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Greenwald: State Department promotion sends Iran war signal
Mike Sheehan
Published: Monday March 5, 2007
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The promotion of a neoconservative to a key position at the U.S. State Department may be yet another signal of impending war with Iran, Salon reports.

"As they have done many times before, neoconservatives, with Iran in their sights, have installed one of their own at State to block any war-avoiding rapprochement," writes Glenn Greewald for Salon.

Last Friday, Eliot Cohen was chosen by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be new Counselor of the State Department.

"It is not hyperbole to say that Cohen is as extremist a neoconservative and warmonger as it gets," says Greenwald, who quotes a conservative writer's point that Cohen "was an early supporter of the military intervention in Iraq" and opposed negotiations with Iran and Syria.

Greenwald argues that Cohen is even "far more extremist than just that."

In a November 2001 Wall Street Journal column, says Greenwald, "Cohen criticized the attempts up to that point to name 'The new War' -- all the names chosen were far too limited and unglorious. Rejecting all the possibilities, Cohen insisted that 'a less palatable but more accurate name is World War IV.'"

Greenwald describes Cohen as having become "one of the most militant advocates of expanded regional war in the Middle East" in the years since 9/11.

"The Cohen appointment," he says, "is clearly another instance where neoconservatives place a watchdog in potential trouble spots in the government to ensure that diplomats do not stray by trying to facilitate rapproachments between the U.S. and the countries on the neoconservative War hit list."

Excerpts from the exclusive Salon article, available here, follow...

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Cohen was most worried that Afghanistan would be the only real Churchillian war we would fight, rather than getting on with World War IV in all its glory: "if after the Afghan campaign ends, the government lapses into a covert war of intelligence-gathering, arrests, and the odd explosion in a terrorist training camp, it will be a sign that it would rather avoid calling things by their true name."

It likely goes without saying by now that the reason Iraq was so quickly at the forefront of Cohen's mind in the aftermath of 9/11 was because invading Iraq and changing its government was long one of Cohen's dreams, and the 9/11 attacks became the pretext dressed up as the "justification" for Cohen's dream to come true.

This continues to be the most astounding, significant, and alarming trend -- as the recognition grows even in Beltway elite media circles that the people who designed and sold the Iraq war to the American public are completely untrustworthy and discredited figures, they are exactly the ones who continue to exert the most influence, by far, on the President, and their influence seems only to be growing...

..."Why should the American people continue to believe in those same people who had so many misjudgments leading up to and executing the war?" They should not, of course. And we know exactly who "those same people" are. Eliot Cohen is not just one of them, but he is one of their leaders. He has been wrong about everything. If he had his way, we would have far more wars than we have already.

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