Thursday, June 03, 2004
Neocons out of favor?
When on May 13th, 2004, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said that she thought that if Bush were re-elected the neocons would have less influence in the Bush administration, I thought that she was probably going to be proved wrong. After all, second term presidents have more freedom, right? They don't have to face re-election, they can do things that aren't particularly popular, they have more leeway. Well, it turns out that I may not be as smart as Dr. Ashrawi (shocking, I know). Jim Lobe writes of a Neo-Con Collapse in Washington and Baghdad. Pointing to the formation of the Iraq Stabilization Group by Condoleezza Rice and Robert Blackwill that "gradually wrested control of Iraq policy from the Pentagon," Lobe writes:
It was a process in which Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) chief Paul Bremer, who had come to detest Chalabi and his neo-con backers in Baghdad and Washington, was an enthusiastic participant and which was effectively completed with the announcement late last month that the State Department was taking over the 14 billion dollars in reconstruction money for Iraq that the Pentagon has not yet spent.Lobe also points to growing disdain for the neocons within the more traditional conservatives of the Republican Party (such as Kansas Senator Pat Roberts) and references a May 1st meeting between Rice, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and others.
When Perle, Woolsey and several other neo-cons visited Rice at the White House on May 1 to protest the shoddy treatment Chalabi was receiving at the hands of the CIA, Bremer and the State Department, participants said she thanked them for their views and offered nothing more. Neither Rumsfeld nor Cheney nor any of their neo-con aides attended.One can only hope that this isn't an overeager jump to conclusions that won't prove out. If Bush wins the election in November he may pack more neocons in (although I'm not sure how many more clowns will fit in that car), but unless things look up in Iraq (which seems doubtful - damn us sourpuss whining lefties, why can't we ever be positive?) the neocons might be on the outside looking in, inshallah. Of course the whole thing might just be easier if Kerry won.