Thursday, April 05, 2007

Example #5323 of Why The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt Stinks

In another unsigned editorial today, neo-con war supporter Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post bashes Nancy Pelosi for her trip to Syria. The editorial needs to be dissected because it is such a stunning example of intellectual dishonesty that it should be exposed for all it's glory.

HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that "Israel was ready to engage in peace talks" with Syria. What's more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to "resume the peace process" as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. "We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria," she said.

nly one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. "What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel," said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister's office. In fact, Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that "a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel." In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were mere propaganda.

Wow, Pelosi apparently has egg on her face. She heads to the middle east. She lies about what Israel said to her, and then she totally got taken in by that butcher in Syria. What was she thinking? Here is time for a reality check. Israel ALWAYS says that their policy isn't changing even when it is being shifted. We also have to consider that Olmert is playing to several audiences here. He is playing to the hard liners in his country, he is playing to the international audience, as well at to commander cuckoo bananas.

In fact, those congress members who have met with Assad were sent there by Bush apparently. So, Bush sends some wingnuts to Assad, and they come away and say that Assad is an evil butcher. No surprise in that. Pelosi comes talking to Olmert, who explains to her what is going on, but tells her in private that he is really flexible in working with Syria. Olmert cuts her out when the Bush administration bitches to him about Pelosi trying to conduct foreign policy.

It's a bit more nuanced than what Fred Hiatt is suggesting. This is typical of a Fred Hiatt editorial though. All neo-con spin is more important than getting at anything near the truth. Fred Hiatt continues this editorial and gets even worse.

Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri. The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.

Now, we know what this is all about. Fred Hiatt is afraid Pelosi is going to curtail his glorious war in Iraq so it's time to take her to the woodshed. Fred Hiatt does not point out that Syria co-operated with Bush on terrorism, or that our government sent people to Syria to be tortured under the rendition program. Yes, Syria is a brutal government. We use them for their brutality as a matter of fact.

The Bush doctrine of calling somebody an enemy and never talking to them again because we only use diplomacy with friends is an interesting theory. By interesting I mean categorically stupid, historically false, and bound to be a failure, just like the war that Fred Hiatt is afraid that Pelosi might bother to stop.

Nothing is a greater example than the Uk soldier crisis. Bush's theory was that we yell and scream and insult. The UK thought talking might work. Thank goodness Fred Hiatt was away from the typewriter yesterday. His advice likely would have been that the Brittish step aside for those masters of diplomacy known as Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and Condi Rice.

This all being said, I do have concerns about Pelosi engaging in diplomacy in the region as a member of the house. The problem is that somebody has to do it. There is such a leadership gap, our worldwide credibility is so shot, that peace will not be possible under this administration. Nobody trusts us. Nobody trusts you Fred Hiatt, except for your devoted fans at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


There is other stuff on the homepage too. Just saying ;)