Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

John Nichols Addresses Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

John Nichols Addresses Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Article excerpt

AUTHOR AND columnist John Nichols delivered a rousing keynote address at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI)'s annual dinner before a standing-room-only crowd at the Hotel Fort Des Moines on July 18.

"Dick Cheney is not a pleasant person," said Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, in response to a question from this reporter, "and it is kind of amazing to me that anybody treats this man seriously anymore, but there is simply no question that he is desperate to get one more war out of the country. He has been working very, very hard on this."

Nichols described a divide within the Bush administration between Cheney and his staff, who have pushed for war against Iran, and "realists" led by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "Condi Rice won in her fight with Cheney, and she got Bush to send a diplomat to Teheran," Nichols pointed out. "This is a good thing."

Noting that the Bush administration has played politics with war, Nichols credited citizen activism and protest with having had a moderating influence on the Bush administration's crimes and excesses.

"I happen to believe that you people matter," he explained. …

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