This weekend, NATO's great crisis was averted with a cunning old trick: keep your opponents out of the room. In a deal struck in Brussels, the Americans won NATO support for beefing up Turkey's defenses--including providing NATO surveillance planes, Patriot missiles and chemical and biological units.
What is France up to? Why is Paris trying so hard to derail Washington's war? Where did all those secret French diplomatic plans come from? And just what is President Jacques Chirac's game?From the Bush administration's point of view, those questions are among the most perplexing--and surprising--in the final weeks of its diplomacy before war in Iraq.
It wasn't exactly the response Colin Powell was hoping for. After an exhaustive account of Iraq's weapons programs, the U.S. secretary of State sat back to let the world digest his indictment of Saddam Hussein's regime.But instead of the cheers of approval--or even a few murmurs of acknowledgement--Powell's much-hyped presentation met with a stubborn inertia inside the luxurious chamber of the United Nations Security Council today.
It's not their fault, said the senior administration official. Going to war is a tough decision, he explained. Many countries need a little help before doing life's difficult things.That was the Bush administration's analysis of the world's nervousness about going to war in Iraq.
What is the function of the weapons inspectors in Iraq? This is not a trick question. What exactly are they supposed to do? As we close in on the first serious deadline for the United Nations investigators on Jan. 27, that question is going to be crucially, vitally important in deciding whether we should go to war.So let me give you some options.
Washington has a new favorite parlor game this holiday season. Its name: Where's Otto?--a spin-off on the children's classic "Where's Waldo?" Its aim: to guess the fate of the fiery official who has been leading U.S. foreign policy from Canada to Argentina.Otto Reich once reigned supreme in the State Department, heading up its regional bureau for the western hemisphere.
They had met more than two decades ago, in the Ford White House, and Dick Cheney wanted to be the one to deliver the bad news to his old friend. After all, it was the veep himself, Bush's headhunter in chief, who had pressed Paul O'Neill to leave a lucrative career and come back to Washington.
Inside the West Wing, the Roosevelt Room occupies a special place in Bush family history. There, in December 1990, almost 12 years to the day, Barbara Bush met with the families of recently freed American hostages from Iraq who told of atrocities they suffered and of their happiness at being reunited with their loved ones.
The first time Colin Powell was scheduled to visit Bogota as U.S. secretary of State was on September 11, 2001. It took more than a year to reschedule his trip to the Colombian capital to see for himself what was once the biggest battleground in what the Bush administration sees as a different type of war on terror: narcoterror.Of course, that conflict has changed fundamentally in the last 15 months--which is precisely why Powell took so long to arrive in Bogota.