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Shift in US foreign policy = October surprise ?

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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:37 PM
Original message
Shift in US foreign policy = October surprise ?
check what came out recently !

Bush Clears Task Force to Meet With Iranians
Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Sep 19 (IPS) - While his handlers worked assiduously Tuesday to ensure that U.S. President George W. Bush did not run into his Iranian nemesis, Mahmood Ahmedinejad, in the corridors of the U.N., a legendary fixer for the Bush family announced that the White House had cleared him to meet with a "high representative" of Tehran's government.

Former Secretary of State James Baker, who co-chairs a bipartisan, Congressionally appointed task force called the "Iraq Study Group" (ISG), said that the timing of the meeting with that representative, whom he declined to name, had yet to be arranged but that permission for such a meeting to take place has been granted.

"I'm fairly confident that we will meet with a high representative of the (Iranian) government," he said at a press conference at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), one of several think tanks, including the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the Centre for the Study of the Presidency, and Baker's own Houston-based Institute for Public Policy, that are supporting the Study Group's work.

Such a meeting would no doubt feed speculation here that Baker, a consummate "realist" who reportedly has been privately critical of the administration's Middle East policies, could help tilt the balance of power within the administration in favour of fellow-realists, centred in the State Department. They generally support greater flexibility in dealing with perceived U.S. foes in the region, and against right-wing hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney who have steadfastly opposed engagement with both Iran and Syria.

Baker again :

"Stay-the-course" not U.S.'s only Iraq option: Baker 1 hour, 52 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - James Baker, a former U.S. secretary of state and close political associate of the Bush family, said on Sunday there are alternatives in Iraq for the United States other than the "stay-the-course" policy of President George W. Bush's administration.

Baker -- the co-chair of a high-level panel of prominent former officials charged by members of Congress with taking a fresh look at America's policy on Iraq, which has support from the White House -- said it would be a mistake for the United States to withdraw from Iraq over the next year.

But, in an interview on ABC's "This Week," he added, "I happen to think, and I think it's fair to say our commission believes, that there are alternatives between the stated alternatives ... of stay-the-course and cut-and-run."

Bush and his top officials say the United States must press on with war in Iraq. They accuse critics, including some Democrats, who call for a U.S. troop pullout or a timetable for withdrawal, of advocating a policy of "cut-and-run."

and Rice :

US puts Maliki on the clock in Iraq by Stephen Collinson

Sun Oct 8, 2:26 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is putting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and fellow Iraqi leaders on the clock, as frustration in Washington mounts at his government's inability to stem raging violence.

A fearsome week in Iraq which saw Baghdad's worst rash of bombings in three years and a surge in the numbers of US soldiers killed, tightened the political screws on President George W. Bush's administration ahead of crucial November elections.

Top US officials further sharpened the public US message towards the Maliki government -- a process which started with anonymous quotes by US officials leaked to US newspapers in September -- and reached a new pitch when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew into Baghdad on Thursday.

Comments by influential Republican Senator John Warner, meanwhile, fuelled perceptions that a new debate may be emerging on the direction of Iraq policy among members of the administration and political allies.

obviously something is going on....
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. We'll know if this is it, if they start using the keywords
'regime change' being a red flag. If the BFEE starts saying 'regime change' a lot in the next few weeks, then we will know they are going to invade Iran. I can't see this happening before the elections...but who knows. Insane people run the country so anything is possible.

If anyone would bring about an attack and the propaganda needed to keep people docile, it is James Baker.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I think it is a tactical shift, not a strategical one
but it can be presented as a "peace initiative" in time for the elections, trying to disarm the Dem criticism how the "war on terror" is conducted...
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. This might be ONLY a paver. In any law suits to come after Iran
is bombed - they could point to Baker and say they tried to negotiate. It paves the way to protect them - just as Baker is the key person who always paves the way before and after the damage - for the Bushes and the right wing cause.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. He also paves the way during the damage - as in 2000 resulting
in getting team members on the Supreme Court to give it to Joe er George, and George and Barbara, etc. etc.
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