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Two Cents Worth

Does the State Department have an
agenda different than the White House?


By Jon Christian Ryter
Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

December 15, 2001

     During the Gulf War in 1991, America created four heroes. Two of them were civilians, two were military. The four men who emerged from Desert Storm as heroes were George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States; Dick Cheney, then Secretary of Defense; Lt. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commanding general “onthe ground” in Saudi Arabia—and, of course, General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Fate would deal kindly with three of them. President George H.W. Bush, who achieved a 91% approval rating from the American people as the civilian “commander-in-chief” of the victory over Saddam Hussein’s elite Republican Guard in Kuwait, was denied re-election ten months later because he broke a campaign promise not to raise taxes. Gen. Schwarzkopf became the most popular military leader in the United States since George Patton and Douglas McArthur. Dick Cheney, of course, became Vice President of the United States and Gen. Colin Powell, who was eagerly pursued by both the Democrats and Republicans to seek the office of President of the United States, opted to become Secretary of State for President George W. Bush. (Powell, it will be remembered, sat on the fence during the political fray over the Election of 2000 when Bush could have used his help in quieting the voices of dissent from the African-American community. Powell, who participated in one photo op with Bush in Crawford, Texas—but did not speak to the media on Bush’s position, nor did he try to quell black dissent on the election. He was part of Bush’s team only insofar as Bush was the only one to offer him the plumb State job. At the same time, he kept his career options open by assuring the liberal mainstream media during the fray that he was equally willing to serve in a Gore administration.)
     I guess that’s what makes Powell a diplomat. He managed to keep his options alive on both sides of the political coin as long as the Election of 2000 was up in the air.
     At the conclusion of Desert Storm Powell the military politician, not Stormin’ Norman, shined as the War College genius who planned the strategy that resulted in an estimated 65,000 Iraqi soldiers killed (no actual body counts were ever done) and 71,204 captured to American losses of 293 dead and 467 wounded. (Unfortunately, 145 of the American dead were the result of either accidents or friendly fire.) Iraq lost 3,700 of their 4,280 unit tank force. They lost 2,600 of their 3,110 artillery pieces. Iraq lost every airplane and helicopter in their air force except the 137 aircraft they flew to their traditional enemy, Iran, for safekeeping.
     What has, over the past decade, become known as the “Powell Doctrine” since the Gulf War was in reality the “Weinberger Doctrine” since Reagan’s Secretary of War, Casper Weinberger created the philosophy and hammered it into the head of his chief military advisor, Colin Powell. Powell biographers argue that Powell learned the lesson through experience in Vietnam, and formulated the philosophy after reading the book On War (which was written in 1830) when he was a “student” at the National War College in the early 1970s.
     The reality is that the United Nations-style “conduct of war” that was used by John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon to govern the conduct of war both in Korea and in Vietnam doomed the Vietnamese war from the start since America engaged in a “no-win” philosophy against a nation that the United States should have overwhelmed and defeated in no more than 90-days.
     From the Kennedy Executive Order that led to State Department Publication #7277, Freedom from War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World, and expanded in May 1962, America was doomed to lose every war into which it was thrust since it more forcefully added not only the politicians but the Council on Foreign Relations-influenced global diplomats into the equation of waging war. War was no longer simple. Suddenly, global political objectives were more important than the military ones, and American soldiers became political pawns in a global chess game because the minute the diplomats became part of the equation of war, so did the Council on Foreign Relations who believed that instead of waging war, America needed to seek diplomatic, power-sharing arrangements with the communist nations in order to end the Cold War before it became too hot.
     The CFR believed that if the United States went to war with the thought of overwhelmingly defeating its enemy, the Soviet Union would be obligated to enter the fray, and even the smallest regional conflict had the potential to “go nuclear.”
     Logic told Reagan—and Weinburger—that America could not afford to help everyone. But Reagan willing to surrender liberty for the form of communist-style freedom promoted by the United Nations. America had to pick its fights based on whether or not we, as a nation, had a vested interest in the fray. And, if America decided to fight, it needed to overwhelm its enemy as quickly as possible rather than allowing a conflict to drag on for years.
     Dreaming up this military strategy was attributed to Powell during the Gulf War. It created what would become part of the Powell mystic, and would be used by Powell’s supporters to suggest that the former Joint Chiefs Chairman should occupy the White House. The strategy, as it was used in Kuwait and Iraq, was advanced by Schwarzkopf and approved by Powell, Dick Cheney and Bush. History, however, has a way of crediting the victories of the field commanders to their more high pro- file general officers in Washington. Powell, the perennial politician accepted the credit. Schwarzkopf, the perennial soldier, kept his mouth shut.
