Tuesday, May 27, 2008

GOP Hypocrites: Part 347,595

There was a fun brouhaha earlier this month when President Bush indirectly set off a debate over U.S. foreign policy by ranting about the 'appeasement' policies of his political opponents while delivering what was supposed to be an apolitical address to the Israeli government. This lead to back-and-forths between the Obama and McCain camps and lots of mindless chatter on cable news, the highlight of which was Chris Matthews asking a right-wing blowhard to historically justify his rambling, at which point the guy admitted he was a moron. Good times.

And just a few days later, Israel themselves went all 'appeaser' on us. Tsk-
After eight years of stalemate and periodic tension, Israel and Syria announced Wednesday that they have launched "serious and continuous" indirect peace talks aimed at ending one of the region's longest-running disputes.

In similar statements issued from Damascus and Jerusalem, the rival neighbors said that they are taking part in indirect negotiations with Turkish diplomats serving as mediators. "The two sides stated their intention to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind," according to the statement from Prime Minister Olmert's office. "They decided to pursue the dialogue between them in a serious and continuous way, in order to achieve the goal of comprehensive peace."

If successful, the talks could lead to a broader shift in regional dynamics by returning the Golan Heights to Syria, cutting off critical support for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, and diminishing the influence of Iran in the region...

With no hint of irony at this news of developing diplomacy between the warring nations, the National Review's Andrew Stuttaford wrote "There's a long, long way to go, of course, and the chances of success are slim, but this is an encouraging development nonetheless."

Remember, proposing diplomacy with enemies is only good when a Democrat isn't involved.

Meanwhile, Time magazine's Joe Klein took Senator McCain to task for his false and misleading rhetoric about Senator Obama's proposed talks with Iranian leaders. He wrote-
On Friday, I promised to check into whether Obama had ever said that he would negotiate--specifically, by name -- with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Indeed, according to the crack Time Magazine research department and the Obama campaign, he never has. He did say that he would negotiate with the Iranian leadership -- but, on matters of foreign policy and Iran's nuclear program, the guy in charge is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. As of today, John McCain was still accusing Obama of wanting to negotiate with Ahmadinejad. Why doesn't the McCain campaign and other assorted Republicans ever accuse Obama of wanting to negotiate with Khamenei? Well, because Khamenei isn't quite the flagrant anti-Semite Ahmadinejad is...and, as we keep hearing, Obama has a Jewish problem.

And sewing that narrative is really what this is all about for the GOP.

When Klein questioned McCain about this, McCain replied: "Oh I thin- Again, I respectfully disagree... I mean, the fact is he's the acknowledged leader of that country and you may disagree, but that's a uh, that's your right to do so, but I think if you asked any average American who the leader of Iran is, I think they'd know. Go ahead."

So, basically, he doesn't defend himself factually against Klein's accurate correction, he just says 'hey the average American thinks Ahmadinejad controls foreign policy, so we'll pretend it's true'. Let's ignore that a) the average American can't find Iran on a map, let alone name any of its leaders, b) the average Americans believe a ridiculous amount of inaccurate and dumb stuff, and c) the job of a good leader is to educate citizens on the facts of these issues.

And this is the guy who's running on his 'strength' in foreign policy matters. Lord help us.

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