(From left to right, clockwise: President George W. Bush; Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisor; Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security; Vice President Dick Cheney — on screen, presumably from some secure location; Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on Iraq David Satterfield, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. John Abizaid and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace. AP Photo/The White House, Eric Draper.)
Let's play a little game this morning. In the above photo, spot the person who has been selected to participate in the meeting because he provides an opposing viewpoint that allows President Bush to stretch his opinions and contemplate the possibility of change or failure of policy or anything at all that smacks of holding him accountable for poor decisionmaking.
Anyone? Yeah, I thought not. What a media farce.
Our soldiers on the ground and their commanding officers, who are working tirelessly to keep casualties and injuries to a minimum while dealing with equipment and manpower shortages, deserve a helluva lot better than this. America deserves better than staged election-year photo opportunity for a room full of sycophants who have already made up their minds to tell King Georgie what he wants to hear rather than risk their careers on his petulant refusal to actually listen to truth and counter-argument.
It is well past time for some accountability — on Iraq and everything else. Since the rubber stamp Republican Congress has failed to do any of that for the last five years, it is time for some big changes — and a whole lot of votes for Democrats. Had enough?
(For more, see this from the WaPo, and this entitled "Bush And Rumsfeld Defend Strategy in Iraq" (oh yeah, lots of honesty in the above room, I tell ya…) and this on the meeting itself; here is the President's radio address from this morning; and this from Condi via ReutersUK saying there won't be any changes in policy. So…um…photo-op, anyone?)