Sunday, October 22, 2006

14 hours of real diplomacy and honesty

Was fascinated by this little vignette over the last two days.

October 22, 2006, 11:26 GMT: BBC News reports that Alberto Fernandez
, an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the state department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, told Qatar-based al-Jazeera that the world was "witnessing failure in Iraq". He was further quoted as saying,

"I think there is great room for strong criticism, because without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq."

The state department claimed that it was not an accurate quote, but BBC monitoring said he did indeed use the words "arrogant" and "stupid".

October 23, 2006, 1:43 GMT: BBC News reports
that Alberto Fernandez was quoted as saying,

"Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on al-Jazeera, I realised that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase: 'There has been arrogance and stupidity' by the US in Iraq,"

"This represents neither my views nor those of the state department. I apologise."

So he was allowed 14 hours to express the truth and be truly diplomatic at the same time. So here's my question: I wonder how overt and how extensive was the shit that came down on Mr. Fernandez over those 14 hours? I suspect we'll never know...

Meanwhile, one has to ask whether the only two legitimate responses to the following set of demands from a Baath party spokesman are to A. capitulate now or B. capitulate later.

"Fernandez was interviewed after a spokesman for Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party, using the pseudonym Abu Mohammed, said that the US was seeking a face-saving exodus from Iraq and that fighters opposed to the US forces were ready to negotiate, but would not lay down their arms.

He also set a series of conditions which he said would have to be met before talks with the US could begin.

They included the return to service of Saddam Hussein's armed forces, the scrapping of every law adopted since Saddam Hussein was removed from power, the recognition of fighter groups as the sole representatives of the Iraqi people, and a timetable for the gradual and unconditional withdrawal of US and other foreign troops in Iraq.

"The occupier has started to search for a face-saving way out. The resistance, with all its factions, is determined to continue fighting until the enemy is brought down to his knees and sits on the negotiating table or is dealt, with God's help, a humiliating defeat," Abu Mohammed said.

1 comment:

Benjamin Ady said...

i wonder what comments a spokesperson for the kurds would say?
(megs commenting)