Reverberations. . .

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reverb.jpgTWN has been making a few waves here and there this week. Let me share four items that may interest some:

1. Helene Cooper in the New York Times today confirms the general picture of a piece I wrote last week that reported frustrations with Bush’s policy course on Iran by Cheney and his team. Her piece is a whopper — and Secretary of State Rice seems to be sending a signal not just to the media that she’s in charge, but to Cheney too.
The same piece ran as a cover story in today’s International Herald Tribune and has generated an email deluge here at TWN.
2. Edward Luce of the Financial Times published this piece today asking why Democratic presidential hopefuls still seem to be talking in the same national security grooves as President Bush. Our views are featured.
3. The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof published this item on his own blog, On the Ground, supporting my views about David Gordon — who is about to take over as Director of Policy Planning at the State Department.
Let me post his item below for those who have a hard time with the Times firewall:

Realism in the Bush Administration?
by Nicholas D. Kristof
The Washington Note has an interesting post saying that David Gordon, now the vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, will be announced as the new head of Policy Planning at the State Department.
That’s very interesting, because David Gordon is first rate and not ideological, and because Policy Planning is a key portfolio in any administration in developing long-range policy. Of course, hard-liners in the Office of the Vice President can still out-maneuver the sensible people, as they have for most of the last six years, but it’s nice to see good people appointed to top posts.
Steve Clemons, who writes the Note, says that Gordon’s appointment is indicative of better people going into posts more recently, and maybe there’s some truth to that. If the administration had started with Bob Gates and Gordon England at the Pentagon, instead of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, with Zoellick at the World Bank — and, best of all, with somebody like Tom Ridge as vice president rather than Cheney — then Bush might have avoided a failed presidency.
Bush also might have done better in preserving his reputation if he had just been defeated for reelection, so that his fans could blame today’s problems on John Kerry.

4. Finally, Here is a radio MP3 clip I did yesterday with AntiWar Radio’s Scott Horton. It’s more on Iran, Cheney, and the shenanigans Cheney’s team have been pulling despite some excellent work by others in the Bush admnistration.

More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

21 comments on “Reverberations. . .

  1. pauline says:

    I wonder which outsourcers the rice office and the cheney office are relying on as accurate Iraqi intelligence these days?
    “The corporate takeover of U.S. intelligence”
    The U.S. government now outsources a vast portion of its spying operations to private firms — with zero public accountability.
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/06/01/intel_contractors/index.html

    Reply

  2. Homer says:

    Carroll: I am not sure she deserves to be lumped in with the neo crazies.
    I sort of disagree: She’s no Kristol.
    But she deserves a spot in Neocon Hell w/ a doubt.
    Why?
    She was a marginal Russian-ist who ***stabbed*** her realist mentor (Scowcroft) in the back, spit in his face, changed fields, and then started Neocon doom and gloom bullshit.
    E.g.:
    Neocons take complete control (By Sidney Blumenthal)
    According to their colleagues, who have chosen to remain (at least for now), they foresee the damage that will be done as Rice is charged with whipping the State Department into line with the White House and Pentagon neocons.
    [snip]
    Rice’s radio silence when her former mentor, Scowcroft, was defenestrated, was taken by the State Department professionals as a sign of things to come.
    http://dir.salon.com/story/opinion/blumenthal/2004/12/30/neocons/index.html

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    And amen to the FT article…..
    “In an article in Foreign Affairs published on Friday, Mr Obama calls for a renewed focus on an Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He adds that “our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel”. Mr Obama was criticised after the first debate for having forgotten Israel when asked to list the US’s key allies.
    “The plain fact is there is no upside for candidates to challenge the prevailing assumptions about Israel,” said one of their advisers, who asked not to be named. “The best strategy is to win the White House and then change the debate.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    However if anyone thinks the dems are going to “change the debate on the US/Isr entanglement and the problems that causes the US…..don’t hold your breath…why would they?…they aren’t likely to damage the AIPAC fundraising offshoots.
    I now address all my concerns about the politicans sell out to Israel (a foreign country) and AIPAC ( a lobby that should be registered as foreign) to:
    Robert Meuller
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    J. Edgar Hoover Building
    935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Demand he investigate the neos and/or politicians of your choice ..and include the statements/acts each has made that make them suspect….be sure to cc it to the politican. Harman, Hoyer and a few others I am sure you know are a gold mind for this complaint.
    If you are afraid to write to the FBI, don”t be,it’s your right to contact any goverment agency. If you think if will make you look like a fool, don’t worry…..only one of two things will result. If only a few do it, the letter will end in the shreder or a dead file somehere where no one ever heard of you, or if a lot do it you’ll be changing the debate without waiting for the 12th of never politicans.

