March 08, 2007

The Power Behind The Bush Throne

Asia Times Online:
The same confusion was apparent at the White House, where National Security Council (NSC) official Elliott Abrams - the architect of US policy in the Middle East - was growing increasingly irritated with Rice's attempt to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks. Abrams, supported by officials in the Office of the Vice President, had consistently argued that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a morass better left in the hands of the Israelis. That viewpoint was clear from the first days of the administration of President George W Bush, when Vice President Dick Cheney knocked down any attempt to re-engage with Israelis and Palestinians.

A Republican Party stalwart describes Cheney's views in blunt terms: "People would come to Bush and say we have to get focus on the peace process, and Cheney would sit there and say, 'Mr President, don't do it. These people have been fighting for 50 years. To hell with them. And look at what happened to [former president Bill] Clinton when he tried. It just got worse.' And Bush would nod his head and that would be the end of the discussion."


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