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July 25, 2006

Tuesday Bulletin Board: “America♥Lebanon”


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: ((illustration: Rodrigo Corral/New York Times.  July 23, 2006.  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. )

  • Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    Oh, the Colgate Smile of the Insincere. It just lights me up inside.

  • Keir

    I don’t expect anything but smiles from US cabinet members at this point. But the Lebanese politicians? What are they smiling about?

  • Rafael

    There been polite, is what you do….i guess….

  • jt from BC

    MSM and Condi playing musical chairs, hope for a piano nearby that’s in tune, nothing else is.

  • Ryan

    The Daily Show picked up on the awkwardness of the handshake.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Since Americans don’t even know who the Lebanese politicians are, these snapshots are for the Republicans’ 2006 midterm election and Condi’s 2008 scrapbooks. The Republicans will use them (and others that haven’t been taken yet) to remind us that we are making progress in the GWOT. (See? Everyone is smiling, shaking hands, and eager to form a coalition to invade Iran!) Therefore Republicans must be reelected because sissy Democrats would be cutting and running and this *exact progress* could never be made. Lebanon = Middle East = GWOT = 9/11 = Vote Republican. Just watch for these images to appear in election ads in the coming months.
    And watch Condi take credit for brokering a nonexistent “lasting peace deal” (she’s already talking the talk), which ought to be “signed” at some point when the ‘08 presidential race is neck-and-neck. Because there really is no other reason for Condi to be smiling like the Cheshire cat.

  • Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    …links to Cheshire Cat. That’s funny.
    Although it keeps with the motif of the reign of the Mad Hatter, which we now live under.

  • Mark Denney

    I seem to be the only one who noticed this but, did anyone else notice in most of the shots and video of Condi in these talks she was wearing her sunglasses on her head? Can you imagine any other person in this room doing that? Or any US govt official doing that at any time during something like this? It just seemed to me to be such an insulting thing to do during this time. Like she was saying “hey, I was in the neighborhood and heard about the fighting so I thought I’d stop by and chat” but of course, she’s just on a way lay from her vaca….
    did anyone else see this and feel this way?

  • Mark Denney

    whoops! NM…didn’t see the mention of the sunglasses in the above commentary with photos.
    My bad!
    Still wondering why this didn’t get more coverage though…It’s all I could focus on with her in these talks.

  • momly

    Are those sunglasses? I noticed that when I saw the moving pictures on tv news but wasn’t sure if it was that or a headband. She usually wears her hair loose around her face, so the whatever-it-is that is holding it back immediately registered with me as different.
    I hate to listen to her talk, btw. She’s supposed to be so smart but cannot manage to finish a brief thought without a thousand um’s and ah’s. That always makes me think she is either totally uninformed or totally bullshitting. Six of one, I guess…..

  • ummabdulla

    I’m thinking about the four points when on that compass. “Restrain Israel” is obviously not an option. “Talk to Iran” and “Confront Iran” probably aren’t options either. “Forget Democracy”? Maybe… as in “Forget Democracy” but still talk as if you’re promoting it. When Bush had his press conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister, he said that the whole Lebanon situation was about democracy. Huh? And he mentioned that he had supported Palestinian democracy, which would be news to the Palestinian voters and their elected government.
    Those photos of Condi show handshakes, but when she met the Lebanese Prime Minister outside, he greeted her with the customary kisses (four of them). I don’t think that would be the greeting she’d get from most Lebanese, some of who were out protesting.
    Here she is leaving her meeting with Nabih Berri. I guess she’s waving at the cameraman; I doubt that there was a crowd of fans out there.

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