Friday, April 06, 2007

Washington Post Criticizes Pelosi for Going to Syria

That's bad.

I notice you right wingers were silent when some Republican Congressmen--Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Robert Aderholt--went there the week prior to Pelosi.

Now, Pelosi getting Israel's official position wrong was bad, you're right. It's not as bad as getting, say, WMDs in Iraq wrong, the war will only cost $2 billion wrong, the war won't go past six months wrong, but it's still pretty bad.

Pelosi made a fool of herself. As she should have. It was a political move to go there, designed to embarass the President. However, the point she raises, no matter how insincere she was in making it, is still a valid one: why isn't the President engaging more key players in the region, even if it's not through official diplomatic channels.

It's fine to take a moral stance against Syria, Iran, etc., but the fact is that the US has always been in contact with these countries through back-door channels. The Bush administratio has, for the most part, closed those back doors. Why?

There are reports, substantiated by journalists and "no-commented" by the administration (i.e. tacitly confirmed), that after the fall of Iraq, Iran offered what the US is currently asking them for: get rid of its nuclear program and cease interference in Iraq. In exchanged, they asked for an assurance that the US wouldn't invade. The Bush administration wouldn't even deal with them. Now that Iran is knee-deep in nukes and Iraq, the US is basically pleading for the same deal back on the table. Had the administratio been more engaging, we would already have it. And I know there's the argument that Iran wouldn't have kept up their end of the bargain, but if that's true, why does the administration want the same deal now?

You can't say it's a moral stance against countries that harbor or sponsor terrorists. Pakistan harbors more terrorists than Syria or Iran, and Saudi Arabia sponsors their fair share of terrorists. Yet we engage them. Why not Iran or Syria?

These are all of the issues that we should be thinking about, not some tactic by Pelosi to make the President look bad. But if you insist on talking about the meaningless rather than the issues, you should at least attempt to apply your god-sword of condemnation on fellow Republicans when they do the same things for which you're criticizing the Dems.
Hwang, while you give some good critiques of current foreign policy and strategies, the overall point remains. Legislators shouldn't be engaging in foreign policy. If they want to go to Syria on fact-findings that's fine.

Legislators should stay away if requested to do so by the executive branch in power. No matter what party is in power at the time. And especially someone as senior as the Speaker.
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