Vision, Mission, and Strategy

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Daily Archives: April 12, 2007

Nancy Pelosi was interviewed on the Today Show. Click Here to view the video.

 Therein is the BIG Lie and Bush didn’t tell it. She was not following the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and what she said about what they recommended was taken out of context.

3. Dealing with Iran and Syria

Dealing with Iran and Syria is controversial. Nevertheless, it is our view that in diplomacy, a nation can and should engage its adversaries and enemies to try to resolve conflicts and differences consistent with its own interests. Accordingly, the Support Group should actively engage Iran and Syria in its diplomatic dialogue, without preconditions.

The Study Group recognizes that U.S. relationships with Iran and Syria involve difficult issues that must be resolved.

Diplomatic talks should be extensive and substantive, and they will require a balancing of interests. The United States has diplomatic, economic, and military disincentives available in


t h e i r aq study group report

approaches to both Iran and Syria. However, the United States should also consider incentives to try to engage them constructively, much as it did successfully with Libya.

Some of the possible incentives to Iran, Syria, or both include:

i. An Iraq that does not disintegrate and destabilize its neighbors and the region.

ii. The continuing role of the United States in preventing the Taliban from destabilizing Afghanistan.

iii. Accession to international organizations, including the World Trade Organization.

iv. Prospects for enhanced diplomatic relations with the United States.

v. The prospect of a U.S. policy that emphasizes political and economic reforms instead of (as Iran now perceives it) advocating regime change.

vi. Prospects for a real, complete, and secure peace to be negotiated between Israel and Syria, with U.S. involvement as part of a broader initiative on Arab-Israeli peace as outlined below.

RECOMMENDATION 9: Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic Offensive and the Support Group, the United States should engage directly with Iran and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging Syria and Iran, the


The Way Forward—A New Approach

United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results.

Source: Iraq Study Group Report; pp 50-51

It does not say go on a mission of appeasement. If Syria isn’t interested in working for their own interests diplomatically, appeasement is not an option. Also, if you watch the video, note that she doesn’t correct the reporter when she brings up the “alternative Democratic foreign policy” again later in the segment although Ms. Pelosi did say at one point that wasn’t what she did.

In addition, this was just one of 79 recommendations. Also document does not say anywhere that we should withdraw from Iraq. It does state that a precipitate withdrawal would be a disaster.  p.37

Given that it is 160 pages, I haven’t read the whole document myself, yet. However, another lie being told is that Bush isn’t looking at the recommendations in the document and he is… in his own stubbornly bumbling way which isn’t working too well right now.

Note: Never having used this thing to upload a file before, we’ll see if this one works out right. I uploaded the .pdf I’m reading: . If it doesn’t work the way I think it should, let me know and I can forward a copy by email.

On a number of blogs I’ve debated this issue with at least one Canadian and a number of U.S. citizens. The claim is that our policies are at fault for the “tide” of anti-Americanism while I have argued anti-Americanism is as old as America. I’ve also argued that nothing is going to change the attitudes towards Americans.

This Article highlights exactly what I’ve been saying:

Justin Webb
Thursday April 12, 2007
The Guardian

What is there not to like about the US? There are a number of possible answers, not all printable. But after weeks spent talking to anti-Americans in Paris, Cairo and Caracas, I am more convinced than ever that the anti-American mindset is often just that: a mindset, a prejudice. It is not racism – America has no racial profile to be hated – but nor is it simply a reaction to events and policies.

There are those who argue that their hatred of America is caused by American actions – as a Cairo professor put it: “It’s the policies, stupid!” This way of thinking puts support of Israel at the top of a list of actions that ends with almost everything George Bush has said or done. But Bush, to me, is an enabler of anti-Americanism, not a creator.This creed is not reactive, it is visceral. Why else would English friends with impeccable anti-racist credentials ask about our children (who grew up in the US) “How will you get rid of their accents.” Well, why would we want to?

It is a historical fact that anti-Americanism predates the US. It was not invented in reaction to the Monroe Doctrine or the use of marines to pacify Latin America or McDonald’s or Hollywood or Bush. It was invented by European biologists who wrote of the New World, shortly after it had been discovered, that nothing good could come of it. It was ghastly. It stank. One cultured scientist, the Dutchman Cornelius de Pauw, put it thus: “Everything found there is degenerate or monstrous.” A lot has happened since then, but some people have not noticed, or do not want to.

The French writer Bernard Henri Lévy points out that the impetus for much of the European disdain for the US came from the right; from “a fascist tendency in French thought based on fear and hatred of democracy”. Part of that hatred lives on in our friends’ question about our children’s accents: it is a deeply held belief among Europeans that US democracy leads to a coarsening of culture. They think our children sound crass. It does not matter how many Nobel laureates live in the US, or how many novelists or musicians; in the end, the taste America leaves in the mouth is of hamburger, not foie gras.

John Bolton looks to me like a hamburger man. The least diplomatic of any recent American diplomat, Bolton, lately of the UN, is the living embodiment of what anti-Americans mean when they say “It’s the policies, stupid!”. When Bolton growls that “the legitimacy of the US comes from ourselves, we do not require any external validation”, you can feel the anti-Americans of the world unite and punch the air with delight; they have their cause and, lo, it is reasonable.

So Hubert Védrine, the former French foreign minister, tells me with a sigh that “the Americans are a colonising people with a mission to convert the world”. They have forgotten the lessons of history, he says, and it is Europe’s job to remind them. I asked John Bolton to comment on this lofty French vision. “Good luck,” he chuckled.

It is, of course, perfectly reasonable to disagree with Bolton. It’s perverse to argue – as some US commentators have – that anti-Americanism is always illegitimate. After all, plenty of Americans dislike Bolton with the same passion. It is also possible to exaggerate the extent of anti-Americanism. Living in the US for the past five years, I assumed the rest of the world was seething with passionate resentment at the way it’s been treated.

But from a battle-scarred member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, just out of prison and expecting to go back any day, we heard only polite disdain. He had no interest in America he said, but he did not have any desire to see it destroyed. Of course there are those who would slaughter all Americans, but our interviews suggest that the US needs to be a little more discriminating when judging who its real enemies are.

The Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington has written that “America is not a lie, it is a disappointment”. In other words, the promise of the place is real, even though the reality of American action is often depressingly flawed. The US is a project in which the world has a stake; we outsiders created it and we ought to nurture it, not tear it down.

While I brought the whole article here, I recommend you read the accompanying comments to the article. There’s a lot of denial there because people do not know their history.

This colonies were founded through royal land grants and groups looking for religious freedom. It was built largely upon the back of Irish and Scottish slave labor, as well as Africans, that is often denied in our own history books. While we deny it, Europe remembers it and any attempts to change that attitude are going to fail.  It’s like the carrot on the stick in front of the donkey… they keep holding it out and some in our country keep moving towards it on promises that will never materialize in reality. We will never be “accepted” by Europe or anywhere else for that matter. So, why do we keep trying?

April 2007


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