Buy WILLisms

XML Feed

Featured Entries

The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM

Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM

Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM

Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM

Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM

Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM

Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM

The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM

From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM

Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM

Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM

Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM

Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM

Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM



Blogroll Me!



July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004

Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008

Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008

The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006

Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008

Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007

Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006

A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006


Powered by Movable Type 3.17
Site Design by Sekimori

WILLisms.com June 2008 Book of the Month (certified classy):

The WILLisms.com Gift Shop: Support This Site


This Week's Carnival of Revolutions: carnivalbutton.gif

Carnival Home Base: homebase.gif


« Quote Of The Day | WILLisms.com | The Gaza Coup And Magical Thinking »

Syrian Dog-And-Pony Show

One of the alleged 'faults' of the Bush administration is a lack of dialogue with our enemies, in particular Syria. What Bush's detractors don't understand is how pointless and unproductive such diplomacy really is, as Damascus Nancy Pelosi found to her chagrin earlier this year.

Had Pelosi done her homework (as she clearly had not, she was in way over her head) she would have realized that for generations now, Syria under Hafez Assad, and now under his son Bahsar Assad, has offered nothing but the official Ba'ath party line. The Syrians are so rigid in this doctrine, that they cling to it even when properly gaming the situation to their benefit dictates another course of action. For example, Nancy Pelosi bumbled her way into Damascus in an effort to jump start negotiations that Bush had allegedly neglected. Had the Syrians properly rewarded Pelosi with some small gesture - even, say, releasing some political prisoners or agreeing on paper to beef up their border security with Iraq - the Syrians could have caused a split in American diplomatic authority and gravely embarassed Bush. But they passed, because the Syrians are woefully unimaginative on such matters, and their entire focus is on Lebanon and how many Syrian opponents they can blow up. They know no other way, and nuance is not their strong suit.

As Anton Efendi makes clear, in reference to Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema's recent meaningless diplomacy with Syria:

Let's see: The British Nigel Scheinwald went and got nothing, then the German FM Frank Walter Steinmeier went and got nothing. They were then followed by Sen. Bill Nelson who got absolutely nothing. Actually check that: he got, in his words, "the usual dog-and-pony show" and "the standard party line." Then the EU's Javier Solana was sent on behalf of the EU, and guess what? He got nothing. The Saudis got nothing and since the Riyadh summit (where they told Bashar what was expected of him in no uncertain terms) they have not had any contact with the Syrians. The Egyptians got nothing. The Arab League's Amr Moussa got nothing. And so on and so forth.

Some will say, we should just talk anyway. What can it hurt?

It makes a mockery of diplomacy. It marks diplomacy as an empty gesture, talking for talking's sake, a way to keep the Harvard intenational relations grads busy. Both sides have to want to achieve something via diplomacy, and both sides must make an effort to at least put forth an image of doing so in good faith. Syria is so contemptuous of diplomacy, they don't even know how to take advantage of it to their own benefit.

To talk to such people just trivializes diplomacy. If the Syrians really want something from us, they know where to find us.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 14 June 2007 09:54 PM