Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Infantile Idealism vs. Adult Realism

A Micro-Civil War Around and Within the National Security Council?

A struggle over the control of the ship of state seems to be ensuing. Neocons Dick Cheney & Co. are losing out to Conservatives Brent Scowcroft & James Baker, Inc.

Brent Scowcroft, was national security adviser to three Republican presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George Bush Sr. He may be pulling strings in the latest US foreign policy departures. He is definitely a pivotal figure behind the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. This panel submits its final report to Congress on Dec. 10.

Scowcroft said in an interview he gave the Turkish Daily News of Nov. 9, 2006:
I think we need to embed Iraq in a larger regional solution, and that to me goes back to the Palestinian issue. I think this would put us back on the offensive psychologically and even make Iraq easier to manage.

But I don’t think this will start with some kind of a conference because everyone will come with their preset speeches and everything will freeze again. But I think that there will be some quiet consultations in the region. I believe the Arab states in the region are eager for such a conversation. Israel may not be eager, but Israel is in bad shape right now.
This is what most of us expected, on 12-September-01.
It's five years late. And billions of dollars short.

Who Is Hadley Talking About?

Which 'war-time' leader is Stephen J. Hadley, really writing about in this Nov. 8 National Security Council memorandum?
He impressed me as a leader who wanted to be strong but was having difficulty figuring out how to do so. . . . Perhaps because he is frustrated over his limited ability to command _____ forces against terrorists and insurgents, _____ has been trying to show strength by standing up to the _____ . . . .

It is less clear whether _____ is a witting participant. The information he receives is undoubtedly skewed by his small circle of _____ advisers, coloring his actions and interpretation of reality. His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans, and sensitive reporting suggests he is trying to stand up to the _____ hierarchy and force positive change. But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests _____ is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.
Give up?
Released today by the New York Times