August 8, 2006

The rift between Rice and Bush.

Over the Israeli-Lebanon war:
State Department sources said Ms. Rice has been repeatedly stymied in her attempts to pressure Israel to end strikes against Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon. The sources said the secretary's trip to the Middle East last week was torpedoed by the Israeli air strike of a Lebanese village in which 25 people were killed.

"I've never seen her so angry," an aide said.

31 comments:

Johnny Nucleo said...

This is interesting. I like this.

There's always been this myth that Bush is a puppet. Say what you want about the guy - he's an idiot, he's evil - the guy knows he's president.

I like that Condi thinks peace can still be achieved (I think she's wrong) but again, another myth destroyed - Condi as War Woman. (How did the left get this so wrong? Wait, I remember. They went nuts.)

One thing though. The quote they use of Rumsfeld makes him sound like a madman.

madawaskan said...

Johnny-

Here's the full quote-

SEC. RUMSFELD: It is -- I think if you think of what's happening in Lebanon and Israel right now, you see the face of the beginning of the 21st century. You see people who are not organized in military units that we're used to seeing. They don't wear uniforms. They are not sponsored by -- correction, they are not part of a national military. Rather, they're a network and organization, a terrorist group. They're violent. They hide among innocent civilians -- men, women and children -- and then go about killing people, basically civilians but occasionally military people as well.

Hezbollah is a violent organization. It's been on the terrorist list for many years. It's killed a great many Americans over the years. And it is a difficult task. They completely ignore the laws of war. They are engaged in attempting to terrorize people and alter their behavior.

They use terror as a weapon. It is -- it means that those countries, like ours, that are organized to fight big armies, big navies and big air forces are going to have to recognize that to protect our people, we're going to have to be able to deal with these irregular types of war, have to deal with so-called asymmetric attacks that do not directly go after your army, navy or air force. It's going to be a long effort. It's going to be an effort that's global. It's going to be an effort that's going to require all elements of national power -- not simply the military, but also financial instruments and diplomacy and alliances with many other countries.

And the current battlefields are what you're seeing in Lebanon and Israel, clearly in Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course, we've seen these periodic attacks in London and Madrid and the United States and many other places -- Bali. And it is -- it is possible for people to blow up people -- innocent men, women and children -- and terrorists do that.


Source:Defense Link

What did they use just the first sentence-if that?

Seven Machos said...

You have to take what comes out of the State Department with a grain of salt when it comes to Bush because it is filled with left-liberals at the highest levels. When they talk to reporters, they tend to slant things their way.

This is not conspiracy theory. I have some experience professionally in this regard.

altoids1306 said...

While I understand and agree with Rumsfeld on his understanding of the situation, I agree with Rice on how to handle the Lebanon situation. The US does not have unlimited resources, nor do Americans have unlimited patience. Just with the Iraq war, Americans are already vacillating.

The real problem is that the rest of the world needs to realize that the US cannot be solely responsible for global security. As Rumsfeld said, if the US fails to contain Islamic fundamentalism, the first victims will be the moderate Arab states, than Central Asia, than Europe.

Bilby said...

This will be portrayed by the left as more evidence that the wheels continue to fall off the Bu$hitler war wagon and of course Condi is trying to distance herself so she won't face charges as a war criminal along with the rest of the junta.

Steven H. said...

One thing that really jumps out at me is the old-style, unexplained anonymous sources. After having been completely acclimated to new-style, explained anonymous sources, just reading a story like this makes me really uncomfortable. Not that I think it actually makes a difference.

Goesh said...

Yup, it's a conspiracy all right, one designed to give hizbullah false hope that they can still get a few licks in on Israel then regroup when a benign, ineffectual UN 'peace keeping' force moves in. The US government has not forgotten the 240 Marines killed in Beirut, nor the capture and death by torture of CIA station chief Bill Buckley by the bas*****. Secondly, Hizbullah is Iran's foreign legion and we all know it, especially the Jews. By not restraining Israel, the US is sending a message to Iran that portends what is to come if they don't cease with their development of nuclear weapons and stated intent of eradicating Israel from the face of the planet.

Ann Althouse said...

You folks trying to minimize this story are acting as though the link takes you to a liberal media outlet. It absolutely doesn't!

El Presidente said...

Insight Magazine is a tool of the gusanos while "State Department Sources" have been working to bring peace and freedom to the world for at least 47 years.

Freder Frederson said...

By not restraining Israel, the US is sending a message to Iran that portends what is to come if they don't cease with their development of nuclear weapons and stated intent of eradicating Israel from the face of the planet.

