I generally do try to ignore Imbëar, but out of my great respect for Talan, I’ll respond.
1. THAT BEAM IN THE EYE, AGAIN
I’ll address the charges in the Washington Post editorial that criticized Pelosi’s trip to Syria shortly, but first this:
quote: Are you Liberals and Leftists so excited about the idea of Pelosi that you'll grant her a free pass to make false statements (lie) and establish Democratic alliances with a Terrorist-supporting Nation?
This is why I generally ignore Imbëar. In a very short post that attempts to make only two quick points, he manages to bollocks one of them up so badly that it’s basically incomprehensible. “Democratic alliances”? As far as I know, absolutely no one is accusing Pelosi of making “Democratic alliances” with Syria, whatever that means. It’s just a pathetic attempt to paint Democrats as terrorist lovers, though there isn’t a shred of evidence to support this. Complete bullsh í t. In any case, various Republicans also visited Syria before Pelosi’s trip, as part of Pelosi’s trip, and another is visiting after Pelosi’s trip. What were they doing – making “Republican alliances”? Imbëar is fond of calling me a liar; well, I’m calling him one. Show me any evidence that supports this statement about Pelosi making “Democratic alliances” with Syria. You can't - because it's blarney.
2. SELECTIVE OUTRAGE
Talan says or implies that we would all be outraged if this trip had been made by a Republican Speaker of the House. I’ll turn that on its head: if Pelosi’s critics view this trip as so outrageous, were they also outraged that three Republican Congressmen visited Assad shortly before Pelosi did, in cooperation with the Bush administration, here. Are they offended that there was a Republican delegation in Damascus at the same time Pelosi was there, here ? Are they scandalized that another Republican, Darrell Issa, is visiting with Assad now? Are they objecting to the fact that Republican Rep. David Hobson accompanied Pelosi on her trip?
More: did these Pelosi critics object when then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (who, amazingly, is criticizing Pelosi for her trip, saying that saying that such defiance of the White House by Congressional leaders was "very dangerous"), visited China in 1997, at a time of extreme diplomatic tension with respect to the Taiwan issue, and announced publicly that he had warned China's top leaders that the United States would intervene militarily if Taiwan was attacked? Thus causing China to object that the U.S. should “speak with one voice on foreign policy” and to accuse Gingrich of making ''improper'' statements? Here . Did they think it was insanely wrong and irresponsible when in 1998 Gingrich led a Congressional delegation to Israel and openly denounced the White House's Middle East policies and made public comments in direct defiance of the White House and described then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as an "agent for the Palestinians"? Here.
Talk about selective outrage. I don’t concede that Pelosi did anything wrong here, but if she did, then the Republicans who also visited with Assad made one as well, and Gingrich practically committed treason.
3. WHO’S LYING?
Imbëar says that the Washinton Post editorial shows that Pelosi is lying about her trip. Read the actual editorial. It recites that Pelosi says that “she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that ‘Israel was ready to engage in peace talks’ with Syria, while Olmert says that ‘What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel’.
Pelosi denies that she told Assad anything that Olmert didn’t approve. So either Pelosi or Olmert is lying. Republicans naturally want to believe that it’s Pelosi, but I see no reason to assume that. IMO, it’s more likely Olmert.
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly pointed out that Pelosi was briefed by State Department officials before her meetings with the foreign leaders and that State Department officials also attended her meetings. So if Pelosi really committed foreign policy flubs of the first order, the State Department is in a position to confirm as much. The White House received a read-out of what exactly Pelosi and the foreign leaders said in their meetings. Significantly, the White House has not openly accused Pelosi of the foreign-policy missteps the Post had accused her of. Indeed, despite President Bush’s claim that Pelosi's trip sent "mixed signals," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said during his briefing today, "I don't think (the trip) necessarily complicates anything that we’re doing."Here. And the Republican representative who accompanied Pelosi confirmed that Pelosi "urged Assad to curb the number of suicide bombers who cross the Syrian border into Iraq to 'murder our troops and the Iraqi people'."
Why would Olmert lie? Because the Bush administration had previously ordered Israel not to have any talks with Syria, and presumably the Whote House reminded Olmert of that fact after Pelosi’s trip, which was an embarrassment to Bush because it was an actual attempt to accomplish something positive in the Middle East – which Bush has over 6 years utterly failed to do.
4. SHOULD THE U.S. AND ISRAEL ENGAGE WITH SYRIA?
As for whether engaging with Syria is a good idea:
1. The bipartisan, establishment Iraq Survey Group recommended it.
2. A huge majority (64% - 28%) of Americans believe that it is a good idea. Here.
3. The Israeli Foreign Ministry and many within the Israeli defense establishment, including Defense Minister Amir Peretz, support it. Haaretz, here.
4. Frickin' Common sense recommends it.
Bush’s “policy” with respect to Syria – obviously a hugely important player in Middle East politics – is to say bad things about it and otherwise ignore it. Great.
So excuse me if I don’t buy into the whole Republican talking point that Pelosi committed some crime here.
[ 04-08-2007, 09:48 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]
From: My place | Registered: Jan 2002
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I can answer your questions quite simply. I believe this is part of the Logan Act:
quote:§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments. Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects. 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).
