Alarm: Nicholas Burns, the most sensible and worldly person atop Rice’s State Department (number three, more or less, as Undersecy for Political Affairs), the leader of the peace camp within the administration and point man on Iraq within the Department, just announced he is retiring.
At age 51.
To be with his family, sez Rice. And to attend to his daughters attending college. Although he doesn’t yet have another (lucrative) job lined up.
International affairs are his life. I doubt he would resign the Department at 51 unless something is very wrong.
It’s a good guess that this means the war camp within the White House, led by Cheney, has won a battle between Bush’s ears. (See ref to Burns-Cheney battle in this NY Times story re Iran from last summer.)
A battle over what? Iran is the obvious guess. April has long been on some calendars for an attack there.
Perhaps the faux gunboat thing two weeks ago was indeed more than it seemed. (The threatening language, it seems to have turned out, that the Navy reported as basis for it’s imminent attack on the Iranian boats, was not from the boats but from a rather well known wiseguy CB radio buff in the area who regularly buffets the americans across the airwaves. An innocent mistake by the Navy not to have realized …)
Oil on bad economic news has gone down to the 90 level from 100. If it jags today and early next week, it might be read as support of the notion that more war is in the works from Bush-Cheney.