Sunday, April 21, 2002

I've been pretty skeptical of the "rope-a-dope" account of Colin Powell's mideast shuttle trip, in which the trip was never meant to succeed in its announced goal of getting a cease-fire, but rather set up to fail, in order to serve U.S. interests in some deeper way. Not least because Powell himself, most recently this morning on Meet the Press, seems to be treating the trip as having setting up more of the same.

But today, in the middle of what, I'm afraid, is a mostly uninteresting "reading Bush's mind" column, Maureen Dowd at last presents a version of this theory which makes a little sense:

...there are those rumors all over Georgetown that Cheney and Rummy had set up Colin to fail because they think he's a squishy internationalist hippie-child who might slow down the mow-down of Saddam. (Of course, [says her faux Bush] the rumors are true, but did they have to get out?)

If that seems a little Byzantine, remember that Rumsfeld and Cheney are both veterans of the Nixon administration...


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