Wandering Tuor, we can argue about the legality of Pelosi's actions - but the prime stupidity of her actions is plain for all to see. Her political maneuvering undercuts the authority of the President, whether or not you like the President.
It boils down to this: She has no authority to conduct foreign relations. _____________________________________________________
The three Republicans who went to Syria did so with the approval of the White House. They were authorized to act within a certain capacity and to avoid certain other capacities.
Pull up your pants, WT. That tucked tail of yours is showing.
Show me where Pelosi made "Democratic alliances", as you claimed. You can't. Which means you lied.
Address what Republicans are doing now, and what Gingrich did in the past. You can't.
Address the fact that the White House isn't claiming that Pelosi did anything wrong other than "send mixed signals", which - guess what - isn't a crime. You can't.
She wasn't "conducting foreign relations" - whatever that means. She relayed a message to a foreign head of state - something which numerous members of Congress have done for the past 200 years. Read up on American history, bub.
quote:The three Republicans who went to Syria did so with the approval of the White House.
The White House stated publicly that it was wrong for Congresssmen of either party to visit Syria. It simply chose to criticize only Pelosi for purely political reasons. In any case, a State Dept. representative briefed Pelosi before the trip and accompanied her to the meeting with Assad. And as I noted, the State Dept. admits that Pelosi didn't adversely affect State Dept. operations. Nice try.
quote:That tucked tail of yours is showing.
Ooh, another accusation of cowardice. How mature. And your bravery is shown how, exactly? By posting barely comprehensible chickenhawk posts on message boards and cheerleading for wars that other people will fight? Are we supposed to be impressed by that?
[ 04-08-2007, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]
From: My place | Registered: Jan 2002
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quote:Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), who traveled last week with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as part of her delegation to the Middle East, said this morning on C-Span that Pelosi told Bush of the trip to Syria a day before they left, and Bush did not object.
quote:Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, who visited Syria last year, defended Pelosi’s trip. “I believe in the maxim, hold your friends close and your enemies closer,” Specter said. “President Ronald Reagan declared the Soviet Union to be the Evil Empire. Immediately thereafter he undertook negotiations with them.” Specter said he has been to Syria 14 times over the last two decades “and have been able to be helpful in a number of situations that I can document.”
And nothing new, Imbear, that you haven't noticed that WT has completely refuted your points; you've offered no counters except to say that someone did something "stupid" (a personal opinion also countered by WT); you criticize Democrats for doing X, yet when Republicans do X, you look the other way; and you have no idea what the Logan Act really means.
From: Meridian ID | Registered: Dec 2001
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Wow! Surprise, surprise! Here's Bombadil swooping in to support Wandering Tuor! Whooda guessed it??? Good thing this ain't a popularity contest.
But you're right, B - I only know about the Logan Act from what I've read of it in regard to this latest Democratic blunder. I wouldn't have even known where to look had it not been for a post on another messageboard. Perhaps you could enlighten me? The Logan Act was the topic of your thesis in college, right? ____________________________________________
You Libs would rather win back-pats from one another than face facts.
You'd rather hurl insults than accept dangerous truths about your Party.
I can hardly be accused of "looking the other way."
Athene, how often do I do that? Seldom do I gratuitously heap replies to Grimwulf's posts. Moreover, Grim and Neytari are so roundly thugged by Wandering Tuor and his Lefty Troop that I'm surprised you've been able to catch sight of my posts of encouragement at all.
If my actions are no different in nature, at least grant me they are different in volume.
Wandering Tuor, I have no objection to using some mild language against you. So what?
quote: I do so sparingly for fear that my comments will be seen as partisan dog-piling
Well, we've all done the tag team thing when someone we agree with is on good form. It's only natural. I've done it myself, although it makes me ashamed of myself when I do because it smells slightly like bullying. But it's easily understandable and it happens on both sides of the debate.
From: Hades, UK | Registered: Mar 2003
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Pelosi's a chump and a lightweight anyway. She'll get devoured by her own kind before too long. The fact that she made this junket points to several things: that the Democrats' foreign policy is still malformed and/or in complete disarray, and has been since the late 90s; that they still lack credibile heavy-hitters in foreign policy and diplomacy; those from the past (Holbrooke, Albright, Brzezinski, etc.) are not willing to put themselves on the line to support a Democratic foriegn policy agenda -- at least publicly.
And unless there's a massive wave of isolationism sweeping the country in the ramp up to the 2008 election, foreign policy incompetence will continute to be the Democrats' achilles heel. They just don't have it together in that regard.
One should bear in mind that diplomacy has its own subterfuges. I can see it being to our advantage that Syria sees foreign policy as an extension of domestic U.S. politics riven by partisanship. Makes us look weaker.
In other words, the brou-ha from the GOP over Pelosi's trip is a ruse. While it does seem slightly beyond the grasp of the Administration, there are some very crafty people behind the scenes.
It could also be an instrument to galvanaize the GOP electorate now that the party is licking its wounds from the mid-terms and that the Presidential campaign is underway. That's what I'm leaning toward.
But sh*t, nothing is ever what it seems inside the Beltway.