The Simple Life II: Spoiled brat diplomacy edition
This is cribbed from this morning's Rice/Bush presser. Note that Colin Powell and Dick Armitage are the former Sec. and Deputy Sec. of State and Bill Burns was the Asst. Sec. State for Near Eastern Affairs. Thus, the administration's relations with Syria are like soooo 2004.
Q [Mike Fletcher, Washington Post] Many strategists say that we'll never get to the bottom of this crisis unless the U.S. engages directly with Syria and Iran. Why not talk to them directly about this, and have a back-and-forth conversation?Does this petulant answer remind you of anyone? How about another spoiled rich baby:
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's an interesting question. I've been reading about that, that people have been posing that question. We have been in touch with Syria. Colin Powell sent a message to Syria in person. Dick Armitage traveled to Syria. Bill Burns traveled to Syria. We've got a consulate office in Syria. Syria knows what we think. The problem isn't us telling Syria what's on our mind, which is to stop harboring terror and to help the Iraqi democracy evolve. They know exactly what our position is. The problem is, is that their response hasn't been very positive. As a matter of fact, it hasn't been positive at all.
Important Update! [7:50 PM]: Dan Froomkin at WaPo found a direct rebuttal-quote from Dick Armitage (former Dep. Sec. State) about having (ahem) relations with Syria viz Lebanon. Here's what the Brando-lookalike told Renée Montagne on NPR:Paris Hilton apparently has one simple rule for being her best friend: Don't cross her.
That's the message the Simple Life star seems to be sending via a statement released Wednesday regarding her old pal and soon-to-be former Life sidekick, Nicole Richie.
"It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," Hilton said.
"I will not go into the details of what happened. All I will say is that Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I am ever going to say about it."
"Armitage says U.S. officials haven't used 'all the levers' in finding a solution to the crisis, including having Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talk directly to the Syrian government. Syria and Iran are considered to have influence on Hezbollah.
"'I think [the Syrians] want to get involved,' Armitage says. 'I think they want to become more central to the solution and you might as well give them the opportunity.'
"'We get a little lazy, I think, when we spend all our time as diplomats talking to our friends and not to our enemies,' he adds."