     Like many politically-astute but militarily naive Americans, I viewed Powell as a potential President. In fact, looking at the field of candidates available in 2000, Powell would have been the only real threat to the nomination of George W. Bush. Had Powell announced early-on that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, I would have lent my support to his campaign. I started to wonder about Powell when he visited with Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands and attended the Bilderberger Conference. It was unclear if the Bilderbergers were planning to back Powell when the CFR/transnationalist money was backing Bush. The last time that happened was in 1976 when the Bilderbergers backed Gerald Ford and the CFR and David Rockerfeller backed Jimmy Carter. It may well have been that Powell was planning to launch a “test” campaign but was convinced by the globalists that he could “serve” better as Secretary of State. We will likely never know since we get to view history only from the perspective of which things happen.
     What we do know from the perspective of history is that the National Security team of the White House headed by National Security Director Condoleezza Rice is now attempting to dismantle the failed national defense policies of the Clinton-GoreAdministration—and the Clinton holdovers and the bureaucratic arms control liberals in the State Department who are convinced they can manipulate Powell to help them, are doing everything in their power to throw a political monkey wrench into the works.
     The December 24 issue of Insight on the News (www.insight-mag.com) (available at the newsstand or by calling 202-636-8887) will reveal that a fourth-echelon arms-control doyenne leaked internal policy material to foreign governments in the hope that they would protest and thus help Secretary Powell pre-empt Bush’s new, assertive programs. Why would the Clinton holdovers and the institutionalized liberal bureaucrats believe that Powell could be manipulated that easily?
      Over the years Powell has not minced words on his opinion of the Reagan-era missile shield. Bill Keller, writing in a New York Times Magazine profile on Powell that was supposed to show that Powell was actually controlling American foreign policy, said: “Powell’s suspicion of missile defense was nourished at its genesis, President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, which the young Pentagon aide [Powell] watched with a kind of amused horror. Reagan, God bless him, was forever talking about this shield and, you know, ‘We’re just going to make all offensive weapons useless,’ Powell recalled, rolling his eyes.”
     Powell’s attitude, which has not changed much since 1982, now puts George W. Bush’s evolving missile-shield policies at odds with the agenda of the Secretary of State who, like former Vice President Al Gore, Jr., views SDI as the whimsical fantasy of a science fiction buff, not as a serious defense strategy. Powell now poophahs George W. Bush who intends to remove the fate of the American people from the diplomats who negotiate one-sided paper treaties crafted at the Council on Foreign Relations that penalize the United States while allowing both China and the former Soviet Union to modernize their missile systems—and, at the same time, reward them with most favored nation status as they sell biological weapons and nuclear weapon technology to oil rich terrorists in the Mideast—believing somehow that consumer “favors” will make our former enemies toe the “free enterprise” line and become genuine democracies in which the liberty of mankind—not the artificial freedom of communism—is sacrosanct.
     In the last few weeks several of Bush’s key lieutenants, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, discovered what one Bush lieutenant privately defined as “rank insubordination” not only within the State Department but elsewhere in the Bush Administration as Clinton moles busy themselves deliberately undermining Bush’s agenda. The Bush “source” told Insight on the News reporter J. Michael Waller that “...some U.S. officials opposed to the new policy have collaborated with foreign governments to embarrass, discredit and undermine the president’s own representatives and thereby prevent his policies from being implemented, even after the September 11 attacks.

     (Interestingly, when it going on within the various Executive Branch departments of the Bush Administration is precisely what former-Clinton aide Larry Nichols wrote about in his book, The Genie Is Out of the Bottle, and what Nichols preached on his radio talk show until he was sufficiently poophahed by his former loyal listening audience that, in frustration, Nichols gave up his radio program. Nobody believed him. The Bush people, who are now talking to him, do. Just after the inauguration, I was asked by an “agent” of another Bush lieutenant to help them learn the names of Clinton moles before they cleared their probationary periods and could no longer be terminated. I enlisted the support of a Justice Department attorney to help the Bush team find the moles before it was too late. There were, I understood at the time, several hundred scattered throughout all of the Executive Branch departments. How many were found and terminated is anyone’s guess. But what is going on now suggests that far too many of them were missed.)