And that message is what exactly? That a couple thousands loosely organized militia with World War II technology (Katuysha rockets and AK-47s) can tie down the most professional, highly trained, and best equipped military in the Middle East.

I don't think that is the message that was intended when Israel went on this ill-advised adventure a month ago anymore than the message we are sending in Iraq is the one Bush intended when he embarked on his excellent adventure three and a half and nearly 25,000 U.S. casulties ago.

Wade_Garrett said...

Republicans answer me this: which one hates America, Bush or Condi? Since clearly everybody who disagrees with administration policy loves terrorism and hates freedom, what happens when those within the administration disagree with each other? Which one is giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

Jeff said...

Terry, got another strawman handy? I think that one caught on fire.

dklittl said...

Jeff,

I've got a strawman for your strawman to burn. So there.


Yeah, you might want to try an original rhetorical technique that isn't used more than a 100 times a blog.

Sigivald said...

dkl: Why should he use an "original rhetorical technique" rather than plainly labeling an actual strawman argument as such?

If you need it explained, allow me to point out that "Republicans" as a group do not, in fact assert or beleive that dissagreeing with the President makes one anti-American.

Thus the assertion that they do as part of the argument makes it a strawman, by definition.

Originality is far less important than accuracy, I think you'll find.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I should think it is a good thing to have disagreements every now and again. It shows that the top officials are thinking and tossing ideas around.


Freder Frederson said...

And that message is what exactly? That a couple thousands loosely organized militia with World War II technology (Katuysha rockets and AK-47s) can tie down the most professional, highly trained, and best equipped military in the Middle East.

I don't think that is the message that was intended when Israel went on this ill-advised adventure a month ago...


The newspapers have been spinning the situation in similar fashion to Federson above. But I tend to disagree.

Basically both groups miscalculated. Hezbollah figured it could pick up some Israeli hostages, and ultimately do a grand swap, freeing thousands of people in Israeli jails in exchange. They miscalculated, and big time, which is why Hezbollah is pushing for a cease fire now.

Israel figured that they would go in, and basically, kick total ass once and for all, sending a message to certain important observerers (Syria, Iran, Hamas), but they miscalculated in terms of Hezbollah's ability to remain hidden inside of the wider population. It's very hard to beat an enemy who is holding a baby to block your bullet (the Hezbollah way).

But to leap to the idea that the IDF is "tied down" is absurd. Steadily they are taking land (which is why Lebanon and Hez are having a fit about making sure Isreal must leave as part of any deal).

As much as the papers are saying "Oh look, Israel is getting rocked", and with a certain amount of restrained glee, the IDF pushes onward, actually taking land, and making a point. (The point being, "you can't always assume we will repond with equal measure", "we are not afraid to defy the world while kicking your ass", and "we will take everything you have unless you leave us be"). That is a strong message, and eventually, when it all dies down, Nasrallah will be taking calls from even friends asking him, "Uh, Nas, WTF were you thinking?" He will shrug his shoulders, and say, "I dunno, I F'ed up, but send us more money to rebuild our networks).

What is actually quite comical is the fact that Hezbollah is flinging up missiles/rockets at the rate of 150 per day, and the damages to Israel have been minor. That being the case, isn't if quite okay if your enemy shoots his entire load, and misses your face?

Quite.

Israel which just push harder, deeper, forcing everyone up into a corner, cleaning the rest of the room, and then when done, the UN will step in to restrain what started this all: Hezbollah flinging rockets into Israel and getting it's jollies under the assumption that Israel would not hit back.

(And I say that, still wanting to see the Palestinians with a home, and wanting our government to have a more nuanced position in dealing with terrorists and rogue states, but still, sometimes whip ass is just necessary. And what we are doing in Iraq (trying to build a society) is apples to Israeli's oranges (whipping ass).

Chris said...

The LAST THING I WOULD DO is use "Insight on the News" as a source for what is actually going on in the WH. It isn't. Bush and Rice actually agree on Israel's defense here. It's actually a question of their disagreeing with Olmert's incompetence.

They supported Israel expecting that Israeli war aims would be far more ambitious from the getgo. Since the Olmert Government has been a cabinet of half-steppers, the policy of watching while the IDF dismembers the Hezzies goes by the wayside.

charlotte said...

I'm rather hoping the divisions being publicized within the Olmert government and Bush administration is intentional misdirection. I wouldn't think publications are in on the game, and all of the hand-wringing by opposing parties over this issue only adds to the impression that we're not going to do much about Iran's nuke program, its increasingly specific threats to eliminate Israel, its destructive interference in the nascent democracies of Lebanon and Iraq, its sponsorship of terrorism and, of course, its hegemonic ambitions over the ME and all that oil.

