America the Schizophrenic

Posted: April 13, 2007 by April Watkins in Current Events, Issues, Our Government, Politics, War on Terror
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This past week America should have winced as the world witnessed the schizophrenia of our political machines while they bungled American foreign policy.  Apparently, no one is in charge.  The Bush Administration has chosen to play the “let’s get along” card too many times, failing to control Congress and its fringe factions.  This has set the stage for the embarrassing diplomatic attempt of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who stepped out of line and usurped the Administration’s authority and constitutional responsibility of stewarding foreign policy.    

Her unauthorized meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was unsuccessful on many fronts: 

  • First, it was inappropriate.  As Speaker of the House, which places her third in succession to the U.S. Presidency, Pelosi’s mere presence conferred an inconsistent message to Syria, Israel, and the world on America’s foreign policy in regard to the Middle East. 
  • Secondly, she was unprepared and naïve in her understanding of diplomatic channels in dealing with the intricate balance of Middle Eastern relationships.  It is important to remember that Syria has been chastised by the UN for their invasion and interference in Lebanon, as well as being named by the US State Department, CIA and Department of Defense (DOD) as a supporter of international terrorism. 
  • Thirdly, and perhaps most embarrassing, was her audacity to assume the privilege of speaking on behalf of Israel, claiming that Israel was ready to entertain peace talks with Syria.  Pelosi’s statements were immediately refuted by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. 

In the idealistic vision of achieving results through global compassion and good will, Speaker Pelosi, most Democrats, and some Republicans have completely failed to recognize the cultural abyss between the Eastern world and that of the West.  Unlike the West, the Eastern world is not driven by economic advancement of its citizenry or the subsequent self-realization of the value of human rights.  The Middle East has a long and continuous history of unrest caused primarily by religious conflict.  The critical issue is intolerance…intolerance within the Muslim world of, not only Jews, Christians and other religions, but also between the varying sects of Islam.  This intolerance and disdain hangs as a shroud over any diplomatic discussions or attempts at reconciliation.  

Seasoned diplomats have long struggled to find the threads with which to weave even a temporary peace in this tumultuous region.  For the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to attempt a simplistic negotiation is an affront to ongoing diplomatic efforts by the US and our allies.  It also provides more fodder for the world’s wagging tongues that Americans are indeed arrogant.  Moreover, it shows our enemies that we are not united in our commitment to fight terror…and that is Why It Matters.


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