If Sunday’s NYT Week In Review thought America’s Middle East policy lacked a compass, they should have waited till Monday to see our stance on Lebanon do a 180˚.
If your going to conduct foreign policy by photo op, and you want to leave the impression you suddenly gives a damn about the locals, should a handshake with the President really be that big a stretch? And, unless absolutely unavoidable, why make the other guy do all the straining (unless, your real intent is to reach out while putting the guy in his place).
Memo to Kissinger Barbie: You don’t do shuttle diplomacy by posing for every picture like its your eighth birthday party. Also, I would advise against high level meetings without taking off your sunglasses. You missed the Cedar Revolution by a year. Breezy is “out,” grief and catastrophe are “in.”
And, who knew you would drop in on Lebanon! Again — touche, Karl! By the way, you sure were discreet about that Cypress switcheroo. Except, how did all that press find out? I never saw so many different photo credits and helicopter shots.
Also, if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t that chopper you took — a CH-53 Sea Stallion, I believe — operated by the very same outfit — Marine Expeditionary Unit 24 — that was wiped out in the barracks bombing back in ’83?
You see, dear Lebanon, we (suddenly) do feel your pain!
(sunglass credit: taylormarsh.com) ((illustration: Rodrigo Corral/New York Times. July 23, 2006. nyt.com. image 2: Mahmoud Tawil/AP. July 24, 2006. Condoleezza Rice (L) and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. via YahooNews. image 3: Hussein Malla/AP. July 24, 2006. Condoleezza Rice (R) and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Via YahooNews. images 5 – 7 (helicopter strip): Kevork Djansezian/AP. Larnaca airport, Cyprus. July 24, 2006. via YahooNews. helicopter 2: Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters. Same. helicopter 3: Andreas Manolis/Reuters. Same. )