     You might reasonably argue that since those problems appear to be caused by Clinton holdovers in the State Department that Colin Powell cannot be blamed for their misdeeds. Not true. The buck stops at the Secretary’s desk. The boldness of the Clinton holdovers comes from the fact that they see, if not an ally in Powell, at least a man who philosophically agrees with their position. Prior to September 11 Powell’s liberal societal views were the hope of former communists in the Eastern block and the socialists in western Europe. Upon assuming the position of Secretary of State Powell, the paradoxical commander, set about solidifying his fiefdom. Rather than allow the President to fill the key Assistant Secretary jobs—the people who implement the president’s foreign policy decisions in the six regions of the globe—Powell demanded the right to “handpick” his “team.” Bush agreed. Believing he would nevertheless have “first refusal rights” on Powell’s “candidates,” Bush discovered he had his own Hillary (whom you will recall demanded the right to pick all domestic appointees in the first Clinton Administration as her price for “standing by her man” when the Gennifer Flowers scandal [made public by Larry Nichols]) arose. Powell intended to keep first and final refusal rights within the State Department. Instead of either submitting a list of potential political candidates—who would agree philosophically with the views and positions of the President—Powell filled the positions with career Foreign Service officers. Statistically, over 2/3 of the highest ranking career Foreign Service bureaucrats are politically liberal. In his profile of Powell, Keller admiringly noted that “...whether by design or not (Powell’s people insist not), this had the additional affect of assuring that those jobs would not go to White House political appointees whose views were to the right of [Powell’s].”
     Once the coup d’ etat was over, surprised Bush people grumbled that the problem was that everyone in the Bush Administration is far to right of Powell.
     Defending his father, Michael Powell chided the Bush people as if they were all sucking sour grapes, adding that he and his father were not the liberals many of the Bush people thought they were. “What we are,” he said, “are moderates.” It is beginning to appear that Colin Powell is about as moderate as Bill and Hillary Clinton.
     As Bush’s national security team: Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John R. Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, J.D. Crouch and Peter Rodman, attempt to overturn the liberal establishment’s idea that national security is best ensured by one-sided treaties, Powell made it clear he was opposed to scraping the Salt II Treaty that Vladimir Putin did not sign until Bush began talking about a missile shield over North America. Most Americans are unaware that from 1979 until Putin signed the Treaty last year, the United States signed a letter of agreement with the Soviet Union that they would honor the terms of the Treaty while the Soviet Duma debated the Treaty’s merits. Although the Soviets had not signed the Treaty, and were still manufacturing missiles, the United States, on the advise of its career Foreign Service experts, began reducing the number of nuclear missiles even though it had firm evidence that the Soviets were continuing to amass weapons of mass destruction.
     The Bush team, it appears is ready to junk the 1979 ABM Treaty just as Putin junked the illegal Gore-Chernomyrdin Agreement that forbade him from selling nuclear technology or nuclear weapons to a terrorist nation. Standing in the wings is Powell who, paradoxically, has gained new life in the arms-control arena first on September 11 and then a month later when the FBI learned that Osama bin Laden had not only secured several radiological devises (dirty bombs that contaminate large areas with deadly radioactivity) but had managed to smuggle them into the United States through ports-of-entry in Texas, New Mexico and California.
     As the Bush team hammered out the definition of what constituted a terrorist state—and the fact that any nation that supplied a terrorist state (Iran has been classified as a terrorist nation) would themselves be classified as a terrorist nation—Powell saw an opportunity in the September 11 events to pressure Russia to join the United States in its war on terrorism as he pressured the White House to back down from its hard stance on ditching the ABM Treaty—a treaty that the Council on Foreign Relations wants to maintain. In point of fact, the Salt II ABM Treaty was not negotiated between Russia and the United States, it was negotiated between the Soviet Union and the United States. Russia is just one of the “states” within that sphere with whom the treaty must now be confirmed in order for it to be legally construed as binding. When the Soviet Union broke up, the treaty scrapped itself since the geographic and hierarchical entity with whom the United States signed it—the Soviet Union—theoretically no longer existed. However, since Russia knows that the Soviet Union merely went underground until such time as events necessitate its “rebirth,” in their minds, the treaty is still valid—and thus, remains binding on the United States.
     America is in a security quandary caused by bad treaties instigated by the Council on Foreign Relations and negotiated and signed by former Presidents and their Secretaries of State. The series of “bad treaties” that were seriously detrimental to the security interests of the United States started with Richard Nixon and were followed by Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy disasters that led to the giveaway of the Panama Canal (the was instigated by CFR policy wonk Madeleine Albright who went on to become Secretary of State for Bill Clinton, under whose administration the giveaway was completed) that was assumed, in 2000, by the People’s Republic of China—giving America’s worst enemy a foothold in the western hemisphere. Carter was also at the helm of the U.S.S. America ship of state when CFR policy, implemented through Carter’s State Department, caused the overthrow of Iranian Shah Riza Pahlavi in favor of Shi’ite cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. That State Department fiasco tilted the balance of power in the Mideast from moderate Sunni Muslim regimes to those of Shi’ite extremists like Saddam Hussein, Hafiz Assad and Yassar Arafat. (Carter’s foreign policy decisions also led to the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua and Omar Torrijos of Panama.)
