Secretary of State Condolezza Rice met with the Syrian Foreign Minister today, incurring the wrath of the administration and conservative pundits. Leading the criticism was Vice President Dick Cheney.
In an interview with ABC News, Vice President Dick Cheney said Assad has "been isolated and cut off because of his bad behavior, and the unfortunate thing about the "Secretary of State's meeting" is it sort of breaks down that barrier."
Conservative pundits and the White House itself further piled on the Secretary of State. The criticism was direct, clear and very personal.
White House spokesperson Dana Perino strongly criticized "Rice's planned meeting" saying, "We think it is a really bad idea. People should take a stop back and think about the message it sends and the message it sends to our allies," Perino said.
The Heritage Foundation is particularly upset at the incident.
"Rice's meeting is likely to undermine the Bush administration's foreign policy and help the Syrians go back to business as usual - much to the dismay of our Lebanese, Iraqi, and Israeli friends, all of whom want the United States to take a tougher stand against Syria," Jim Phillips, a research fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, told Cybercast News Service .
Yes, we did change all the names in the quotes from Nancy Pelosi to Condolezza Rice to make a simple point.
It is right to talk with the Syrians.
It's hypocritical, repugnant and wrong to point the right wing noise machine at Speaker Pelosi for doing exactly what you're doing.
Bloggers refer to this double standard as "IOKIYAR"