Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 04, 2007

Pelosi Not So Counterproductive

So the position of this administration is that the best way to meet with a leader like Assad or people from Syria is in the larger context of trying to get the global community to help change his behavior. But sending delegations hasn't worked. It's just simply been counterproductive.
President Bush Makes Remarks ..., White House, April 3, 2007


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.
Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
Pratfall in Damascus, WaPo Editorial, April 5, 2007


Ms. Rice’s decision to meet with the Syrian foreign minister and seek out the Iranian seemed to confirm a significant, if unstated, change in approach for the Bush White House to handling relations in the Middle East, ...
Ms. Rice’s talk with Mr. Moallem, though short, was substantive. She asked that Syria, with its porous border with Iraq, do more to restrict the flow of foreign fighters. Bush administration officials noted afterward that it might already be happening; in the past month, they said, there had been a drop in the number of foreign fighters traveling over the Syrian border into Iraq.
U.S. and Syria Discuss Iraq in Rare Meeting, NYT, May 4, 2007

Posted by b on May 4, 2007 at 5:33 UTC | Permalink


CNN Report On Rice's Meeting With Syrian Official Omits Mention Of Criticism Of Pelosi.

A commenter at that site says:

The bigger story, IMO, is that the American military spokesman for Iraq, Marine General Caldwell, said this today


"BAGHDAD: The chief spokesman for U.S.-led forces in Iraq said Thursday that Syria had taken action to reduce the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq.

"There has been some movement by the Syrians ... there has been a reduction in the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq" for more than a month, U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell told a news conference."

In the past month, the Syrians have cracked down on the flow of Al Qaeda-inspired foreign fighters going into Iraq. Resulting in fewer such dangerous individuals making it into the country.

Gee, what happened precisely a month ago? Oh yeah, the Speaker of the House stared Bashar al Assad in the eye and told him to move on the suicide bombers crossing into Iraq.

This isn't a coincidence. Nancy Pelosi's visit saved the lives of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians and put Al Qaeda terrorists behind bars. And unlike our other 'allies' she didn't have to sell a bunch of fighter jets to get that result.

Another commenter says it all:

The "news" [sic] hacks at CNN & in the corporate-owned main-stream media fall all over themselves to suck-up to Queen Condi.

Despite the fact that Condi is an oil whore; liar; perjurer; and, traitorous thug-- they just love the photo-ops & they lap-up her mendacious neo-con corporate propaganda.

When will the American people wake-up to the fact that Condi:--

* Was the worst National Security Adviser in the history of that position-- letting 9/11 happen on her watch, because she was too busy to listen to warnings from the intelligence services & too busy to read PDBs & memos warning that Al Qaeda was planning to use airplanes to slam into buildings-- too busy watching football with the National Dolt, the Mad King George;

* Is the worst Secretary of State in our nation's history-- sullying the role-- as she is the laughing-stock of the diplomatic corps. Rice has absolutely no diplomatic skills; no accomplishments of note; staff at the State Dept. want-out because she is a neo-con corporate-owned puppet;

* Has a long sordid & squalid history of being an oil whore-- doing whatever Big Oil (Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Unocal, etc.) ask her to do.

Condi Rice committed perjury before Congress, and now is defying subpoenas because she could be impeached & put on trial for treason over her traitorous abuse of lies (e.g. bogus Niger Uranium Yellow-Cake forgeries; non-existent WMDs in Iraq; fabricated links between Saddam Hussein & Al Qaeda:-- none of which were reality) to mis-lead us into the neo-con Bushies' bloodbath in Iraq.

Also, Condi has committed treason by handing-over classified top-secret national security information to AIPAC traitors Rosen & Weissman who passed them onto Israel-- a heinous crime.

Finally, Condi is so madly in love with Georgey-boy Bush that she can't see straight. Clearly she is unfit to serve in any public capacity-- and she is a national disgrace.

Main-stream media toadies who refuse to expose Condi's crimes are collaborating in her defrauding of the American people.

Posted by: Hamburger | May 4 2007 9:18 utc | 1

Hmm - it now seems that Rice is following exactly the concept the Saudi king has demanded.

