JAMES WOOLSEY OPENED THE TULSA TOWN HALL annual speakers program with a speech there this morning, and he spoke in Tulsa as well on Wednesday before the Downtown Rotary Club.
According to KOTV Channel 6, Woolsey “says we need to defeat three radical groups in the Middle East — the Bathists, Shiites and al-Qaida — before the war can be won” (the spelling is not mine).
Isn’t defeating the Shiites a bit of an over-reach, Jim? Isn’t that like taking on all Baptists, or Episcopelians? The last I heard, the Shiites, along with Sunnis and Kurds were among the key stakeholders in Iran’s evolving civil society.
To be fair, Woolsey may have just meant the al Sadr-led Shiites, and the media blurred them all together, but the reference as retold by the tv station doesn’t sound as if it left much room for qualified commentary about which group of Shiites had to be “defeated.”
Woolsey is from Tulsa and went to high school there — which I just learned today. My mother lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma — a great small town my great grandparents helped settle, just 30 miles north of Tulsa.
That part of the country is pretty conservative, but increasingly, after every trip I make out there, I hear Tulsa and Bartlesville conservatives realize that George Bush’s big government/big-spending policies aren’t really conservative at all.
That’s another theme Kerry should be exploiting. It’s too late to get some smart questioners out to the speaking engagements Woolsey had in Tulsa this week — but I am going to launch WOOLSEY WATCH and recruit some of you to ask Woolsey about how it feels to rake in profits on this war.
WOOLSEY WATCH will appear in The Washington Note when I get advance word of Jim Woolsey’s appearances around the country — and we may add others from the roster of the Committee on the Present Danger as well. America needs to begin paying more attention to what these folks are doing and saying outside Washington.
— Steve Clemons