Friday, November 10, 2006

Old Hands From the Family Business - Washington Post

David Seaton's News Links
A return of the Bush 41, James Baker way of managing the Middle East would tie both the Republican ultra-right and the Clinton Democrats in knots. The Republican ultra-right, supports Israel as part of its "end of days" craziness and the Clintons and the Clintonites count on 'friends of Israel' for a great part of their financing. The neocons, joined at the hip to Israel, have abandoned Bush and he owes them nothing... but the failure of his administration. Remember that Yasser Arafat was initially happy at Bush II's election because he thought that the Shrub would continue the policies of his father, which he considered to be more favorable to the Palestinians than the Democrats. If James Baker takes up where he left off... feathers will fly. DS

Abstract: Nine months after invading Iraq, President Bush told an interviewer he did not turn to his father for strength. "There is a higher father that I appeal to," he said. Nearly three years later, Bush may be appealing to his earthly father as well. Or at least his people.(...) "It certainly looks as if there is the handprint of Bush 41," said retired Army Col. F.W. "Bill" Smullen, a close aide to former secretary of state Colin L. Powell, using the nickname for the former president. The big question, though, is whether the change is real or simply a post-election gesture, (...) If the father was the patriarch of the realist school of foreign policy that aims to manage a combustible international order, the son brought to power neoconservatives who want to remake the world and spread democracy. The president has given speech after speech assailing past administrations for accepting tyranny in the Middle East in the belief that stability equaled security, a thesis that he says exploded tragically on Sept. 11, 2001. The elder Bush was reported to have been skeptical of the way the younger Bush launched the war in Iraq in 2003 -- reports that were fueled in part by public comments before the invasion by Baker and Brent Scowcroft, the former president's national security adviser and close friend. Scowcroft later broke entirely with the current administration and was eased off the president's foreign intelligence advisory board.(...) During private discussions, according to one person familiar with them, Gates has expressed strong reservations about the course of events in Iraq and the failure of the administration to adjust.(...) most significantly, the Bush administration's ambition of planting a democracy in the heart of the Middle East would be set aside, at least temporarily, in favor of bolstering Iraq's stability. That suggests Bush 41 policymaking may be back. "It certainly looks that way," said Tom Donnelly, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Even so, he said, the question remains what the president is really thinking. "Bush's mind works differently from the normal political mind. He seems to be motivated by faith and ideals and willing to take risks politically. Maybe these Baker guys can talk him off the ledge, but nobody's done it yet." READ ALL

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