Friday, April 06, 2007

Another Letter That Won't Get Published

Another in my irregular series of letters to the editor that I send to the SF Chronicle and that they duly ignore:

Editor --

The recent outpouring of shrill Republican cries denouncing Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent trip to Syria perfectly illustrates two things: The rampant hypocrisy of Bush supporters, and the complete bankruptcy of the failed Bush administration foreign policy vision, pushed by the neocons in the president's inner circle. There was nothing treasonous or even out of line with Ms. Pelosi meeting with Syrian president Bashar Assad. American members of Congress meet with foreign heads of state all the time. Those same people screaming that it was a betrayal of America were strangely silent when similar meetings, both before and after Pelosi's trip, were undertaken by Republican Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-VA), Robert Aderholt (R-AK), Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA). California's Issa, in fact, was frankly critical of the Bush administration in his meeting with President Assad, and yet we heard not a peep about that from the White House or its sycophants in the mainstream (and supposedly "liberal") media. When then-Speaker Denny Hastert traveled to Colombia during the Clinton administration and told the Colombian government to "ignore the White House, and deal directly with us (Congressional Republicans)," no one in the government or in the media accused him of treason at the time. I daresay that many, if not most, of the people who are now screaming for Pelosi's head probably cheered Mr. Hastert on when he made that comment.

The Bush administration and its policy of anti-diplomacy has proven to be disastrous over the past six years. The neocon vision, with its "might makes right" and "no dialogue with people with whom we disagree" policy, has been thoroughly discredited. That Bush supporters continue to think that this can be an effective foreign policy is simply mind-boggling. It's time to return to an era when we talked to both our friends and our enemies in an effort to resolve our conflicts. Speaker Pelosi -- and, to their credit, the Republican Congressmen who preceded and followed her -- are attempting to do just that. The White House, the current crop of pundits and their easily-led followers decrying this effort is simply evidence that their vision has failed, and they are upset that this fact is now being so pointedly demonstrated.

And regarding the flap about Pelosi's having put on a head scarf to visit a mosque and a marketplace, once again Republican hypocrisy rules the day. No mention is made of the fact that both Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice have also worn scarves as a sign of respect when visiting certain sites in Islamic countries. In this country and others, men are asked to put on yarmulkes when entering a synagogue, whether they are Jewish or not. When a woman enters a mosque here in America or anywhere else in the world, it is the custom that she cover her head. When my wife and I toured St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on one of the hottest days of the summer, she was required to cover her arms to enter. Does that somehow make her a traitor to the US, because she bowed to local custom? Ridiculous.

Just like the current Republican noise machine.

-- Love, Generik
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