and Iraq not enough
The Pentagon wants complete control over foreign
policy -- and go after Iran
By Art Buchwald
August 21, 2003
Source: Washington Post
I was sitting in the park
with J. Clancy Vanderbilt (not his real name), who has a high position
in the State Department.
He said, "Besides all the Axis of Evil countries around the
world, we now have to deal with the Pentagon."
"They are dangerous?"I asked.
"You better believe it. Rumsfeld is sticking a Black Hawk in
Colin Powell's back."
"The Pentagon wants complete control over our foreign policy."
"Why? Doesn't Rumsfeld have enough to do in Iraq and Afghanistan?"
"My theory -- but if you quote me I'll deny it -- is that Rumsfeld
is a take-charge guy and he has the aircraft carriers to do anything
Vanderbilt showed me a top-secret cable. It said Rumsfeld had
sent Pentagon people to meet with Iranians and a very shady arms
several times without telling Powell about it.
"Our intelligence department found out about it from a mole who
works in the NATO Officers Club kitchen. A general revealed that
Rumsfeld wanted State to stay out of Iranian negotiations since
it might lead to peace."
"Do you think the Pentagon is out to completely close down the
"Not completely,"Vanderbilt said. "Rumsfeld still
wants the State Department to issue passports and give fat-cat
ambassadorships. But the important foreign policy will be handled
by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle."
"You aren't going to let this happen?"
Vanderbilt said, "How many tank divisions does Colin Powell
I asked, "Where is the president in all this?"
"Our people believe he is on Rumsfeld's side because Bush thinks
State is always sucking up to the United Nations."
"And does the president also believe that State is always trying
to find a diplomatic solution to a problem?"
"Bush would rather have a military solution to show the world
he is not going to be pushed around."
"What about the 16 words in the State of the Union address that
said Iraq had sought to buy uranium from an African country?"
"The White House tried to blame us for that, but they finally
made George Tenet, the CIA chief, walk the plank."
"Do you think the Pentagon wants to destabilize Iran by force?"
"The United States has a lot of troops over there and they
don't want to send them home if there is going to be another
"So what are you going to do?"
"Hang tough, leak stuff to the press that will reveal what the Pentagon
is doing, publicly announce that Iran is also our problem, and
see that Powell gets as much time on television as Rumsfeld. If
we don't, Defense will turn the State Department building into
a hangar for B-52s."
"I will quote what you have just told me and you can deny you said
Originally published in the Washington
Post, under the heading, "Uneasy
Lie The Heads of State" (August 21, 2003 ).
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