Nine days after Zelikow's resignation the Iraq Study Group report was released. Informed correspondents of the Washington Post and New York Times related in conversation that Bush furiously called the report "a flaming turd," (my em) but his colorful remark was not published. Perhaps it was apocryphal. Nonetheless, it conveyed the intensity of his hostile rejection. Still, Scowcroft and Baker, like Vladimir and Estragon in "Waiting for Godot," waited for Rice.
The State Department has been completely sidelined in the making of Bush's latest and last policy on Iraq. Its experience in the Balkans remains thoroughly ignored. And Rice does nothing to call it to Bush's attention, for that would require her to point out his shortcomings. The State Department founders like a ghost ship. Rice meanders back and forth to and from the Middle East, the shuttle without the diplomacy.
After twice rejecting the job of deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, was implored to accept it. In exchanging a Cabinet post for a sub-Cabinet one, a position of policymaking for an administrative post, Negroponte excited rumors that he would only have decided to make the switch if he believed that Rice would eventually leave and he would ascend to her job. But, once again, the logic of that Washington gossip is merely rational. Rice the irrelevancy remains Bush's indispensable devotee.
I worship at Fixer's feet too, but I ain't gonna let him poke me there!