    Reply

  4. negropontedeathsquads says:

    Steve:
    Great interview with Scott Horton on antiwar.com. He does a great job, and you mentioning it helped give him some good attention. Keep it up.

    Reply

  5. johnf says:

    HOW NOT TO RUN A FOREIGN POLICY
    For those interested in the subject of what happens when ideologues with enormous parliamentiary majorities and psychotic press secretaries/political gurus decide to overrule all the pragmatists and professional experts in their governments and go gungho for their own improvised foreign policies – something I’m sure NO subscribers to this blog are at all interested in – here’s a heads-up for a radio drama I’ve written about Neville Chamberlain’s foreign policy and those pesky pragmatists and moralists in the Foreign Office and on the backbenches and in the Labour Party who were foolhardy enough to try and oppose him.
    It is a farce – because sometimes farce is the only way one can deal with the most disturbing emotions – but deals with the immense practical and psychological difficulties of successfully opposing Chamberlain in the run-up to the Second World War. It covers the Italian Crisis and the resignation of Anthony Eden, being the first part of a trilogy also covering Munich and the Norway Debate of May 1940 when Chamberlain was finally overthrown, to be broadcast on the 70th anniversary of each of these events.
    “How Not to Run a Foreign Policy” is being broadcast this Monday – the 4th of June – on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15 pm, BST. For those abroad it will be available at the time on the BBC site – press radio, then Radio 4, then the live feed – or a few hours later it will be available on line for a week at:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/afternoon_play.shtml
    Press the Monday strand.
    Sincerely, John Fletcher.

    Reply

  6. David N says:

    Baby steps . . . .
    Congrats, Steve, on getting the first, small hint of the truth that the Media are omitting real thinking as well as facts from their reporting, and that the candidates are kow-towing to the media and following their lead.
    Certainly, we want to keep up that good work, but the question then must be asked, if different thinking in foreign policy is called for, what is it? Just saying different, when different is automatically treated as suspect, is not good enough all by itself.
    Consider this praise, with a bit of goad thrown in for spite . . . . :-{)

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    About Condi…
    I am not sure she deserves to be lumped in with the neo crazies.I would have preferred she had used the tactics of rumors and gossip and formed her own clandistine cabal to turn Bush against Cheney and the neo’s a lot sooner. But then again almost everyone in the first adm was a neo.
    I don’t have any real evidence as to what if any Condi’s real ideology is….
    But if I ignore her words and read her facial reactions I see she has a hot temper and has been royally pissed on several occasions when she was made a fool of by the neo’s minipulating behind the scenes. If looks could kill the look on her face when she stomped out of the Israeli meeting becuase she had not been informed before hand of the attack of Lebanon that was commencing as she spoke..then they would all be dead.

    Reply

  8. Sandy says:

    Support the troops
    IMPEACH BUSH/CHENEY!!!
    Support the Constitution
    IMPEACH BUSH/CHENEY!!!

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    “Zorro”…a.k.a. Steve Clemons..strikes again……go,go,go Zorro!

    Reply

  10. profmarcus says:

    you do us all a great service, steve… it’s greatly appreciated by this reader…
    i’ve noted that your views toward dick cheney and his constitution-negating shadow presidency have hardened considerably, in print at least, over the past months, as, i am thinking, the reality of the danger he poses for the very foundations of our republic becomes ever more clear… unfortunately, condi’s pushback, even with gates, gordon, england, and zoellick, does nothing to stop the constitutional assault… it continues unabated and, unless it is not only stopped, but reversed, signing statements, the repudiation of geneva, the u.n. convention, and habeas, military tribunals, torture, extraordinary rendition, the politicization of the executive branch, congress, and the judiciary, and the unitary executive will be the ticking time bomb bequeathed to the new administration on 20 january 2009…
    http://takeitpersonally.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  11. Gadfly says:

    Steve,
    I pity you that you will censor comments which are critical of Rice, Israel, and, of AIPAC… You may silence me– just as the MSM hacks & toadies silence dissenters– but, that makes you very much like the fascists who are destroying this nation. Free speech??? Apparently, only for those who are willing to collaborate by spouting lies & believing the dishonest propaganda campaign… Pathetic!
    I tried 3 times to post the following– and was told that it would be “reviewed”… Pathetic! I’ll be that anybody who passes off lies in praise of Rice, Israel and AIPAC are never, never, never censored… Pathetic!
    This is my post:–
    Has anybody (other than a few like “Pissed Off American”) noticed how real stories which are quite alarming vis-a-vis the corrupt & incompetent Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, et. al. are largely ignored?
    The ludicrous-cum-laughable notion that State Department geniuses will save us from the neo-con’s insane war-mongering; lies; and, treason– needs to be debunked for it is delusionary. Rice worships her master Bush– and she panders the the AIPAC traitors & to her Big Oil pimps. She will squash any attempts by so-called “realists” to negotiate any SOLID diplomatic solution(s) which would bring peace to the Middle East. Rice is no different from Cheney, Rove or Bush.
    Thank goodness that there are still a few genuine journalists with integrity, willing to tell the truth– instead of covering-up the traitorous Bush’s bizarre & unstable behaviour and/or pretending that Rice is something that she is not [Rice is a liar- traitor- war-monger- war-profiteers- and a national disgrace!]
    Any questions???
    Refer to “I’M THE PRESIDENT”
    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/2618
    …”…President George W. Bush’s paranoid megalomania is so rampant that close friends and supporters worry about the man’s sanity and fear he has lost his tenuous grip on reality…”…
    Continued on http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/2618
    Also, refer to:–
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/7869
    …and…
    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/kolko.php?articleid=11058

