TWN 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.
— Steve Clemons