Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Wow. Pretty eye-opening article on the feud between the DoD and State Dept. Sounds like things are getting ugly, folks. Most recently, Powell has been against the propping up of this Chalabi character since he is largely seen as illegitimate by Iraqis. Chalabi is said to have a host of insider Pentagon connections and they're pushing him hard. Now Newt Gingrich rears his ugly head again.

(quick Chris Rock segue. Remember Rock slamming Newt for taking the moral high ground during the Clinton scandal? "You got all these fat republicans saying 'I would never do such a thing!' Yeah, well nobody's trying to blow YOU. You ain't never gonna hear Newt Gingrich saying 'Man, I wish the bitches would back up OFF me. Let a player PLAY!")

Gingrich accused the state department of "thwarting President Bush from carrying out a forceful agenda to stop terrorism and confront enemy states." They say that Gingrich has close ties to Rumsfeld, and intends to call for a "major overhaul" of the State Dept. in order to "contrast the success of a transformed Defense Dept. with the failure of State." If Donald Rumsfeld and cronies are the model of success in our government then I'll have to go down on record as a staunch proponent of miserable failure. I guess failure in foreign relations is characterized by diplomacy, rationality, and the ability to manage complex viewpoints. Success is insulting allies, pissing off the entire globe, and propping up insider cronies rather than seeking compromise.

Amusingly, the article notes that there already has been an assessment made of the State Dept. and Powell's tenure like the one Gingrich is calling for. The assessment was made by a group of former ambassadors and released by the Foreign Affairs Council.

The report noted "Powell has made huge strides in winning resources for the department, changing its culture and improving its public diplomacy and congressional relations efforts. "The accomplishments are substantial, even historic," the report concluded.

Gingrich acknowledged that Powell has rebuilt morale at the State Department. But, he said, "he rebuilt the morale of people who don't believe in what George Bush believes in and try to undermine what Bush believes in."

Aha. And this is what it's really all about. Chilling, isn't it?


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