Saturday, January 06, 2007

Calling in the E-team

If you've recovered from New Years celebrations, you may have noticed the recent spate of hirings and firings by the Bush administration.

The invaluable Dan Froomkin has a theory:

I see a possible theme: A purge of the unbelievers.

Harriet Miers, a longtime companion of the president but never a true believer in Vice President Cheney's views of a nearly unrestrained executive branch, is out as White House counsel -- likely to be replaced by someone in the more ferocious model of Cheney chief of staff David S. Addington.

Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad, considered by Cheney to be too soft on the Sunnis, is kicked upstairs to the United Nations, to be replaced by Ryan Crocker, who presumably does not share his squeamishness.

John Negroponte, not alarmist enough about the Iranian nuclear threat in his role as Director of National Intelligence, is shifted over to the State Department, the Bush administration's safehouse for the insufficiently neocon. Cheney, who likes to pick his own intelligence, thank you, personally intervenes to get his old friend Mike McConnell to take Negroponte's job.

And George Casey and John Abizaid -- the generals who so loyally served as cheerleaders for the White House's "stay the course" approach during the mid-term election campaigns -- are jettisoned for having shown a little backbone in their opposition to Cheney and Bush's politically-motivated insistence on throwing more troops into the Iraqi conflagration.

Call it the E (for escalation) team.

And I suppose it makes sense of a sort.

As is becoming increasingly apparent, BushCorp has finally realized that Iraq isn't going to show the sort of progress that anyone could call winning, and has so decided on its own exit strategy: treading water until a new administration can come in and clean up its mess.

So now it's bringing in a team of ideologues so divorced from reality that they will bull through the carnage to come no matter what.

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