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Insider Report: Bush to Conservative Leader: You're One of Us

Tuesday, 19 February 2002 12:00 AM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Bush to Conservative Leader: You're One of Us
2. Ted Turner's Back in at Time Warner
3. Jews Baffled by Bush Award
4. War with Iraq
5. Russia's Military Builds

#1 Bush to Conservative Leader: You're One of Us

When Iain Duncan Smith, the Thatcherite leader of Britain's Conservative Party, came to America last month, he could hardly believe the red carpet treatment he received from President Bush.

As leader of the loyal opposition, Smith heads a party out of power. And President Bush enjoys a warm relationship with current Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Smith had been scheduled only to meet National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. But President Bush "dropped by" Rice's office to meet Smith.

Bush then held a sit-down meeting with Smith and kept his White House schedulers at bay as he chatted away with Smith for 45 minutes.

Bush made it clear why he wanted to keep a close relationship with Smith.

We hear he told Smith, "We like Tony [Blair] and we like the job he is doing. But you are one of us."

Of course, the message resonated with Smith.

"One of us" was Margaret Thatcher's favorite phrase, often invoked as a question she would pose vetting potential allies: "Is he one of us?"

One of Thatcher's biographers used the phrase as the title of his book.

#2 Ted Turner's Back in at Time Warner

Just when you thought it was safe to go out again, media folks were buzzing that Ted Turner, whose boisterous behavior and left-wing predilections were widely blamed for causing CNN's ratings to tank, is back in a major position at AOL Time Warner.

A source close to the company's leadership says Turner's return stems from a power vacuum at the media giant.

Originally, AOL thought its managers would hold sway after the merger, but the opposite has turned out to be true, as Time Warner execs seem to be calling the shots.

AOL chairman Steve Case is said to be preoccupied spending time with his brother, who is suffering from a serious illness. COO Bob Pittman may have bitten off more than he can chew. And new CEO Richard Parsons, who replaced Gerald Levin, is seen as able, but not enough to keep AOL Time Warner a driving force against the likes of media titans like Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, John Malone and Michael Eisner.

So we hear Ted's back. Perhaps things might go more smoothly with Jane Fonda on the sidelines.


#3 Jews Baffled by Bush Award

On Feb. 7, the ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), formerly the ADL of B'nai Brith, recently feted former President George H.W. Bush at its annual dinner in Palm Beach.

The group awarded Mr. Bush the Jewish organization's Joseph Prize for Human Rights "in recognition of his efforts to speed Operation Solomon, a 1991
airlift that brought about 16,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel."

The award got some positive press, but some eyebrows were raised among Jewish American leaders.

It's no secret that many Jewish community activists viewed the first Bush administration as very hostile to Israel and biased toward the Arab side.

Also, Jewish Americans were miffed over how few Jews made top administration appointments under former President Bush -- hence the description of his White House as a "kinder, more gentile" administration.

At the award ceremony, the ADL hung its hat on another issue: citing Bush's help in the U.S. airlift of 16,000 Ethiopian Jews during the civil war in that country in 1991.

#4 War with Iraq

A member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Review Board tells NewsMax.com that war with Iraq is set for this year, with a target D-day sometime next fall. The Pentagon is moving rapidly to replenish weapons stocks diminished by the war in Afghanistan and Clinton's war over Kosovo. President Bush has decided to move forward despite objections from many of his father's most trusted aides, including Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft and Jim Baker.


#5 Russia's Military Builds

The head of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Gene Poteat, a retired CIA officer, recently noted that problems with Russia are far from over. In a speech to the Palm Beach chapter of his organization, Poteat said Russia continues to build new attack submarines, ICBMs, and fighter and bomber aircraft, and is not finished as a potential adversary of the U.S.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2002 12:00 AM
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