October 16, 2004


Scowcroft Is Critical of Bush: Ex-National Security Adviser Calls Iraq a 'Failing Venture' (Glenn Kessler, October 16, 2004. Washington Post)

Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, was highly critical of the current president's handling of foreign policy in an interview published this week, saying that the current President Bush is "mesmerized" by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, that Iraq is a "failing venture" and that the administration's unilateralist approach has harmed relations between Europe and the United States.

Since before its creation--which, then Secretary of State, General Marshall opposed--it has been the fondest wish of diplomatic bureaucrats that the Israel problem just go away. This detachment from reality (a signal feature of Realist thought), verging onto outright hostility, is probably why they've been so inept at handling the Israel/Palestine problem.

George Bush has taken a different course, to their horror, one that the great Natan Sharansky has been the most forceful proponent of: democratizing Palestine (and the rest of the Middle East for that matter). If you read President Bush's speech on Palestine, you can see not just Mr. Sharansky's ideas at work in it but that it is these ideas, now propounded by America, which are driving the events in the Middle East, including forcing Ariel Sharon's hand.

It's convenient for the Scowcroft-types to believe that the President is being manipulated by Jews, as the Brits wish to believe that Tony Blair is being manipulated by Mr. Bush. Mr. Blair famously responded to supporters who were comforting themselves that he was only on George Bush's side in democratizing the Middle East because he felt Britain needed to stand with the U.S. that: "It may be worse than some people think. I actually believe in it." Similarly, George Bush's position on Palestine is even worse than Mr. Scowcroft thinks: he believes it will be a democratic state in the not too distant future.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 16, 2004 9:11 AM

Is Scowcroft one of John Kerry's 4,572 advisors?

If not, he should be.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 16, 2004 10:25 AM

He was a media darling as well in 2002 and early 2003 when he was voicing his opposition to toppling Saddam Hussein. So he's been finding neocons hiding under his bed for quite a while now, and along with James Baker, was one of the main reasons why the Bush 41 administration developed a reputatioon as being anti-Israel.

Posted by: John at October 16, 2004 10:41 AM

Everytime I think our effort in Iraq is going badly, some old fart like Scrowcoft tells us it is. Immediately I become optimistic again.

Posted by: h-man at October 16, 2004 11:03 AM

Scowcroft was one of the people most responsible for Old Bush failing to go to Baghdad in Gulf War I. He is just another Saudi stooge who has grown rich betraying America, like Old Bush, James Baker the Turd, etc.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 11:29 AM

Since World Civilization must transform (a fancy word for "crush")Islamism if we are to survice, America's alliance with Israel is a cornerstone of the meta-policy of the True West. It commits us a war to the knife. It removes temporization as an option. If Israel remains, either the Rags must change and accept World Civilization, or we shall have to fight them. That's fight them as we fought the neo-pagans and paleo-pagans in World War II. We are already fighting them the way we fought the Communists, by containment and competition.

I hold that our present opponents are much less sane than the Communists and that their fanaticism mirrors that of the Nazis and the Nips. Were it not for Israel, the temptation to buy temporary peace with concession after would be strong--perhaps too strong for "reasonable" people to resist. Stowcroft and all the anti-neocons do not suprise me: I know of Chamberlain.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 16, 2004 11:52 AM


Where are the camps and the gulags?

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 11:57 AM


Not to speak for Lou, but could Taliban-ruled Afghanistan be considered a gulag? Though I take what I think is your point that the Soviet Union was a far greater threat than the Taliban.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at October 16, 2004 2:03 PM


Only if we want to be fatuous. Stalin killed thirty million Russians. Mao killed 60 million Chinese. Hitler killed 7 million Jews, Gypsies, etc.. Yet to hear an Islamophobe speak the Muslim world is uniquely depraved.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 3:20 PM

Just to quibble, Hitler wasn't only responsible for the deaths of those he sent to the concentration camps. The man started WW2 after all.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 16, 2004 4:20 PM


The Muslims killed over 1/3 of the population of East Timor. They enslave millions of people across the Sahel and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Christians and animists. You don't need crematoria to engage in mass murder.

