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[Powell Bush and Rumsfeld]
Furious arguments and personal animosity within President Bush’s War Cabinet, in which Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, is frequently at odds with the Administration’s leading hawks, have been vividly detailed in a book. (AFP photo)...





Colin Powell: the lesser Bush Hawk

It is nice to know that there is some degree of sanity in the Bush cabinet.  It is nice to know that Colin Powell has not lost his sanity along with the rest of the Bush warmongers.

The question is whether or not Powell will eventually resign.  If he does, it will be a black day for Americans who will be forced to attack Iraq because of neo-Nazis Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush.

John WorldPeace
November 18,  2002

November 18, 2002

Bush's War Cabinet is riven by feuding

From Tim Reid in Washington

FURIOUS arguments and personal animosity within President Bush’s War Cabinet, in which Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, is frequently at odds with the Administration’s leading hawks, have been vividly detailed in a book.

The account by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post journalist who uncovered the Watergate scandal, exposes for the first time the extent to which Mr Bush’s top advisers clashed over how to confront President Saddam Hussein and describes in extraordinary detail the tensions that pit General Powell against Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, and Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary.

Although differences of approach within the Administration about how to disarm Saddam are well documented, the scale of personal acrimony has not been revealed before.

Bush At War draws on four hours of interviews with the President, more than 100 interviews with key Administration officials and notes from 50 meetings of the National Security Council.

In it, Mr Woodward describes General Powell’s struggle to build a relationship with Mr Bush and his fury when told that officials in the Pentagon and the VicePresident’s office were briefing against him.

It describes the role played by Karl Rove, the President’s chief strategist and political Svengali, in shaping the hawks’ mistrust of General Powell. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Mr Rove “detected a subtle, subversive tendency” in General Powell. That antipathy continued well into the Administration, because Mr Rove “felt Powell was beyond political control and operating out of a sense of entitlement”. One of the most explosive episodes occurred during General Powell’s trip to the Middle East in April. Having being sent by Mr Bush to try to quell a rising cycle of Israeli-Palestinian violence, General Powell received a call in Jerusalem from Richard Armitage, his deputy at the State Department. He conveyed to General Powell the Administration’s edict that the Secretary of State “scale back” his planned press statement, making less of a White House commitment to future Middle East negotiations.

“Powell went nuts,” Mr Woodward writes. General Powell told his deputy that he had been sent on an “impossible mission”. Then Mr Armitage told the Secretary of State: “They’re eating cheese on you”, an old military expression for hurting someone and enjoying it. Officials in the Defence Department and Vice-President’s office were “trying to do him in”, Mr Armitage told his boss.

“That’s unbelievable,” General Powell replied. “I have just heard the same thing.” He had spoken to reporters travelling with him, who had reported that their sources within Mr Cheney’s office were declaring that General Powell “had gone too far, and was off the reservation”.

By this summer, General Powell had heard that Mr Rumsfeld was requesting and having private meetings with the President. The Secretary of State, anxious that his own relationship with the President was at times awkward and distant, started to request private time with Mr Bush. He made the request through Condoleezza Rice, the President’s National Security Adviser, and the meetings took place once a week, with Ms Rice in attendance.

That led to the crucial White House dinner on August 5 with Mr Bush and Ms Rice, revealed as a Powell ally in the internecine debate, in which General Powell, using four pages of notes on loose-leaf paper, persuaded Mr Bush that he must seek United Nations authorisation for an attack on Iraq.

“It’s nice to say we can do it unilaterally,” General Powell told Mr Bush. “Except you can’t.” The UN strategy was subsequently agreed on by the entire War Cabinet.

However, in a meeting two days before Mr Bush was due to address the UN General Assembly on September 12, Mr Cheney, “beyond hell-bent for action against Saddam”, opposed the idea of Mr Bush asking for a new UN resolution. “Cheney and Powell went at each other in a blistering argument,” Mr Woodward writes. Mr Bush decided himself to ask for a new resolution.

On other occasions, Mr Woodward says, General Powell and Mr Rumsfeld “had been almost glaring at each other over the table”.

How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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