Misdirection could be useful at this critical juncture, by way of encouraging an over-confident Iran to better show its intentions and networked resources, etc. It could be that our side believes the August 22 threat scenario is too credible to dismiss, but we need a better casus belli for public consumption before we or the Israelis strike Iran's nuclear production facilities to degrade them (and also Iran's Islamic imperialist standing in the Muslim world.)

It's difficult, for me at least, to believe Rice actually thinks Iran can be engaged in fruitful talks to stand down Hezbollah and its agents in Iraq, much less that it would bow to international pressure in the form of sanctions over its nuclear program. But, if these reports of high-level disagreement over goals and tactics are true and both governments end up only brokering "deals" with an aggressive and ascendant Iran, then Condi will have been just another internationalist Colin, Olmert an Israeli Hamlet, and the US, Israel, Europe and the ME will be hostage to escalating Iranian hostilities through terrorists, proxy armies, oil manipulations and, one day sooner than we think, nukes for Allah (imo!)

Finn Kristiansen said...

Typo corrections in my previous post, boldfaced:

"That being the case, isn't it quite okay if your enemy ....

and

"Israel will just push harder...

(I'm sure there are others, including spellings, just edit me in one's head).

Freder Frederson said...

Misdirection could be useful at this critical juncture, by way of encouraging an over-confident Iran to better show its intentions and networked resources, etc. It could be that our side believes the August 22 threat scenario is too credible to dismiss, but we need a better casus belli for public consumption before we or the Israelis strike Iran's nuclear production facilities to degrade them (and also Iran's Islamic imperialist standing in the Muslim world.)

This is quite insane. Any attack on Iran would be disasterous for this country. We simply do not have the military assets to deal with the potential consequences. To advocate such a course of action is reckless in the extreme and makes the bad decisions, misuse and misreading of intelligence and false assumptions leading up to the Iraq War look like brilliant insight.

Freder Frederson said...

What is actually quite comical is the fact that Hezbollah is flinging up missiles/rockets at the rate of 150 per day, and the damages to Israel have been minor. That being the case, isn't if quite okay if your enemy shoots his entire load, and misses your face?

Well, considering Hezbollah is well-funded by countries that are rolling in oil money thanks to our adventure in Iraq and that Katuyshas are dirt cheap to manufacture, while Israeli ordnance is staggeringly expensive, and often paid for by U.S. taxpayers, it seems that we and the Israelis are ending up with the short end of the stick on that particular war economy balance.

charlotte said...

Any attack on Iran would be disasterous for this country. We simply do not have the military assets to deal with the potential consequences. To advocate such a course of action is reckless in the extreme...

How very rational, Freder Frederson, and short-sighted. I sure don't want to have to say I told you so, one day, after we're in a worse fix than we are with a nuclear armed NoKo. At least the very ill Jong isn't seeking theocratic and oil domination of the world through terrorism and doesn't have *** dreams over vaporizing Israel and hitting us hard. Sure, the Norks proliferate, but that will be nothing compared to what the Iranian leadership has planned.

This is a new millennium and the mullahs see their star rising, ok maybe their crescent moon rising. Last century's realpolitik and MAD just ain't going to work with them.

Freder Frederson said...

How very rational, Freder Frederson, and short-sighted.

I am not the one being short-sighted. You apparently believe we can bomb Iran, destroy their nuclear facilities (which of course assumes that we know where they are and our bombing raids will be successful) and then the consequences will be manageable. If that is not short-sighted, I don't know what is. It doesn't bother to consider any ramifications beyond the explosions.

We have 130,000 troops in Iraq that are relatively safe only because most of the Shiite population of that country has not turned on them and Iran has not directly interfered in the internal politics of Iraq. Both of those conditions could change the day after we bomb Iran. We simply do not have the ability to defend ourselves in Iraq if the populace turns against us or if the Iranians launch an attack against us. Our ground forces are tapped out. It would be a bloodbath.

This administration has embarked on a reckless course of tough talk and some tough action without building up the military power necessary to back up its talk. It shouldn't bomb Iran, because it doesn't have the military power to deal with the consequences. (I am very afraid that it might, because every time I think that Donald and George can't do anything even more stupid, they surprise me by lowering my expectations even more)
Now you may be willing to take that risk from your comfortable office or living room, but I am not.

charlotte said...

Freder,

The risks in trying to degrade Iran's nuke program are only exceeded by not doing so. There will be hell to pay either way and loss of life, but at least the former will probably save entire populations and untold chaos.

