Friday, August 19, 2005

Hagel sucks up to the Mullahs, Specter sucks up to Chavez.

Politics: Between these two living bowls of jelly, is it any wonder we can't make any headway?

FT: " In a letter to Mr Rumsfeld, Mr Specter noted the defence secretary's comments about Mr Chávez. “I suggest it may be very helpful to US efforts to secure Venezuela's co-operation in our joint attack on drug interdiction if the rhetoric would be reduced,” he wrote. Mr Specter said his meeting had led to an agreement between the US ambassador and Venezuela's interior minister to meet early next week to try to resolve the dispute over the DEA. A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment about Mr Specter's letter. “I'm sure the secretary will respond directly to Senator Specter,” he said."
The response will be a nice but clear rebuttal that Specter is wrong to trust the Mugabe loving Chavez on any level because he is not going to do anything that will not be in his interests. The response should be tellin Specter to shut the hell up and stay out of issues you have no understanding about. Hagel tries so hard to be middle ground he heads up looking like a coward.
Reuters: "In an interview with Reuters during a trip across his home state on Wednesday, Hagel said the United States should greet the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a bold diplomatic stroke. "You've got a new president, a new opportunity to do something bold here. Why not take that opportunity and do something bold? Iran is going to be a major influence in the future of Iraq. It already is. Who are we kidding when we think that they're not? They are. "I would start engaging with American face-to-face dialogue. We're not at negotiations yet, but opening that dialogue. This is a process. This needs to work. Every side has to give something here," said Hagel, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is seen as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2008. ....Hagel's response to that implied threat was completely dismissive. "Quite frankly, what is the military option, what are we talking about here? We lose credibility in the face of the world when we say things like, 'Well just don't forget what happened to Iraq could happen to you Iran. We could invade you, we could bomb you.' "Oh come on now. First of all, where are we going to get the troops? Who's going to go with us? Where are our partners going to be with Iran?" The United States has been working through its allies, France, Britain and Germany, in an effort to persuade the Iranians to freeze their nuclear program. This week, the Iranians resumed operations at their uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Hagel, who has also been highly critical of the Bush administration's Iraq policy and would like to see Washington end its embargo of Cuba, said the current policy of working through surrogates made no sense. "I don't understand how we think we're going to make progress by staying on the outside using surrogates, our allies France, Britain and Germany, to go to the table and work with them while stand back and don't want to get our hands dirty," he said. "You need to move towards something and what are we moving towards here? I don't see where we're moving towards anything. In fact, I think we're eroding a base of strength that we still have here. We have got to get inside this thing, because this is a very dangerous problem," Hagel said. "I think we're actually losing altitude, I think we're actually making it more dangerous."

But in a speech in Tokyo, Japan 2002:

Senator Calls for Multilateral Approach in Dealing with Mideast U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (Republican from Nebraska) said the Middle East has moved "from periphery to center" in the U.S. foreign policy strategy and called on U.S. leaders to develop "a fabric of global alliances and coalitions" to deal with the region. "America can no longer hover 'over the horizon' to defend and promote its interests in the Middle East. America must work through a multilateral, long-term coalition," said Hagel, speaking to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations December 16. The Chicago Council is one of the main foreign policy forums in the midwestern United States. Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently returned from a visit to Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, and Northern Iraq with the committee's outgoing chairman Senator Joseph Biden (Democrat from Delaware). Hagel drew his audience's attention to a new generation of reformers and activists in the region, especially in Iran, who "wage an uphill daily struggle for freedom, human rights, and open societies" against "authoritarian regimes and deadening bureaucracies."
I guess he doesn't like the multilateral coalition given our backing of Europe in talks against Iran. Hagel wants to have America talk to Iran but undercut anything of substance we can use to come from a position of strength. What he wants is America to cater to the demands of Iran and Cuba. This is bold diplomacy along the lines of Neville Chamberlain. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't seem the type to go along with Hagellain's sucking up plan.
When he became mayor of Tehran, the former revolutionary guard curtailed many of the reforms put in place by the moderates who had run the city before him. Iran's outgoing reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, barred Mr Ahmadinejad from attending cabinet meetings, a privilege normally accorded to mayors of the capital. The mayor shut down fast-food restaurants and required male city employees to have beards and long sleeves. And he took down an advertising campaign showing UK footballer David Beckham - the first Western celebrity used to promote a product in the country since the revolution. ....He has been cautious about re-establishing formal ties with the US, which were broken in 1979. "America's unilateral move to sever ties with the Islamic Republic was aimed at destroying the Islamic revolution... America was free to sever its ties with Iran, but it remains Iran's decision to re-establish relations with America."
Knock yourself out there Hagellain. I'm sure he will treat your and your proposal the same way they treated the EU-3.

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