This is really lovely...our new Undersecretary of Selling Ourselves to Arab States Years Too Late, Karen Hughes, has opened up her entreaties by defending that most sacred of all Human Rights: the right to drive
. Thank god we have a trained diplomat on the job to send all the correct signals! You may behead political prisoners, you may execute women for adultery, you may have the most conservative oligarchy on the planet, your oil money may pay for fundamentalist islamist schools worldwide, you may have produced the 9/11 hijackers, Saudi Arabia, but by god, you cross a line when you won't let women drive!
What a great way to start a "listening" tour! I wonder if Bush mentioned this to his pal, the Prince, last time he was holding hands....
All of this begs the question...why is a political strategist in a diplomatic job in the first place...? I think I have the answer....
Bush Administration to Apply Successful Campaign Tactics to World Diplomacy
News item: CAIRO - Karen Hughes, a folksy Texan and longtime confidante of President Bush, has one of the toughest jobs in the US government: convincing the rest of the world, particularly the Arab world, that US policies are in their best interests.
She started her first week as the State Department's top public relations officer with a "listening tour" of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
October 2, Ankara -- today Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes attacked the war record of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the former Major General of the Israeli Defense Forces and highly-decorated veteran of four of Israel's wars dating back to its struggle for independence. Echoing commercials broadcast this week by "Red Sea Dhow Captains for the Truth" on Al-Jazeera, Hughes said "Nobody saw Ariel Sharon get wounded. Isn't it obvious he fought in those wars just so he could someday run for the Knesset?" Hughes comments elicited confused looks from her Turkish hosts.
October 4, Baghdad -- Today US Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes made a surprise visit to Baghdad, where she met with members of the Iraqi provisional government and gave a pep talk to US troops. "We know that Sadaam Hussein was planning on making gay marriage legal in Iraq, " Hughes said, "and that if we hadn't intervened, he'd still be in Baghdad issuing wedding licenses to tourists from Morocco and Fire Island." Hughes went on, "Is that the kind of leadership you want? here in the very land of the Garden of Eden, without the US, the muslim world would've become the world of Adam and Steve instead of the home of Adam and Eve." A State Department spokesman later amplified Hughes' comments, saying, "I think the one point of agreement between muslim countries and the Bush administration is clearly we don't want homosexuals marrying and undermining traditional family values like they have in Saudi Arabia."
October 7, Tripoli -- US Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, extending her goodwill "listening" trip of the middle east to Libya, today told President Moammar Qadhafi that he had a "truth problem." "You claimed to have invented the internet, discovered global warming, and been the inspiration for 'Love Story', Mr. Qadhafi," Hughes said in a joint press conference to the stunned reaction of the Libyan leader. "So how will we know if you're really going to stick to that agreement to give up your nukes? We might as well tear it up now!" Hughes smiled and posed with Qadhafi for photographs after the news conference.
October 11, Karkuk -- On the last leg of her mideast "listening" tour, Karen Hughes heard the comments of a hand-picked audience of members of the Republican Party of Kurdistan. "What's your biggest concern today?" asked Hughes of Jalal Qazi, an unemployed refinery worker from Karkuk. "Secretary Hughes, without a doubt, the biggest concern we have today is that the United States Congress must pass a comprehensive energy bill with full oil depletion allowances to allow off-shore drilling on the California coast and continued exploration of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge," Qazi said. "Only then will the democrats' dangerous idea of adding a fifty cent a gallon gas tax be eliminated and I can feed my family as a gainfully unemployed member of the world petroleum community." Qazi then looked straight into a Fox News camera and pleaded, "Democrats, why do you hate freedom so?"