    No– let’s not face reality, my fellow Americans:– the MSM hacks & toadies want us to pretend that this administration can change course. Jeez!

    Reply

  12. Gadfly says:

    Has anybody (other than a few like “Pissed Off American”) noticed how real stories which are quite alarming vis-a-vis the corrupt & incompetent Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, et. al. are largely ignored?
    The ludicrous-cum-laughable notion that State Department geniuses will save us from the neo-con’s insane war-mongering; lies; and, treason– needs to be debunked for it is delusionary. Rice worships her master Bush– and she panders the the AIPAC traitors & to her Big Oil pimps. She will squash any attempts by so-called “realists” to negotiate any SOLID diplomatic solution(s) which would bring peace to the Middle East. Rice is no different from Cheney, Rove or Bush.
    Thank goodness that there are still a few genuine journalists with integrity, willing to tell the truth– instead of covering-up the traitorous Bush’s bizarre & unstable behaviour and/or pretending that Rice is something that she is not [Rice is a liar- traitor- war-monger- war-profiteers- and a national disgrace!]
    Any questions???
    Refer to “I’M THE PRESIDENT”
    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/2618
    …”…President George W. Bush’s paranoid megalomania is so rampant that close friends and supporters worry about the man’s sanity and fear he has lost his tenuous grip on reality…”…
    Continued on http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/2618
    Also, refer to:–
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/7869
    …and…
    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/kolko.php?articleid=11058

    No– let’s not face reality, my fellow Americans:– the MSM hacks & toadies want us to pretend that this administration can change course. Jeez!

    Reply

  13. ... says:

    support the troops – impeach bush and cheney.

    Reply

  14. TonyForesta says:

    Kristof cowardly ignores the sad fact the he was one of complicit parrots in the socalled MSM pimping and heaping glories on the Bush government fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars before the enormous catastrophic loss of blood and treasue became indefensible, unsupportable, and could no longer washed away in partisan parables and wingnutsia hagiography.
    “The truth will set you free.”
    That said, – all the kings horses and all the kings men, can never hope in hell to put this FAILED fascist totalitarian dictators government back together again.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    Keep it up Steve. Here is yet one more indicator of how little we can trust the MSM…
    ABC Leaks Plans to Extend ‘Surge,’ Then Pulls the Story
    Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 in News by Eric Garris|
    “ABC News Learns of Plans to Keep Troops in Iraq Beyond 2009,” was the top story posted on Saturday morning’s edition of Antiwar.com. Then the story disappeared.
    The link now says “You’ve requested an ABCNews.com page that does not exist.” No explanation, no follow-up story, and calls to ABC were not returned.
    The story said that US officials had told ABC News that the troop levels in Iraq cannot be maintained at the present level, either politically or practically, with the military stretched so thin.
    It went on to explain that this had not deterred the plans of top US commanders in Iraq want the surge to continue until at least December and expect to report enough progress by September to justify the extension.
    continues at….
    http://tinyurl.com/2fsdkk

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Well Steve, you have one hell of an opportunity here to expose the role of AIPAC in rattling the drums of war against Iran as well. I realize you try to stay out of the “AIPAC issue”, but if Cheney’s saber rattling alarms you, it follows that AIPAC’s saber rattling should alarm you as well. As I have pointed out here on a number of occassions, AIPAC has ran blatant falsehoods on its website designed to exagerate and misrepresent the true nature of Iran’s nuclear program, and the threat it poses. The last major falsehood was their claim that Iran was blocking the IAEA inspection team from inspecting the Nanatz facility. They ran this fictitious article for an entire weekend, ignoring the fact that the IAEA was disputing the assertion, and in fact did have an inspection team within the facility.
    You could put the enhanced exposure your blog is recieving to good use here, Steve. I hope you take advantage of it. And if your blog is successful in exposing the campaign of propaganda launched by AIPAC, as well as Cheney’s insane lust for yet one more disastrous foreign poolicy debacle, fantastic. Every American will owe you a debt of gratitude.

