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The Tally Ho

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Two Compassionate Conservatives

Just a quick note. John Negroponte's appointment as US Ambassador to Iraq brought back memories. Not just of his confirmation hearing when he was nominated for US Ambassador to the United Nations, but also his fellow Reagan operative Elliot Abrams. Little fuss was made when this man who was pardoned by Senior Bush for lying to Congress when he returned to the White House in 2001. Abrams was one of the lame duck pardons of 41's last hours. One of the best lines from the David Corn article in June 2001 was this quote by Republican Senator Dave Durenberger at the hearing, "I wouldn't trust Elliott any further than I could throw Ollie North." Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post writes, "Twelve years later, Abrams is helping to shape White House policies toward many of the world's trouble spots. Appointed in December as President Bush's senior adviser on the Middle East, his responsibilities extend from Algeria to Iran. But nowhere is his influence more evident than on the Arab-Israeli peace process." Dobbs continues with this quote, “Abrams's appointment raised a ‘red flag for me and my community,’ said Khalil Jahshan, director of government affairs for the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. ‘If the president is serious about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he picked the wrong person to manage the policy for him.’” How well do you think the Bush Administration has handled this peace process?

What can we learn about John Dimitri Negroponte? The first page of a quick google search gives you a pretty good idea. Negroponte was appointed by Reagan to be Ambassador to Honduras. Complaints of human rights violations followed Negroponte's appointment. This was also the time when the US massively increased military funding to help crush the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Two other sites: Mary Knoll.org , Foreign Policy in Focus (which includes other bios). Read the links, I have to run.

Is this the compassionate conservatism that Bush talks about? These are the diplomats in the "war on terror." They are key players in the Middle East peace process and now Iraq. Nick writes about being more tolerant to European dissent and concerns. I wonder what will happen as Bush continues to try to get the UN involved.

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