Ypsilanti, Mich: If Powell had been appointed Secretary of Defense, rather than Secretary of State, do you think we would be in this debacle in Iraq?
Karen DeYoung: I doubt it. I once asked Powell whether he thought the national security structure in the White House would have been different with a stronger national security adviser, he said no and gave a one-word explanation. "Cheney."
Minneapolis, Minn: Did Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others within the Bush administration (along with the president's brother, Jeb) not call for a "New Pearl Harbor" long before Bush was appointed to office by the Supreme Court? On February 20th, 1998, didn't a group called the "Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf", whose members included Stephen Solarz and Richard Perle, among others, called on President Clinton to go beyond a military strike on Iraq and to help overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and replace his regime with a provisional government?
Why does the press continue to pretend they didn't know Bush had plans, long before 9/11, to invade Iraq? Why do they play along with the nonsense? What's in it for them? Isn't the endless ex post facto analysis rather phony in light of what we knew about Bush's intentions?
I'll save you some unnecessary work here: if the Republicans maintain control of Congress in the midterms, Bush will invade Iran. You heard it here first.
Karen DeYoung: Several things about the Feb.1998 document from the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf. Cheney was not among the signatories (nor did he sign a similar letter to Clinton the month before on taking action against Saddam Hussein), nor was Jeb Bush. Interestingly, Richard Armitage, later Powell's deputy secretary of state and longtime closest friend, signed both. At that time, none of the above was closely tied to Bush (who was still far from the nomination). As much as a policy prescription, the document was a way of dunning Clinton as weak on foreign and military policy. It called for establishing "liberated" zones in the north and south of Iraq (a long-held dream of Paul Wolfowitz, who advocated that the south be turned over to Ahmed Chalabi's INC), and the declaration of a provisional Iraqi government. It called for a U.S. air campaign against Hussein's "pillars of power" and for the positioning of "U.S. ground force equipment" in the region to assist anti-Saddam forces in the "liberated" zones "if necessary." It did not call for the use of U.S. ground forces in Iraq.