According to [Paul] O'Neill, Secretary of State Colin Powell seemed "startled," and warned that US disengagement would unleash Sharon and the Israeli army. Bush shrugged dismissively, adding, "Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things." After his requiem for the decades of US sweat and blood expended on the effort to work out a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the president turned immediately to Iraq. Rice led off by reciting the received wisdom of the neo-cons (I still wonder how many of them actually believed it...) that, "Iraq might be the key to reshaping the entire region." Ray McGovern, Sadly, the Plural of "Fiasco" Requires No "E", Truthout, 8-1-06
Hard Rain Journal 8-1-06: Ray McGovern on the Neo-Con Amateur Hour Performance of "No Exit"
By Richard Power
Over the last six years, much malice, mayhem and misery has been inflicted upon the US, its allies (both real and imagined), and its enemies (both real and imagined). And there is, it seems, much more to come. Throughout this abomination, Ray McGovern has personified articulate and enlightened dissent. McGovern had a 27-year career as a CIA analyst. (Ironically, he was one of GHW Bush's briefers.) He now works with the ecumenical Church of the Saviour (Washington, DC) and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Here is an excerpt from his latest posting (I urge you to follow the link and read it in its entirety):
Sadly, the Plural of "Fiasco" Requires No "E"
But the world desperately needs an "E" for EXIT from the march of folly toward a wider Middle East war that is increasingly likely to result from plural US foreign policy fiascos - in Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, for starters; in Syria and Iran for the next stage. Fortunately, Webster's does allow the insertion of an "E" and that's precisely what we must now do. We need to make a prompt exit from the endless string of fiascoes that have the Middle East marching to calamity.
If we do not take a sober look beyond the carnage of the last few weeks and weigh the reaction of still others in and outside the region, I fear there will be no exit. Perhaps it would be wise to start with a brief review: Who led our march into this modern-day Valley of Death?
Ideologues and Amateurs
Let's begin with the new people and policies that President George W. Bush brought in with him when he took office on January 20, 2001. Who urged on him what Michael O'Hanlon of Brookings calls "the huge mistake of giving Israel a blank check?" Who played the leading roles in encouraging Bush to let slip the dogs of war on Iraq? Honors for the leading role in the category of fiasco goes, ex aequo, to Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - the "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal," as described by Colin Powell's chief of staff at the State Department, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (USA, ret.). At an award ceremony, the cabal no doubt would offer copious thanks to key members of the cast - first and foremost, ideologues Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. The Oscar for best actress in a supporting role goes to Condoleezza Rice...
Dr. Rice Becomes Dr. No
There is a certain poetic justice in the fact that Rice, now secretary of state, is reaping the whirlwind. She has been trapped in the extremely awkward position of having to say "No" to a cease-fire to stop the burgeoning violence, and then being mocked by the Israelis who openly violated the cease-fire they had promised her.
Still an innocent abroad, Rice has loyally played piano accompaniment for the neo-con hit song, "Reshaping the Entire Region." She has, for example, described the violence in Lebanon and Israel as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East." On Friday, President Bush declared, "This is a moment of intense conflict ... yet our aim is to turn it into a moment of opportunity and a chance for broader change in the region."
Bush's remark elicited uncharacteristically acerbic ridicule from Richard Haass, who served under Bush as head of policy planning at the State Department. (Yes, this is the same Haass who in July 2002 begged Rice for an appointment with the president, whom he wanted to warn of the folly of invading Iraq. Rice reportedly told him, "The decision's been made; don't waste your breath.") Referring to Bush's remarks on Friday, Haass, now head of the Council on Foreign Relations, laughed at the president's optimism, according to a report by Peter Baker in yesterday's Washington Post. "That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time," said Haass. "If this is an opportunity, what's Iraq? A once-in-a-lifetime chance?" It is far from funny. Rather, it is amateur-hour again at the White House, with Rice acting as the president's personal secretary under instruction to do what Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the neo-cons tell her to do. The results have been entirely predictable....Policy and performance alike have been myopic in the extreme, and have resulted in an embarrassing US setback from which it will take decades to recover. The ramifications are region-wide; but looking at Lebanon alone, one of my former CIA colleagues observed: "The irony in all this is that Israel has an interest in a multicultural Lebanon and not an Islamist Lebanon, and the high hopes for the former are being dashed."...
Ray McGovern, Sadly, the Plural of "Fiasco" Requires No "E", Truthout, 8-1-06
Hard Rain Journal 6-25-06: Ray McGovern, Ann Wright and RFK, Jr. -- Voices of Courage and Conscience
Hard Rain Journal 7-28-06: Lebanon Update -- Cheney-Zawahiri Synergy, Poisonous Blossoming of Malign Neglect, & Israelis Smashing the Mirror
Hard Rain Journal 7-25-06: As the Next Bait & Switch Get Pulled, Remember Osama Bin Laden & the Child Brides of Afghanistan
Hard Rain Journal 7-19-06: Neo-Con Fingerprints on the Israeli Offensive in Lebanon, Meanwhile in Afghanistan...
Hard Rain Journal 7-17-06: Middle East Update -- Voices of Reason From Within The Whirlwind
Hard Rain Journal 6-15-06: Foreign Affairs survey of 100 US policy leaders grades Bush-Cheney "failed" at 1.8 out of 10
Hard Rain Journal 6-14-06: Wrongly Premised “War on Terrorism” has Increased Danger from Terrorism, and Ignored Greater Risks
Words of Power #23: A Reality Check, What A Real World War on Terrorism Would Look Like, and a US Mid-Term Election Strategy
Words of Power #21: Judith Miller, Ken Lay, Florida, 9/11 and The Return of The Forbidden Truths?
Words of Power #15: Bring Me the Head of Osama, Nero Fiddles while the Planet Burns, Religion as the Crystal Meth of the People, & The Democrats' Plan
GS3 Intelligence Special Supplement (2-4-06): Iran, Hamas, Islamic Fundamentalism, Terrorism, Geopolitical Hegemony, The Great Game & Danish Cartoons
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: email@example.com. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Israel, Lebanon, Bush, Cheney, Hezbollah, Geopolitics, Middle East, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Terrorism