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Republican leaders make remarkable comments on US foreign policy

Condoleezza Rice blames liberal and conservative US administrations of the past 60 years for the lack of democracy in the Middle East.
Karl Rove ridicules liberals as soft on terrorism, while Donald Rumsfeld admits negotiations with the terrorists in Iraq. Dick Cheney believes the insurgency will end soon, while Chuck Hagel thinks the US is loosing in Iraq and the White House is disconnected from reality. And Tom DeLay compares the quality of life in Iraq with Houston, Texas.
Moreover, the Berlin based Republicans protest against the planned demolition of the Checkpoint Charlie memorial honoring the victims of the Berlin Wall.

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“Inside the Committee that Runs the World”

David J. Rothkopf argues in Foreign Policy (March/April 2005) that members of the inner circles of the U.S. national security community, i.e. the National Security Council (NSC), is a -- if not the most -- powerful committee in the history of the world.

However, the NSC seems split because of diverging ideological views between traditionalists and transformationalists -- with Condoleezza Rice at the center of the rift. The author describes the power dynamics between different agencies and key officials and points out the axis of power between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Vice-President Cheney.

In terms of the NSC's future influence he thinks that personalities of the individuals within it play a greater role in determining its true function than does any preconceived aspect of its structure. What kind of approach these individuals choose will depend on whether the divides within the Republican foreign-policy establishment, which empowers the NSC, will ease up or create further imbalance.

Iran: The Iraq déjà vu

In The Washington Post former US weapons inspector David Kay compares the debate about Iran's nuclear program with the debate about Iraq before the war:

Vice President Cheney is giving interviews and speeches that paint a stark picture of a soon-to-be-nuclear-armed Iran and declaring that this is something the Bush administration will not tolerate. Iranian exiles are providing the press and governments with a steady stream of new "evidence" concerning Iran's nuclear weapons activities. (...) U.S. allies, while saying they share the concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, remain determined to pursue diplomacy and say they cannot conceive of any circumstance that would lead them to use military force. And the press is beginning to uncover U.S. moves that seem designed to lay the basis for military action against Iran. Now is the time to pause and recall what went wrong with the assessment of Iraq's WMD program and try to avoid repeating those mistakes in Iran.