    Reply

  17. Homer says:

    Speaking of Cheney……..
    If you are wondering why the Iraqi Parliament has been giving the Bush admin the one fingered salute with glee, read on.
    HINT: Karma is a Bitch!!
    Bush warns Iraq on chemical arms U.S. fears use of weapons against rebels. Chicago Tribune. March 10, 1991 [snip]
    Jawad al-Maliki of the Dawa Party said in Damascus, Syria, that mustard gas was used against protesters in al-Haleh, al-Kifil, Najaf and some areas of Basra, in southeastern Iraq.
    Precisely what is going on inside Iraq is difficult to determine since Western reporters have been expelled. Most information is coming from refugees and opposition leaders in Iran and Syria.
    Defense Secretary Dick Cheney described the situation as “volatile” but said it appears Hussein will be able to keep the unrest in check for now.
    The Iraqi leader is using his loyal Republican Guard to quell the
    rebellion.

    Reply

  18. erichwwk says:

    Let’s not only focus on what is wrong, and remember that progress occurs through clarity of what works. I have a google alert to push news info on “steve clemons” and thus had already read (with admiration and thankfulness) the two pieces in the IHT and NYT. IMHO Steve has found a way to crack the MSM firewall, and get real facts before the American public. Let’s put foreign policy into perspective, and realize that what we’re fighting is MUCH bigger than GWB and the neocons, and involves a way to understand that well being is maximized by making MARGINAL choices on the basis of reason as an option to resolving differences by the use of force. I can’t thank Steve and his cohorts at the New America Foundation enough!
    ALL the reasons ObL attacked the twin towers has NOTHING to do with GWB but was a function of a much broader US policy to transcend international law and continue the policy of slavery by more modern covert means, as instigated by the DEMOCRATIC party under the various Committees for the Present Danger. http://tinyurl.com/258wjx
    And let’s not forget that the AUMF for Desert Storm just passed the Senate by a few votes, after the propaganda of the ‘incubator babies”. Let’s support GWB in finding a way out of this quagmire.
    As Steve has noted, what happens in history seems to have a great deal to do with chance. I have NO INTEREST in what is wrong, and ONLY interest in what makes things better. Working to support GWB’s
    interest in “what would Christ do”, and “What could GWB do to change his legacy from “War Criminal” to a policy of “Love Thy Enemy” and appoint advisors to counter those traitors that see an “Axis of Evil” is to me a viable and preferred alternative.
    “When a pickpocket meets a saint, all he sees are his pockets.”

    Reply

  19. Marcel Parcells says:

    On the same note as Marcia. . .
    I don’t think Kristof means it, but his last paragraph implies that the problems we would have if Kerry were president would be pretty much the same as they are now. While Kerry would have inherited many policy problems, you can hope that he would have handled some (Like Katrina) in a different, and hopefully better, manner.84

    Reply

  20. Gadfly says:

    Only the delusional and/or propagandists believe that Rice wants a so-called “diplomatic” solution vis-a-vis Iran… Only fools and/or orwellian mouth-pieces are trying to sell the mendacious snake-oil that Rice is at odds with Cheney.
    Rice is an oil whore:– Rice marches to the drum-beats of the neo-cons; the oil corporations; and, the military industrial complex. So does Cheney, Rove and Bush.
    Rice has assured the neo-fascists like “Bibi” Netanyahu, of the extreme right-wing lunatical Likud Party that all such “diplomacy” is for SHOW ONLY. Rice has made sure that the Israelis and AIPAC who controls U.S. Mideast foreign policy that they are only “going the motions” to appease the disgusted (75%+) Americans– but that, in reality, that the neo-con Bushies will make sure that Israel’s lust to massacre as many Arabs (especially Palestinians) as possible will continue AND that Big Oil will get their blood-money (control of Middle East OIL fields).
    Any idealists in the State Department who are swallowing Rice’s snake-oil will find themselves feeling very foolish in the longer-term… Rice is a phony:– the worst NSA & worst Secretary of State in our nation’s history… Rice isn’t fit to serve in public office (neither is Bush, Cheney, Rove– or the rest of that despicable neo-con cabal:– all crooks, liars, traitors, war-mongers, war-profiteers, etc.).
    You’ll find out the hard way, my fellow Americans, that Rice is NO DIFFERENT from the vultures-of-a-feather that this blood-sucker colludes with…

    Reply

  21. Marcia says:

    A very interesting interview on AntiWar as was the recent one with Ian Masters.
    Nicholas Kristof speaks of ” then Bush might have avoided a failed presidency.”
    More importantly the world might have been spared death and destruction, our economy all the deficit spending and the corruption of the justice and electoral systems, so it is difficult to weep over Bush because he has a failed presidency.
    He is alive – the lives lost are gone forever.

    Reply

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