It may be time to abandon all talk of “the Bush administration.” What we have in Washington are two Bush administrations at war with each other.
There is, of course, the Cheney administration, spoiling for a fight with Iran and sweet on the Shiites of Iraq.
Then there is the other administration. Call it the “establishment” Right Arabist” of the administration. That is the one that yesterday resurrected the Baker-Hamilton Report and announced plans to support diplomatic discussions with Iran and Syria.
The last time the Bush administration “blinked” on Iran in June 2006, Right Zionists like Richard Perle blamed Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice.
It detracts little from Rice’s influence in the administration to suggest that the “establishment” wing of the administration also received some reinforcement with the formal arrival–also yesterday–of John Negroponte as Deputy Secretary of State, Rice’s number two at Foggy Bottom.
The North Korea deal that so unsettled John Bolton was probably the first sign of a new “establishment” offensive. Now comes Iran.
The Right Zionists have not yet weighed in about the news of the diplomatic initiative with Iran and Syria, but it won’t be long before the battle is joined.
Still, all is not lost for the Right Zionists. There is, of course, still Cheney and his wing of the administration.
Just for kicks, check out Michael Ledeen’s effusive praise for Democrat Senator Carl Levin:
Carl Levin, NeoCon [Michael Ledeen]
Read it twice, I had to. But Carl Levin has endorsed my longstanding proposal to go after terrorist training camps and weapons assembly facilities in Syria and Iran.
Carl Levin, you say?
Yeah, Carl Levin, the newly minted neocon from Michigan. My kinda guy. Just read it and cheer. It’s from hearings yesterday:
SEN CARL LEVIN (D-MI): “Now, in terms of the weapons coming in from Syria, those weapons that you’ve described as coming in from Syria and perhaps other Sunni neighbors are killing our troops. Do we have a plan to address the Syrian weapon source — of killings of our troops?”
JOHN MCCONNELL, Director of National Intelligence: “Sir, I know the military is working that border area to close it down from not only weapons but also jihadists coming in —”
LEVIN: “It’s more than just — we’re trying to close down the Iranian border area too. The problem is that these weapons are coming from a state which is — doesn’t recognize Israel either, just like Iran doesn’t. We’ve got to try to stop weapons coming into Iraq from any source that are killing our troops. I agree with the comments about trying to stop them coming in from Iran, I think we have to try stop them that are going to the Sunni insurgents as well as to the Shia. I was just wondering, does the military have a plan to, if necessary, to go into Syria to go to the source of any weapons coming from Syria? That are going to Sunni insurgents? That are killing our troops? … I think we ought to take action on all fronts including Syria and any other source of weapons coming in, obviously Iran is the focus – but it shouldn’t be the sole focus.”
(Armed Services Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 02/27/07)