Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pass It On

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Assad to Pelosi:"I'm glad Jimmy Carter sent you, but next time don't forget the head scarf. On reflection, a burkha would look even better and more appropriate on you."

At some time in our life we have all played the game, “Pass It On.” Sometimes it wasn’t a game, but a real life event called “gossip.” Norman Rockwell did a marvelous Saturday Evening Post cover that illustrated a message being passed, and finally getting back to its originator in a totally unrecognizable and thoroughly embarrassing form.

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In school someone would write down a simple sentence and whisper it to another student, and the message would pass student to student around the classroom until the last one in the chain recorded the message received, and then compared it to the original. Invariably it was hilariously transformed into something nonsensical.

“Pass It On” has also been used in management classes and seminars to illustrate the importance of clear communications – and why you shouldn’t trust the “grapevine” to do the job effectively.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has just provided another example of how “pass it on” communications are fraught with peril, and she was able to muck it up completely even though she was the only communicating link in the chain.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that "although Israel is interested in peace with Syria, that country continues to be part of the Axis of Evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East."

Mr. Olmert then went on to repeat exactly the same conditions for peace with Syria that Israeli governments have stipulated over and over for many years: Syria’s willingness to "cease its support of terror, cease its sponsoring of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, refrain from providing weapons to Hizbullah and bringing about the destabilizing of Lebanon, cease its support of terror in Iraq, and relinquish the strategic ties it is building with the extremist regime in Iran."

However, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that "Israel was ready to engage in peace talks" with Syria.

But Olmert’s statement said he had not communicated to Pelosi any change in Israeli policy on Damascus.

The Washington Post, almost as stalwart a mouthpiece for the Democrats as the San Francisco Chronicle (“All Pelosi, all the time”) and the Los Angeles Times, included the following in an April 5, 2007 editorial, “Pratfall in Damascus - Nancy Pelosi's foolish shuttle diplomacy.”

"We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace, Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.

Never mind that that statement is ludicrous: As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri. The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president.

Again, for those with short memories, a gentle reminder that the above statements are from a Washington Post editorial. The Washington Post is, and has always been, a key component of the vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.

Ms. Pelosi, in her erroneous overtures to Syria, is taking the heat off Mr. Assad for the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri.

Ms Pelosi has also unfairly put heat on Mr. Olmert and Israel to make concessions to Mr. Assad and Syria to revive a peace process that Syria has done everything possible to subvert.

Ms Pelosi received the blessing of Jimmy Carter for her efforts, thereby completing the Foreign Policy Foul Up trifecta.

If she could have in some way revived the ghost of Arafat in her “negotiations,” she would have achieved classic Democrat Four Blunder Diplomacy, something that only Jimmy Carter himself accomplished.

Many times.

As it is, she has reinforced the copyrights the Democrats have on “foolish” and “amateurish” to describe their foreign policy initiatives.

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