing”; maybe it’s because no one else is besides our troops.)
To me, the “money quote” from this piece (such as it is) comes from Hadley.
"We're not at the point where the President is going to be in a position to lay out a comprehensive plan at this point."And he never will be.