From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun 10 Nov 2002 - 15:06:38 GMT
>From: "Grant Callaghan" <email@example.com>
>Subject: RE: The terrorism meme
>Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 18:45:16 -0800
>>Grant, there are huge and heated arguments going on here in Washington
>>Iraq, but there is not much effective joining of the key issues among
>>advocates of different PoVs. The Christian fundies are talking to each
>>other, the right-wing hawks are talking to each other, the liberals and
>>internationalists are talking to each other, etc. But there are few
>>effective discussions among and between these groups. The State Department
>>and CIA, where most of our government employees who really know the Middle
>>East are located, are separated by chains of command from the
>>decision-making centers within Congress and the White House. These operate
>>bit in a vacuum of knowledge, and are mostly tuned to political inputs of
>>As I indicated in earlier emails, the Christian fundies and right-wingers
>>have done very good jobs of befriending the President, and they are the
>>whose phone calls he is returning. The CIA and State experts are quite
>>frustrated by their lack of access, and very concerned with the impacts
>>present administration policies are having on our relationships and
>>interests internationally. This concern is shared by many within the
>>of Defense, and, increasingly, by the FBI, whose roles internationally are
>>growing. One of the signs of such discord that can be seen by the public
>>are the 'leaks' that are coming out weekly, that contradict the PoV that
>>President and his advisors are putting out. Some of these leaks even
>>into public attribution, a most unusual thing in Washington: the CIA's
>>assessment of Iraq's WMD status being the most interesting recent such
>>event. Before that, the statements by Brent Scowcroft are also
>>September 11 unleashed a stunning memetic war, and it has been fascinating
>>to track its effects and evolution here in Washington. Iraq is one of the
>>subjects that has been caught up in this memetic war; it is, if you will,
>>memetic pawn in a larger and more difficult debate that has yet to be
>>effectively joined. Powell has done a superb job defusing - at least for
>>the time being -- some of the worst consequences of this memetic war. But
>>he has to tread most carefully and play a complex and subtle middle game,
>>so the Secretary of State, who might normally be a leader in making the
>>international relations debate effective (a la John Foster Dulles, Baker
>>Kissinger [whether one likes the substance of what they did or not]), is
>>keeping his head down.
>>What is going on now is an intensely "Washington" game, one being played
>>essentially behind closed doors, fraught with rumor, interpretive skill,
>>domestic political assessments, and an occasional not-always-welcome
>>of actual understanding of Middle East political and psychological
>Thanks for the insight, Lawry. When I try to see what's going on in
>Washington, the beltway seems to form a castle wall that keeps most of
>what's really going on hidden behind a barrier of stone. Since Bush was
>elected I have been thinking the Gods that be for Colin Powell and Condy
I prefer policy decision to be in the hands of Powell and Rice and NOT Cheney and Rumsfeld. The latter two make my skin crawl.
I'd like to see Powell take the torch from James Baker and try to get
something going with a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Megiddo fundies will probably put roadblocks in his way.
>She makes Bush sound intelligent and Powell seems to step in at strategic
>times and keep him from doing something completely stupid. But I have no
>faith in the rest of Bush's cabinet and wouldn't trust any of them with my
>money, let alone my life. Anybody whose best friends used to be the people
>who ran Enron doesn't show much in the way of political common sense. G.W.
>wouldn't know a crook if he saw one (and he obviously did) and he seems to
>have brought a lot of shady people into the government with him.
You raise good points about some of the economics and domestic issues we need to scrutinize, such as Enron. I'm also afraid the Republican Reaganites will start proselytizing their belief in the revenue fairy again. How we could fight an expensive war in Iraq, cut taxes, AND balance the budget is beyond me. Is David Copperfield in the house? The looming Republican economic agenda is insane.
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