If the Muslims have been limited in the numbers of people they have slaughtered, the reasons have more to do with their intended victims like Israelis or Russians or Serbs or Thais or Filipinos or Indians fighting back and the technological and managerial ignorance of Muslims generally than they have to do with anything resembling civilized behavior on the part of the Jihadniks.

Every mosque in America is a fund-raising center for terrorists and every Muslim in America should be rounded up and shipped out as a first step in fighting this contagion. That you do not understand this simple reality is a product of your own delusions or pollyanish wishful thinking.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 4:39 PM

Sudan's just a good old-fashioned civil war in its North/South iteration, ditto East Timor. No one considers the North to have simply slaughtered Confederates, no matter how many died. I take your point though that they haven't killed very many and find exactly on point your contention that we should genocide them. They're nowhere near as murderous as you secular Westerners.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 4:50 PM

A forced expulsion of people who will not live by the rules is not genocide. Draconian measures are the result of the choices Muslims have made in America, not some purported depravity of us secular types who don't give a damn whether people want to stand in towers and yell like they dropped a TV on their foot and insist that it is a call to prayer.

What disturbs us is when people start flying planes into office buildings or decide to fund people who murder people in pizzerias and hotels all for religious reasons. A class of individuals who fund them or defend them we do not need.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 5:21 PM

Start? They're done.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 5:25 PM


I do not share your confidence.

Posted by: Bart at October 16, 2004 5:50 PM

I'm Ba-a-ack! Allow me to clarify. The Hajjis are crazier than the Communists but not so crazy as the Japanese had been. There are good reasons to hope that we can contain them while their culture evolves into something other than it is now.

I rather think that they are at about the same degree of irrationality as the German Third Reich, happily without a comparable degree of technical competence. It worth noting that the Nazis and the Rags had a sort of mutual admiration society going during WWII, with the Nazis expressing their regret that the Moslems had been stopped from taking Europe away from the effete, Jew-imitating Christians.

Camps and gulags? Have we not seen photographs of their mass graves? How many pictures of childnen's skulls do you need? It is necessary
that we either transform or eradicate this monstrosity. Again, our alliance with Israel helps us to resist the temptation to coexist with it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 16, 2004 9:06 PM


The Communists killed 100 million people. Saddam, a secular leader who modeled himself after Stalin, killed several hundred thousand. Where are the Islamic killing fields on such a scale in the past several decades?

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 9:12 PM

I agree with OJ's take on this in the original item and Jim Hamlen's comment above. The Wash Post article says that Scowcroft was having dinner with Condi Rice. My question is: why is she wasting time talking to him when all he does is try to sandbag the President again and again and he cannot grasp that the only way to protect the US from Islamic terrorists and provide greater security in Israel is to do exactly what the W. and Sharon adminsitrations have done.

Posted by: Jim Siegel at October 16, 2004 10:07 PM

Scowcroft, best buddies with the Chinese gerontocracy; (probably plays tennis with
Hu JinTao)on the board of Frontera with
Lloyd Bentsen (one of those Bin Mahfouz
/AlaMoudi Saudi/US joint ventures along
the line of Tom Kean's Delta /Amerada-
Hess line up)business partner with the
Serb nomenklatura. The difference between
he and the President; is that he had just
enough (frustrating;when he was he drinking
the most) experience in oil bizness; to make
him ignore the dictates of that ARAMCO centric
enterprise. By contrast in the vaunted FDR and
Truman Adm,Foreign Policy was in the hands of several major retainers of Standard Oil; from Navy and future Def Sec (Dillon Read/CalTex; Aramco's first building bloc) to OSSChief (StanOil NJ) to his chief deputy (StanChase) etc. These figures all pressed against supporting Israel; against parties who had been neutral to
put it charitable; in the preceding war effort.

Posted by: narciso at October 16, 2004 11:01 PM