What is your answer to the increasingly belligerent and nuclearizing Iran? Treaties which they'll break? UN inspections which they won't allow and which don't work anyway? Cold War containment which in this day of terrorism and WMD would be more like relying on a colander? UN sanctions which wouldn't back them down and which are easily perverted into a kickback program for the bad guys? Military threats which they know we won't follow through on with too many opining as you do and which only give them suicidal frissons? Or, economic inducements which they don't need and would scorn with great delight?

The Iranian regime at the leadership level wants to go nuclear for leverage, apocalypse and caliphate. Don't you believe them, or do you think they are wholly incompetent and only a little Hezzi thorn in the Israelis' side?

charlotte said...

"Iran has not directly interfered in the internal politics of Iraq"

but after a strike on Iran it might, you say?

Freder, since the beginning, Iran has been "interfering" with Iraq by supplying sophisticated IEDs, agents, training and money to Iraqi insurgents/terrorists directly and also through its proxies, Syria and Hezbollah. Politically, Iran is using al-Sadr's Mahdi Army to undermine Iraqi progress and to divide the country.

Freder Frederson said...

The risks in trying to degrade Iran's nuke program are only exceeded by not doing so. There will be hell to pay either way and loss of life, but at least the former will probably save entire populations and untold chaos.

Sorry, but the debacle in Iraq has put us in an untenable position. We do not have enough available ground forces to get into a ground war with Iran. It would be reckless beyond belief to launch an air attack or limited ground attack on Iran without the ability to fight a ground war against them. We simply lack that ability.

If George Bush had been serious about taking out the "Axis of Evil", plus Syria, he would increased our ground combat strength by at least a couple or three Army divisions and a Marine Division. Then he could back up his (and your) tough talk with actual capability. Right now he is all hat and no cattle. But of course that would have required a realistic attitude to troop levels, demanded real sacrifices on the part of the American people and roll back of some of his precious tax cuts. And we couldn't have that could we. It is much easier just to abuse the volunteer military we have now, break it, and let some future president worry about the consequences.

charlotte said...

Freder,

You're still fibrillating over Iraq and the past couple of years, right or no, (of course, ignoring the geo-strategic positioning we've achieved in flanking Iran.)

You haven't answered what you would do about Iran, or do you think it isn't much of a threat?

Jonathan said...

We must talk to the Iranians. Then they'll be nice to us for sure!

Let's not fret about those atom bombs either. Once Iran has a few it will stop being so insecure and will leave other countries alone. I know it's true, because that nice Mr. Lamont said that all we have to do is talk to the Iranians and "give them reasons why they don't need to build a bomb." I have a lot of confidence in that approach, which worked so well with Hitler and the Japanese militarists.

Chris said...

This crisis will end in a ceasefire and the fascist government of Iran will see that as a sign of weakness. I see this as paralelling the Czech crisis of 1938. The Olmert government was weak and indecisive. Condi and Bush gave Olmert the green light to take out Hezbollah and the Syrians, but Olmert choked. The Persian Fuhrer has sensed weakness. He will now decide on war, sooner rather than later.

There will be a global war, of a scope and dimension that we can only begin to conceive. It will involve the use of atomic weapons to bring these fascists to heel. Sadly, I suspect the Iranians have obtained their own black market bombs.

The Phony War, the one we have witnessed since 9/11, is about to pass into history.

charlotte said...

But, Chris, Mike Wallace says Ahmadinejad wears a white hat and looks rather dapper in it. Speaking of rather, why do our gruff adversarial journos always fall under tyrants' spells and right before the US needs to take military action against them? They say power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, but why can't Wallace fall under the spell of the evil Chimperator and Karl Rasputin and do fawning interviews of them, instead?

Freder Frederson said...

of course, ignoring the geo-strategic positioning we've achieved in flanking Iran

You're joking, right? We have strategically manuevered ourselves into a war against Narco-terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan and trying to keep a low-level civil war from exploding into a full-scale one in Iraq, tieing down almost all the available ground forces of our military. You call that "flanking" Iran.

Iran is so bold because we are so weak. George Bush got us into this mess. There is no doubt that Iran's nuclear program is a threat and Iran's increased power in the region is dangerous. But the reason it has both is because we have created the conditions that allowed it to have both. Invading Iraq left a power vacuum that actually benefitted Iran much more than us.

As long as George Bush is in office there is no way out because he is incapable of handling the situation either militarily or diplomatically.

Jack's Shack said...

And that message is what exactly? That a couple thousands loosely organized militia with World War II technology (Katuysha rockets and AK-47s) can tie down the most professional, highly trained, and best equipped military in the Middle East.

You don't give Hizbollah enough credit. They had six years to prepare. They had training, funding and time. They are tough and they are hanging in, but Israel still hasn't brought its foot down.