(Love the illusory quality of this photo by DanielHKC. The endless-seeming series of doors is perfect imagery.)
Vice Presidential daughter Liz Cheney has an op-ed in the WaPo today, continuing her daddy's vendetta against Nancy Pelosi and, by extension, anyone who wishes to contradict his approach to foreign policy. From the Cheney op-ed:
It is time to face facts. Talking to the Syrians emboldens and rewards them at the expense of America and our allies in the Middle East. It hasn't and won't change their behavior. They are an outlaw regime and should be isolated. Members of Congress and State Department officials should stop visiting Damascus. Arab leaders should stop receiving Bashar al-Assad. The U.N. Security Council should adopt a Chapter VII resolution mandating the establishment of an international tribunal for the Hariri murder.
As Jane pointed out yesterday, there are a whole host of reasons that Dick Cheney, Elliot Abrams and their malignant little bunch of neocon political hack compadres want everyone to rip into Nancy Pelosi…but it has absolutely nothing to do with the efficacy or lack thereof of diplomacy and, instead, goes to the heart of propping up Dick Cheney's vision of the world and his power base in the Bush White House. Nice of his own daughter to give him an assist today (with the help of the WaPo, where she has become quite the regular op-ed contributor of late), isn't it? Especially since daddy got her placement at the Middle East desk in the State Department as his personal eyes and ears. Nothing like having a daughter-on-the-spot to keep the diplomats in line, I always say. Among the Cheney clan, it's nepotism-R-us, as usual.
Djerejian recounts four separate trips he took up to 2005 setting up communications between the State Department and Damascus, which led to the recent visit of Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey to see President Assad. Baker and Djerejian want to keep the White House focused on the war against Islamicist jihadis like al Qaeda, but it's an uphill struggle.
Counterterrorism officials are already struggling to keep Bush administration officials focused on al Qaeda, which they see as America's immediate mortal threat. Going after Syria full bore holds little attraction for them, especially considering the regime's past collaboration against al Qaeda.
But like a house with a new coat of paint, appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to Damascus. Djerejian, who spent many years in the thick of Middle East intrigue, says he wouldn't be surprised if the CIA is still playing footsie with the Syrians. "But to be honest with you, I don't really know — and let me be clear on that," he said. "But I wouldn't be surprised, because it's too damned important."
"It's goddam important," he repeated. "I think it serves our national security interests, if those relations could be maintained." The Syrians, he said, "have a lot of information [about al Qaeda]."
Which brings us to an obvious point. While the Neocon attack dogs have taken on Pelosi, she's hardly the real target. The crew they want to intimidate and silence are James Baker, Edward Djerejian and the residual reality-based community in the Department of State. (emphasis mine)
While the internal struggle continues between the self-styled realists and the self-styled "reality makers," the rest of us are having to deal with picking up all those dropped pieces. And the cost of this? Why don't we ask the Afghans and the Iraqis, including the deceased members of the Iraqi Parliament killed by a bomb in the Parliament building today, well within the supposedly secure Green Zone? As well as the families of all of our folks in uniform? Or our servicemembers themselves, including the folks in the Army who just had their tours of duty in a combat zone extended yesterday?
All this finger-pointing at Nancy Pelosi is just so much more deflection from the failures of George Bush. And allowing The current President Bush and his cronies a backdoor means to continue their fight against Daddy Bush and his foreign policy pals is just further enabling the continued idiocy. Isn't it well past time that we shined the spotlight on all of the many folks who caused all this failure in the first place?
Less deflection, more change. And a whole lot of disinfecting sunshine. Why don't we start by aiming a whole batch of it toward Dick Cheney's still festering intel chop shop and shadow national security apparatus at the Veep's office? Now there is an area well worthy of some serious oversight. Phase II intelligence report, anyone? Anyone??!!??
UPDATE: Comment of the morning from Louise Desjardins:
Have we done this sort of thing before? Send a daughter out to write an op ed? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did her father send her on assignment?
Mwahahahaha. Well done, Louise! (And, as an aside, are you by any chance related to my pal Steven?)