U.S. war with Iran?: Just Maybe, Possibly Not.

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In the first few hours after the U.S.-Iran talks, the wire services offered no specifics, offered differing acounts of when the next meeting would be, and cast a generally negative light on the outcome. It was only later that the highly non-specific “broad general agreement” was offered. According to Michael Hirsh and Mark Hosenball of Newsweek diplomacy generally and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice specifically are “on the ascendancy” in the administration against Cheney’s desire for war with Iran. One of their sources is former U.N. Ambassador [i.e. Rice subordinate ] and Cheney intimate John Bolton. Hirsh and Hosenball claim that Bolten and others leaving the government have weakened Cheney’s position.

Secretary Provost Dr. Rice is not the first Secretary of State to go head to head with Veep Shooter Cheney. Jeff Stein of the Congressional Quarterly, reports that Cheney’s office actively tried to undermine the “One China” policy forged by Nixon and affirmed by George W. Bush. At stake was possible nuclear war with China.

Stein quotes Lawrence B. Wilkerson, the U.S. Army colonel who was Powell’s chief of staff through two administrations:

“The Defense Department, with Feith, Cambone, Wolfowitz [and] Rumsfeld, was dispatching a person to Taiwan every week, essentially to tell the Taiwanese that the alliance was back on,” Wilkerson said, referring to pre-1970s military and diplomatic relations, “essentially to tell Chen Shui-bian, whose entire power in Taiwan rested on the independence movement, that independence was a good thing.”

Wilkerson said Powell would then dispatch his own envoy “right behind that guy, every time they sent somebody, to disabuse the entire Taiwanese national security apparatus of what they’d been told by the Defense Department.”

According to China experts Richard Bush and Michael O’Hanlon:

A Taiwanese declaration of independence, they said, “could result in the first major war between nuclear weapons states in history, with no guarantee it would be successfully concluded prior to a major escalation.”

Maybe it’s a good thing Cheney’s star is falling? Then again, maybe we should be sure that it is. With the senior military opposed to war with Iran, maybe there is some hope that it won’t happen. Their view is based largely on logistics. Hegemony is just too expensive – in treasure and blood. Slightly more hopeful is to hear a deeper question finally by asked in the “liberal media” i.e. somebody besides Noam. What kind of relationship do we want with the world?

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