Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fake Diplomacy by Bush Administration or Just More Incompetence?

President Bush may play the clown at places like the G8 summit but Condi Rice is supposedly the one who has a serious handle on foreign policy. Here's the story from Reuters:

Speaking to reporters on Sunday as she flew to the region, Rice said her focus would also be to ease the humanitarian crisis after nearly two weeks of fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Israeli forces.

"It is very important to establish conditions under which a ceasefire can take place. We believe that a ceasefire is urgent. It is important to have conditions that will make it also sustainable," said Rice before a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland.

If a ceasefire is urgent, then why has Condi Rice been looking the other way for the last week? Is this serious diplomacy or just a new brand of Bush Administration posturing? One thing Rice's actions have not been is urgent.

And if a ceasefire is urgent, then what exactly is meant by conditions for that ceasefire? This is not the first time Condi Rice has spoken out of both sides of her mouth in the last five years. It is not an auspicious beginning to an important diplomatic mission whose first goal must be to keep events from spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, it is not certain what the goal is of the Bush Administration. Let's review. Bush is doing nothing to restore his credibility. Condi Rice is not bringing in the diplomatic reserves when it's clear she has a lot on her plate and needs help. The Republicans in Congress continue to sit on their hands. And nobody knows what Dick Cheney is doing.


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