Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama Adviser, De Facto Secretary of State?

During a visit to Syria last month, Barack Obama's foreign policy adviser, Daniel Kurtzer offered Syria's foreign Minister some advice.

From the New York Sun:
"I urged him to move ahead in the Israel-Syria negotiations as much as possible so that whoever is the next president would not start from too far down the track," Kurtzer said...

Mr. Kurtzer was in the Syrian capital for a conference co-sponsored by the Law Society of England and Wales and the American Bar Association and arranged by the British Syrian Society...

A Levant expert with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Tony Badran, said the conference was similar to efforts last month by a nongovernmental organization... to bring what he called "official-unofficial Syrian intellectuals to come to Washington and lobby on behalf of the regime."

"They failed to meet with anyone in the administration," he said. "But it's not a secret that the Syrians are openly banking on Barack Obama...."

A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, Wendy Morigi, said: "Senator Obama values the expertise of Ambassador Kurtzer, but he is not a paid adviser, nor is he authorized to conduct talks with any government. Ambassador Kurtzer's trip... had no connection with the campaign."

Mr. Kurtzer said he informed the campaign of his trip to Damascus and described his role as someone who gives advice to the campaign and the candidate from time to time on the Middle East. In this capacity, he was at the Illinois senator's side in Israel last month. "I don't do politics, I do policy," Mr. Kurtzer said.
However, let me remind you of something I posted back on May 17, in response to Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts who assailed President Bush over comments he made while speaking to the Israeli parliament on the 60th anniversary of Israel - criticizing those who seek to appease terrorists.

"We have a protocol, a custom, informally around here, that we don't criticize the president when he's on foreign soil," Pelosi said. "One would think that would apply to the president, that he would not criticize Americans [Barack Obama] when he is on foreign soil."

And I wrote the following:

In actuality, it was Barack Obama who was attacking and undermining the President while he was on foreign soil.

According to DEBKAfile’s political sources - "Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had sent representatives to the international conference in Jerusalem to solicit campaign supporters in Israel.

"Clinton’s was ex-ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk and Obama’s were Dennis Ross, formerly of the US state department and ex-special Middle east envoy, and Dan Kurtzer, another former ambassador to Israel.

"Whereas Indyk kept a low profile, Ross and Kurtzer were in and out of the offices of Israeli leaders including prime minister Ehud Olmert. They promised that Israel had nothing to fear from Barack Obama as president, or his offer to meet the presidents of Iran and Syria for face to face discussion on the issues outstanding between them and the United States. They insisted that this offer did not apply to Palestinian terrorists like Hamas." - Read
in full.

But Ross and Kurtzer were doing much more than that. They were also using their visit to criticize President Bush's Middle East policies:


"Two representatives of the United States' previous administration.... on Tuesday criticized the policies of current U.S. President, George W. Bush and the conduct of the Annapolis Middle East peace process.

"Special Middle East coordinator in the Clinton administration, Dennis Ross, and former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer were speaking in the framework of the "Facing Tomorrow" Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.

"Ross... [now an Obama adviser] said that last November's Annapolis conference was not planned properly, that all of the parties should have agreed in advance on at least some of the main principles and that more groundwork should have been done to give both the Israelis and the Palestinians the sense that the event could make a difference for them....

"Kurtzer, an adviser on foreign policy and the Middle East to Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama criticized the Annapolis process and said the current administration in Washington is not seriously advancing the negotiations....." - Read
in full.

So in essence, Barack Obama's advisers were attacking President Bush on foreign soil - during Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations.

Thus Mr. Kurtzer's claim that "I don't do politics, I do policy" is total BS - because that's exactly what he was doing in Israel back in May, campaigning on behalf of Barack Obama and soliciting support for Obama from Israeli leaders.

Meanwhile, deputy communications director for the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfarb, quipped yesterday:
"If one of Senator Obama's advisers has been to Damascus, we just wonder how many have been to Tehran."
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani added:

Discussions should only take place "when you have confidence that you're not being used," said Giuliani, charging that Kurtzer’s actions might be a result of an Obama policy of “negotiating with dictators without precondition."
Source - CNN's
Political Ticker

No comments: