Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New military and diplomatic plans attributed to a decline in the influence of Cheney and his people

Azzaman and Al-Hayat both pay a lot of attention this morning to the LATimes piece that quotes Pentagon officials as getting ready for shift to more US advisory and training, and less actual troop involvement, something the papers say represents planning for withdrawal and a step in the direction of the Baker-Hamilton strategy on the military level.

But Al-Hayat also goes further on the political level. After quoting a Pentagon official as having been enlightened about the region's allergy to large foreign-troop presence, the Al-Hayat reporter continues:
And in spite of Washington's insistence that its policy in Iraq hasn't changed, particularly its rejection of any direct talks with Iran or Syria, the Baghdad conference did reflect a change in the American strategy, in the direction of pragmatism and a policy of containment in dealing with the Iraq crises. It has been noticed that Condoleeza Rice has been the "main engine" behind this, at the expense of Cheney, who did not express any support for the [Baghdad] conference.
And the headline over the Al-Hayat story drives the point home: "[There are] American reports of a plan to withdraw its forces from Iraq; and [there is] a decline in the influence of certain centers of power in the White House".

The journalist introduces the story as follows:
The Iraq problem has entered a new phase following the Baghdad conference, in the direction of regionalization, and perhaps internationalization, reflected in official visits to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Damascus and Tehran. The Baghdad conference laid bare the embarassment of certain centers of power in the US, where there is talk in political circles of a decline in the role of Dick Cheney to the benefit of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. And there were reports in the papers that US forces have begun preparing a plan for withdrawal from Iraq.
The journalist continues: Rice's allies in this include new UN ambassador Khalilzad, new Iraq ambassador Crocker, and Satterfield. Opponents include Eliot Abrams, and under secretary of defence for policy Eric Edelman, both of whom are in favor of continued isolation of Tehran and Damascus. In the diplomatic context, the reporter notes the latter two were recently defeated in terms of the approach to North Korea.


Blogger nuh ibn zbigniew gondek said...

As salaam alaikum.

Jazakallah khair for this post. I am not sure but I think the change may have more to do with marketing the next republican candidate for president.

I am a Canadian Muslim and write short fiction, poetry, and news commentary for a Muslim audience base.

Please come by insha’Allah when you have a moment to read.

Wa salaama,

nuh ibn

8:06 AM  
Blogger annie said...

decline in the influence of Cheney and his people

faster please.

no, that was just a joke..

after he's dead shall we drive a stake thru his heart.

i didn't mean that either, really

how 'bout dance on his grave.

sorry, long day, just fantasizing...

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

**smile** Anyway, I am pleased to see these last four entries, beginning on Sat., Mar. 10, calling attention to the Cheney-Rice split. This is helpful for Americans who need to see something that makes sense.

It is a framework that is easy to grasp and in which a lot of developments can be made to fit. It sure beats "Civil War over Religion."

Thanks, Badger!

9:51 PM  

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