25 September, 2020

Inside Dubya's Corral

'Watergate' Woodward pens a book on the US war cabinet, reveals its fractious nature as also the restless energy of its helmsman

Inside Dubya's Corral
On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush gathered his cabinet in the White House situation room, stung by intense media speculation that US bombing raids on Afghanistan had produced little evidence of victory against the Taliban. There were many who even thought Bush had entered into a Vietnam-like quagmire. "I just want to make sure that all of us did agree on this plan, right?" Bush asked his advisors. They all nodded in assent. "Anybody have any ideas they want to put on the table?" There were none. "You know what?" Bush then told his team. "We need to be patient. We have only been at this 19 days. Be steady. Don't let the press panic us."

A new book by Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor at The Washington Post newspaper, offers an insight into the tensions that afflicted Bush's war cabinet during the initial stages of the Afghanistan war and how personal differences continue to divide the team on Iraq. Bush At War (Simon & Schuster; Pages: 376; $28) shows secretary of state Colin Powell at odds with vice-president Dick Cheney and defence secretary Donald H....


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