Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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Financial Times Business News: US stance delights neo-cons, dismays moderates

A growing number of moderate Republicans and former Bush administration officials are alarmed by what they call Condoleezza Rice's "uneven-handed diplomacy" in the Middle East. Critics include Richard Haass, head of policy and planning at the State Department during the first Bush term and Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state.

However, after months of disillusionment, America's neo-conservatives have fallen in love again with the Bush administration because of its support for Israel's bombardment of Lebanon.
Criticism of Mr Bush by Washington's generally bipartisan think-tanks has grown shriller in recent days, particularly in the wake of the Israeli strike on Qana that killed dozens of civilians. It has focused on two areas: Washington's support for Israel's military campaign and Ms Rice's refusal to consider talking to Syria or to Iran.

"It is absolutely baffling to me and almost everyone I know – Republican or Democrat – how Ms Rice and Mr Bush think this strategy will achieve their objectives," said Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former head of the National Security Council. "The Bush administration is allowing itself to be suckered into believing it can achieve political goals through military means. They seem to have learned nothing from Iraq."

I am getting to the point at which it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the cheerleaders for war will (a) admit that Iraq (and Afghanistan) are failures and/or (b) that the appropriate response to all new circumstances is even more war.


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