Wankegate

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Whenever I need a pick—me—up, I find Mark Steyn is there — with a spot on, well written and amusing view of the world. Today is no exception to that rule. Here's a sample.Sit back and let him make your day:

The difficulty for the Left is that if the problem is Iraq, Katrina or pretty much anything else, the solution is not obviously the Democratic party. The future of Iraq is mostly a matter for Iraqis now and it's not going badly, as you can sort of tell if you decode the headlines — 'Bitterly Divided Iraqis Take Time Out From Trembling On Brink Of Civil War To Overwhelmingly Ratify New Constitution', 'Three Sunnis And Their Pet Camel Boycott Poll In Sign Iraq May Be Becoming Ungovernable', etc. In fact, it's Syria that's bitterly divided and becoming ungovernable and, as noted here three weeks ago, Baby Assad's fall will not be long now. Meanwhile, Brent Scowcroft, one of the foreign policy 'realists' from Bush's daddy's day, recalled a conversation with his protégée Condi Rice two years ago. 'She says we're going to democratise Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratise Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for 50 years and so on and so forth.... But we've had 50 years of peace.'

Well, yes, if you don't include the Iranian hostages, Lebanon, Lockerbie and a lot else on the long road to 9/11. Nonetheless, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, also chipped in. As the Financial Times reported, 'Vice—President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.' 
 
What does he mean by 'hijacked'? Is Wilkerson saying that Cheney and Rumsfeld have imposed their foreign policy on the United States against the wishes of the President? I think not. If you read any Bush speech or talk to him for five minutes, it's clear that he's no supporter of the disastrously complacent State Department realpolitik herd mentality reflected by both Scowcroft and Wilkerson. Every word he utters on the subject suggests he inclines to the Cheney—Rumsfeld view of the world — or, rather, that they incline to his. The President sets foreign policy. He's the pilot; he can't 'hijack' his own plane. Wilkerson is a whining stewardess in a snit because she doesn't want to learn a new spiel. 'Do you want the chicken or the beef?' She's been serving up State Department chicken in Cairo and Amman and Damascus for decades, and she's not comfortable with the new Texas beef. But the only hijack that's going on is the State Department's bland assumption that it has the right to block the President's foreign policy. 

Clarice Feldman   10 29 05

Whenever I need a pick—me—up, I find Mark Steyn is there — with a spot on, well written and amusing view of the world. Today is no exception to that rule. Here's a sample.Sit back and let him make your day:

The difficulty for the Left is that if the problem is Iraq, Katrina or pretty much anything else, the solution is not obviously the Democratic party. The future of Iraq is mostly a matter for Iraqis now and it's not going badly, as you can sort of tell if you decode the headlines — 'Bitterly Divided Iraqis Take Time Out From Trembling On Brink Of Civil War To Overwhelmingly Ratify New Constitution', 'Three Sunnis And Their Pet Camel Boycott Poll In Sign Iraq May Be Becoming Ungovernable', etc. In fact, it's Syria that's bitterly divided and becoming ungovernable and, as noted here three weeks ago, Baby Assad's fall will not be long now. Meanwhile, Brent Scowcroft, one of the foreign policy 'realists' from Bush's daddy's day, recalled a conversation with his protégée Condi Rice two years ago. 'She says we're going to democratise Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratise Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for 50 years and so on and so forth.... But we've had 50 years of peace.'

Well, yes, if you don't include the Iranian hostages, Lebanon, Lockerbie and a lot else on the long road to 9/11. Nonetheless, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, also chipped in. As the Financial Times reported, 'Vice—President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.' 
 
What does he mean by 'hijacked'? Is Wilkerson saying that Cheney and Rumsfeld have imposed their foreign policy on the United States against the wishes of the President? I think not. If you read any Bush speech or talk to him for five minutes, it's clear that he's no supporter of the disastrously complacent State Department realpolitik herd mentality reflected by both Scowcroft and Wilkerson. Every word he utters on the subject suggests he inclines to the Cheney—Rumsfeld view of the world — or, rather, that they incline to his. The President sets foreign policy. He's the pilot; he can't 'hijack' his own plane. Wilkerson is a whining stewardess in a snit because she doesn't want to learn a new spiel. 'Do you want the chicken or the beef?' She's been serving up State Department chicken in Cairo and Amman and Damascus for decades, and she's not comfortable with the new Texas beef. But the only hijack that's going on is the State Department's bland assumption that it has the right to block the President's foreign policy. 

Clarice Feldman   10 29 05