     For the security of the United States of America, the Bush Administration must completely dismantle four decades of lopsided non-proliferation treaties (from 1960 to 1999) that were deliberately designed to penalize only the United States (due to a Kennedy-era belief that if the United States unilaterally disarmed that Russia would do likewise). While few Americans today realize it, four decades of shortsighted foreign policy decisions and detrimental treaty terms have left us in an unbelievable quandary: all of those treaties assumed America would face only one nuclear super power enemy. None assumed that America might face both China and the Soviet Union at the same time.
     None of the nonproliferation or disarmament treaties America entered into with the former Soviet Union allow the United States to amass additional nuclear weapons to deal with nuclear threats from the People’s Republic of China. But more important, none of those treaties allow the United States to either add additional inventories of missiles or build a defense shield against the eventuality that a terrorist nation like Iran, Iraq, Yemen or Libya might somehow buy, build, steal and launch either biological or nuclear weapons against the United States.
     It is this eventuality that the Bush Administration is now dealing with. Prior to September 11 few people would have believed that terrorists could have wrought such devastation on the United States. Today, knowing they can, the Administration is taking steps to safeguard the nation by scrapping Cold War-era treaties that do not deal with post-September 11 realities. Since attacks from terrorists are more likely to occur over the next decade than nuclear attacks from the former Soviet Union or the People’s Republic of China (which openly admits it is still a decade away from launching a full scale nuclear strike on the United States), and because the terrorists have shown an almost eager willingness to die in order to destroy America, the MAD philosophy (mutually-assured destruction) will not deter them. Therefore, because our newest enemies don’t care if they die as they destroy America, the United States must have the ability to protect itself other than traditional retaliatory options that will not work against a terrorist state. A missile shield is our only viable option.
     Clearly the September 11 attack strengthened Bush’s hand because it forced the diplomatic world to awaken to the reality that small enclaves of terrorists could not only declare war on a major power, but it could successfully wage such a war as well.
     When Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton addressed the International Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva, Switzerland on November 19 he took the opportunity to lay out America’s position on dealing with terrorist nations and nations that supply, protect, or otherwise aid terrorist states. “Just as we can no longer rely solely on traditional means to fight a war against terrorism, we need to look beyond traditional arms-control measures to deal with the complex and dangerous threats posed by biological weapons. The time for ‘better than nothing’ protocols is over. It is time for us to consider serious measures to address the biological weapons threat. It is time to set aside years of diplomatic inertia. We will not be protected by a ‘Maginot Treaty’ approach to the biological weapons threat.”
     What Bolton meant is that there is now one primary difference in US policy from the previous administration: the Bush Administration would not place any reliance on the thin hopes that other nations—including Russia and China—would not violate treaties they had previously signed. In Bush’s mind, a missile shield offered the best guarantee against incoming nuclear missiles from either of our “former” enemies (Russia or China) or from a rogue terrorist state like Iran or Iraq or even a rogue terrorist cell group like Osama bin Laden.
     Powell, in the meantime, has built a very fragile coalition among those who believe that America must have Russia’s cooperation in the war on terrorism to prevail; and that the United States cannot scrap the 1979 ABM Treaty and then expect that needed cooperation. To Powell, as with most globalists who understand that if America is safely nestled under a laser umbrella called SDI it will remain forever an isolationist nation since it will have no reason to surrender its sovereignty to a global political hierarchy in exchange for security.
     Discussing the Bush Administration plans to implement SDI, Powell told Keller: “It goes from being a limited defense to POW! Reagan’s back. How do you persuade us that’s not going to happen?”
     
Frankly, Bush has no intention in doing that. As far as he was concerned, with both Russia and China supplying terrorist nations with nuclear weapons technology, Bush intended to implement SDI. As the Bush team laid the groundwork for withdrawing from the 1979 Salt II Treaty if Vladimir Putin refused to budge on America’s right to defend itself from the threat from rogue terrorist states or cell groups, a senior level Bush official admitted that America would simply exercise its right to withdraw from the treaty.
