“Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney’s former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday. ‘We’re calling the vice president,‘ attorney Ted Wells said in court.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has known former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger since 1973, but during the 2000 presidential campaign, “McCain’s handlers opted not to have the two appear publicly together,” fearing Kissinger “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’”
Now, in his latest shift to the right, McCain is openly embracing Kissinger. Hotline On Call reports that McCain has chosen Kissinger to be the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
The selection reflects an increasingly unified position on Iraq advocated by Kissinger, McCain, and President Bush. Bush is reportedly set to adopt McCain’s plan to escalate the war with tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops, and has taken up Kissinger’s mantra that victory in Iraq simply requires “sticking it out”:
Kissinger sensed wobbliness everywhere on Iraq, and he increasingly saw it through the prism of the Vietnam War. For Kissinger, the overriding lesson of Vietnam is to stick it out.
In his writing, speeches and private comments, Kissinger claimed that the United States had essentially won the war in 1972, only to lose it because of the weakened resolve of the public and Congress.
In a column in The Washington Post on Aug. 12, 2005, titled “Lessons for an Exit Strategy,” Kissinger wrote, “Victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy.”
Asked recently about his friendship with Kissinger, McCain said, “I’m not at all embarrassed about it; I’m proud of it.”
The White House is “aggressively promoting” a plan to send “15,000 to 30,000 more troops” to Iraq “over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” the Washington Post reports today. “The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops.”
Bush has repeatedly insisted that troop levels were determined by military commanders. A year ago, Bush said he would not raise troop levels because the “commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job.” “As we determine the right force level,” Bush said, “our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders.”
Watch Bush on June 28, 2005:
John Bolton’s tenure as U.N. ambassador is over, but his neoconservative cheerleading is just beginning. ThinkProgress obtained a message from the Washington Speakers Bureau, which is advertising Bolton’s new job on the speakers circuit:
I wanted you to be among the first to know that a new speaker has joined Washington Speakers Bureau.
JOHN BOLTON, who was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has joined Washington Speakers Bureau for exclusive representation. Last week, the “Wall Street Journal” described him as someone who “saw the world as it really was” and spoke “with moral clarity about it.” [...]
I hope you will call me as you start planning your upcoming events.
Have a great holiday season.
Bolton was an “outspoken critic” of outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Now, with Bolton gone, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations has found great new admiration for Annan. A statement released late last week heaped praise on Annan, saying he “worked tirelessly to make the UN a more efficient and effective organization,” was a “strong voice condemning terrorism” and “a champion of human rights.”
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The irony continues as those who shun action on climate change are suffering the most from climate change.
Along with the United States, Australia has suffered a major drought this year, “the worst for 1000 years.” Australia and the U.S. are the only two industrialized countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Australia already has an arid climate, but the recent drought is having a devastating effect on water resources. It has also taken its toll on the economy, significantly slowing Australia’s growth since so much of the country’s GDP relies on agriculture.
Hopefully Australia will see the value and urgency in taking climate action before the last puddle dries up, since unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions are projected to accelerate drought and desertification.
Last night on CNN, reporter Suzanne Malveaux noted that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a right-wing think tank in Washington, DC, “has the president’s ear and is influencing his thinking” on Iraq. Last week Bush was briefed on a report by AEI scholar Frederick W. Kagan that calls for a troop surge in Iraq that “would probably last for anywhere from 18 to 24 months.” Watch it:
Kagan’s report specifically calls for at least 30,000 more Army and Marines per year for the next two years. It also advocates longer tours for ground forces and increased deployments for National Guard troops. The full report can be found here.
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Chatham House report concludes that “The root failure (of Blair’s foreign policy) has been the inability to influence the Bush administration in any significant way despite the sacrifice — military, political and financial — that the United Kingdom has made” and that “Tony Blair has learned the hard way that loyalty in international politics counts for very little.”
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett calls this “ridiculously wrong” but, obviously, it’s perfectly true. It’s particularly sad because, as I’ve said before, Blair was really near the top of the pyramid in terms of people whose combination of objective authority and apparent credibility were key to persuading people to back the war. Obviously, neither Blair nor Colin Powell could have actually prevented the war, were Bush sufficiently determined to launch it, but without their backing it would have been a much more politically problematic enterprise.
Less than two months ago, President Bush said explicitly that the United States was “winning” in Iraq. 10/25/06:
REPORTER: Are we winning?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Absolutely, we’re winning.
This weekend, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that “we’re not winning. We are losing.” Asked about Powell’s comments, Snow replied, “I’m not playing the game any more.” Watch it:
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