Paul Jay provides a typically incisive three-part interview with Larry Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell 2002-5. In the first part Wilkerson explains that the 2003 strategic bargain offered by Iran was turned down by Cheney on the grounds that such negotiations would legitimise the Iranian regime. This is quite timely as I am in the middle of a discussion on the merits of this Neoconservative approach to foreign policy with Hey Skipper on the Obama’s Realist Iran Policy article. As Wilkerson makes clear the issue is one of Neoconservative policy, not conservative policy, or Republican policy, or even Bush administration policy (the Bush State Department under Powell wasn’t Neoconservative). If any episode illustrates the total folly of the Bush/McCain approach then this story does, Wilkerson underlining in the second and third interviews the horrible stupidity of it all and why he won’t be voting for McCain in the election (but he is waiting for more details from Obama).
(The back story to the strategic bargain discussed in the interview is given in the Leverett & Mann Esquire interview. General Wesley Clark was told of a plan to transform the M.E with a blitzkrieg through seven countries in five years in a visit to the Pentagon in late 2001.)
Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Larry Wilkerson on how Cheney turned down talks with Iran (1/3) June 6, 2008
[The other two segments of this story don’t seem to be available on YouTube: click though to view them on the RealNews web site.]
Powell’s former Chief of Staff Wilkerson: War with Iran would reinforce strategic failure in Gulf (2/3) June 7, 2008
Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Larry Wilkerson gets candid about the candidates (3/3) June 8, 2008