1. Talk with Syria and shun Iran to bring Syria "back into the fold."

2. Take care of the Israeli/Palestinian "problem"

Rice has done this now by sending a paper with "demands" to the Israeli government:

PMO: Israel can't commit to some of U.S. demands

The document sets a schedule for removing roadblocks and opening passages in the territories and upgrading the Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas. Israel is also urged to approve requests for weapons, munitions and equipment required by defense forces loyal to Abbas.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to arrive on May 15 to discuss implementing the plan.

Officials in the defense establishment object to several issues in the document, especially the demand to expand the operation of the passages in the Gaza Strip and the removal of many roadblocks in the West Bank.

I am not sure the Saudis are happy with "upgrading the Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas". They did bring along the Hamas/Abbas union governement and may will not be happy to see that spoiled again by more weapons for Abbas.

Anyway, the Israelis will take care that no real progress is made on the issue and send Rice home without any achievement. There is also a new Cheney trip planed to the region and he will certainly spoil any progress too.

Maybe Pelosi should travel to Iran to get some movement into the process.

Posted by: b | May 4 2007 13:41 utc | 2

via TPM - J.D. Crouch II is leaving his post as Deputy National Security Adviser.

Rightwing Web

Among the president's many advisers, Crouch has proved to be one of the staunchest supporters of the administration's hardline security and war on terror policies, including in the Middle East. This was underscored in early January 2007 when Bush unveiled his controversial new “surge” strategy for Iraq, which aimed to significantly boost the number of U.S. troops there. Crouch reportedly led the review team that produced the strategy. His support for these policies has won him praise from some of the more hardline right-wing political factions, including the neoconservatives.
In a spring 2005 article for the Middle East Report, commentator Jim Lobe wrote that Crouch's appointment under Hadley “constituted a net gain, if not for the neoconservatives, then certainly for their aggressive nationalist and Christian right partners.” According to Lobe, Crouch is a longtime nuclear enthusiast, a protégé of Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz (with whom he helped produce the 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance, widely regarded as an early formulation of Bush's post-9/11 policies), and a close associate of William Van Cleave, a leading Cold Warrior in the 1970s and 1980s whose record includes membership on the notorious Team B Strategic Objectives Panel and the U.S. delegation to the START talks.
So that's a loss for the Cheney team. Interesting coincidence with Rice's talks ...

Posted by: b | May 4 2007 14:11 utc | 3

Jim Lobe on Crouch leaving:

Slowly, Slowly, the Ship of State Turns Realist

The announcement of Crouch's departure was particularly remarkable given the widely reported -- and as yet unsuccessful -- search by his boss, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, for a so-called "war czar". This would be someone with sufficient stature and clout to ensure that White House directives on the conduct of the U.S. "war on terror", especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, are implemented so that Hadley himself, who colleagues say is already over-worked, can address himself to other problems. His deputy's imminent departure can only add to his burdens.
This leaves Cheney's office and the National Security Council (NSC), where neo-conservative Elliott Abrams, who reportedly encouraged Israel to attack Syria during the last summer's war with Hezbollah, rules over Middle East policy, as the last redoubt of the hawks.

I think Crouch was fired. He had an interview (NYT or WaPo) where he said he didn't know what new job he would do or was looking for. I find that very unusual if he left on his own will and timing, but I have no idea why he was fired.

Posted by: b | May 5 2007 15:02 utc | 4

Two months ago Badger thought the influence of Cheney and his people in the Middle East was declining. He called attention to several efforts by Cheney to thwart things Rice was trying to do there, including placing one of his people on her immediate staff.

I am no defender of Rice, but if she is in a struggle with Cheney for power it is no wonder she has seemed to be doing a strange dance in the diplomacy arena, both in the Middle East and in the Orient.

The specific occasion for Badger's entries was a conference held in Baghdad the weekend of March 10-11, I think. There were 16 nations represented, including Iran and Syria for the first time. There was to be a followup conference in Turkey.

Anyway, there was evidence Cheney was actively trying to thwart the conference in several ways, including preventing western media coverage.

Badger wrote 4 pieces beginning with Saturday, March 10, which was titled "Proliferation of conferences seen as a symptom of half-baked US policy."

The link I saved is probably to the last of the 4 entries. <>Missing Links

Posted by: Oregongal | May 12 2007 5:00 utc | 5

Correction on that link to Badger's articles about Cheney vs Rice. (duh, obviously it is in the archives for March)

Look for the entries for March 10 thru March 13. Badger's March Archive

Posted by: Oregongal | May 12 2007 5:20 utc | 6

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