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Sunday, October 23, 2005

"We Have Courted Disaster" by Nicholas Kristof

Oct. 20, 2005
"We Have Courted Disaster"

Colin Powell has been stewing in silence, but his former chief-of-staff, Larry Wilkerson, a sensible man with long ties to Republican administrations, has now gone public with an inside look at the ineptitude in this administration’s foreign policy. Here’s the top of the Washington Post story today:

“As Colin Powell's right-hand man at the State Department, Larry Wilkerson seethed quietly during President Bush's first term. Yesterday, Colonel Wilkerson made up for lost time.

“He said the vice president and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy. He said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: "Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man." Addressing scholars, journalists and others at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson accused Bush of "cowboyism" and said he had viewed Condoleezza Rice as "extremely weak." Of American diplomacy, he fretted, "I'm not sure the State Department even exists anymore."

The rest of that story can be read here.

And there’s more here, from Newsday.

And here’s a more-or-less full transcript:

One key paragraph is this one: “I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita and I could go on back, we haven’t done very well on anything like that in a long time. And if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government.”

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