     There is a genuine fear from Bush loyalists that there will be a State Department effort to sabotage the missile shield, first, since the State Department views détente with China and the former Soviet Union as a State Department, not White House, prerogative; and second, Powell is convinced that peace can only be achieved if all nations are equally vulnerable to destruction.
     Ignored by Powell and the State Department was the fact that both Russia and China have chosen, whenever the need to do so arose, to break whatever treaty or accord stood in the way of their national objectives since the United States has traditionally ignored their infractions without extracting any penalty. When Russia broke the Gore-Chernomyrdin Accord and sold nuclear missile technology to Iran, the Clinton-Gore Administration continued to funnel billions of American taxpayer dollars into Russia’s economic recovery plan. This happened even though the State Department had evidence that the high tech weapons exports from Russia to Iran had been personally approved by Putin—and those from China had been approved by Party Chairman Jiang Zemin.
     The real tragedy of it all is that Powell’s view of the world, and his role in it, is much different from that of his boss, the President. Powell’s world view more closely resembles that of former President Bill Clinton and Al Gore than it does George W. Bush. Powell appears to be far more comfortable with intersectoral international alliances and institutions than Bush. Furthermore, probably because Powell has spent his entire adult life in the military, he is less assertive in the promotion of American-style liberty and values abroad than a “civilian” in the same position. Tragically, among Powell’s most ardent supporters is George H.W. Bush who sees nothing wrong with his former Joint Chiefs’ Chairman efforts to redirect the foreign policy decisions of his son, the current president—particularly where missile defense, the war on terrorism, and the People’s Republic of China are concerned.
     When Bush pledged to build a missile shield over North America to protect the United States from the genuine threat that terrorist nations like Libya, Iraq or Iran, or perhaps even a well-funded rogue terrorist organization like al Qaeda might get their hands on guided missiles with nuclear warheads, Powell contradicted Bush by declaring what Bush “really meant” was that while the 1972 and 1979 ABM treaties might need to be “patched” here and there, they had to be preserved for the foreseeable future. Abandoning the treaties all together, Powell believed, would cause the loss of European and Russian goodwill. That, of course, is likely a true statement. However, when terrorists took down the World Trade Center, “ground zero” was not in London, Paris or Moscow. It was in New York. And, while close to two thousand of those who died in that tragedy were international citizens, over 4,600 Americans (now reduced to between 3,400 to 3,500 because of name duplication) died because this nation lacked the means to protect them. There is no amount of European or Russian “goodwill” that will offset the loss of American life. Europe does not want the United States building a missile shield out of fear that the Cold War will heat back up. If a rogue nation launches a nuclear armed guided missile at the United States and destroys New York, Chicago, St. Louis or Los Angeles, the only goodwill Europe or Russia would send would be their expressions of sympathy.
     When Bush declared his war on terrorism using the words of Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and NonproliferationJohn R. Bolton to explain that “...if you harbor...or train or arm...or feed or fund a terrorist, you’re a terrorist,” Powell took it upon himself to clarify what Bush “really meant.”
     Powell gave Bush’s speech the politically-correct diplomatic, State Department spin by declaring that terrorists are not terrorists if they are on America’s side. Interestingly, Bush has made his same terrorist speech at least a dozen times since Powell clarified what he “really meant,” and not once did Bush mitigate his position by saying that a terrorist is not a terrorist if they are on America’s side.
     Powell, who was actually on the “wrong side of history” in 1991 when he objected to going to war with Saddam Hussein—and convinced George H.W. Bush to stop short of a complete victory and allow Saddam Hussein to escape punishment—now appears to be doing everything possible to sow the seeds of confusion over the wisdom of carrying the current war against terrorism beyond the borders of Afghanistan. Rumsfeld, Bolton (who, as an Undersecretary of State, theoretically reports to Powell), Condoleezza Rice, Wolfowitz and Defense Undersecretary Feith each view Powell’s brand of statecraft as rank insubordination. They believe that Powell’s underlings—whether they are Clinton holdovers or not—have both openly and covertly collaborated with pro-Muslim foreign governments to deliberately embarrass Bush’s representatives and undermine Bush’s war on terrorism in an attempt to prevent Bush’s post-September 11 policies from being implemented. Rumsfeld and Powell have locked horns on “war policy” at least twice since the bombings in Afghanistan began. Rumsfeld has won each confrontation with the Secretary of State. Rumsfeld has won the popularity war with the American people as well. At present, Rumsfeld’s daily news coverages rank among the highest watched “programs” on TV. And Powell, whose hero’s veneer has worn transparently thin, is a man in search of a Neilson legacy.

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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