THE COMPLETE ARTICLE
The New York Times
Goodness Gracious! The Truth!
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: December 6, 2006
In Iraq, the Bush administration has gone from democracy promotion to conflagration avoidance.
First Junior took over the house with grandiose plans to remodel it and make it the envy of the neighborhood. But then he played with matches and set the house on fire. So now he’s frantically trying to stop the flames from torching the whole block.
The Bush administration has gone from a breathless plan to change the Middle East to a breathless plan to preserve it, from democracy promotion to conflagration avoidance.
That was the cold shower offered yesterday by Robert Gates, the former C.I.A. chief, on his way to being unanimously endorsed as the new defense secretary by a Senate panel craving a cold shower.
He told the Armed Services Committee, peppered with wannabe future presidents, that the American occupation could lead to a Baghdad as hostile as Tehran, and set off “a regional conflagration” if Iraq is not deftly handled in the next couple of years.