I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Necons not flying so high?

Jim Lobe discusses the loss of power of the neocon cabal within the Bush administration today. We are of course talking about Cheney, Rumsfeld and their supporting cast at The Project for the New American Century. Both the Reagan and Bush I administrations realized that Cheney and Rumsfeld were nut cases and while they kept them around they were kept away from policy making. They found the perfect chump in George W. Bush who not only rejected everything that had been done during the Clinton administration but in his own fathers administration as well. The escaped inmates found a path to power. Lobe tells us that power is on the wane however.
WASHINGTON - Although still united in pushing for confrontation with Iran, the coalition of hawks that propelled US troops toward Baghdad three years ago appears to have finally run out of steam.
Demoralized by the quagmire in Iraq, as well as President George W Bush's still falling approval and credibility ratings, the coalition of aggressive nationalists, neo-conservatives and the Christian Right that promoted the belligerent, neo-imperial trajectory in US foreign policy has lost both its coherence and its power to dominate the political agenda in Washington.
Enter Condi Rice.
As a result - and almost by default - realists under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and in the uniformed military have steadily gained control over the administration's policy. Within the increasingly fractious Republican Party, more xenophobic forces appear to be on the rise, as evidenced by recent and ongoing controversies surrounding immigration and foreign control of US ports.

Evidence of a decisive shift is not hard to find, beginning with the latest edition of the "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America", released last month.

A kinder, gentler version of its fire-breathing 2002 predecessor that laid out the doctrinal justification for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the new version puts a greater emphasis on diplomacy and development, tending alliances and other realist themes, even as it continued the administration's defense of preemptive military action with Iran squarely in mind.
The debacle in Iraq is responsible.
In fact, the hawks' decline dates to late 2003 when it became clear that Cheney and Rumsfeld and their neo-conservative subordinates, then-deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, under secretary for policy Douglas Feith, had totally failed to anticipate, let alone prepare for, a Sunni-based insurgency that has gone from strength to strength.
This is not necessarily a positive move. The change is not a recognition that the ideology and policy is misguided but only it's execution under the Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal was faulty. So this in no way reduces the possibility of a foolish attack on Iran.

Lobe also fails to mention the very important political considerations of war by the Rovians in the administration. It is now obvious that the invasion of Iraq was at least in part motivated by politics. With the political fortunes of George W. Bush and the Republicans in free fall the Rovians might see an attack on Iran as a political plus.

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