Saying one thing and doing another has been the hallmark of this administration, but the ring is particularly hollow when it comes to Bush’s nonsensical “appeasement” talk.
Sometime in the next few weeks, a special envoy of President Bush plans to meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, whose government sheltered Osama bin Laden and pursued a scorched-earth policy in southern Sudan that resulted in more than 2 million deaths.
Bashir’s government has been accused by Bush of participating in a “genocide” in Darfur, the only U.S. government use of such a strong accusation. Yet Richard S. Williamson’s visit to Khartoum follows a series of direct contacts by senior Bush administration officials with the Sudanese president, including Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, Rice’s deputies, and several special presidential envoys.
Bush has spoken to or exchanged letters with Bashir on numerous occasions, underscoring how White House policy has departed from his pointed public call to shun talks with radical tyrants and dictators. His appointees have also pursued aggressive diplomacy with North Korea and Libya and have even conducted limited business with Cuba, Syria and Iran.
Will right-wing partisans jump on Bush from talking to Sudan like they jump on Obama for saying he’d talk to Iran’s leaders? And what about McCain? Will he decry this move by Bush as naive?
Folks, talk is cheap, and the more Bush and company try to make us believe that they’re these hard liners in some cases, while doing the exact opposite in other cases, reveals just how badly a different approach is needed.
Regardless of who the president is come January 2009, let’s hope they realize that this nonsensical doublespeak just doesn’t pass the smell test.