Moayad Ahmed, a policeman, is comforted by his mother in Baqouba hospital, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006. Ahmed was attacked by unknown gunmen while off duty in the town of Khan Bani Saad, just outside Baqouba, Saturday.
AP: Envoy: U.S. showed ‘stupidity’ in Iraq
A senior U.S. diplomat said the United States had shown “arrogance” and “stupidity” in Iraq but was now ready to talk with any group except Al-Qaida in Iraq to facilitate national reconciliation.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera television aired late Saturday, Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department offered an unusually candid assessment of America’s war in Iraq.
“We tried to do our best but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq,” he said.
“We are open to dialogue because we all know that, at the end of the day, the solution to the hell and the killings in Iraq is linked to an effective Iraqi national reconciliation,” he said, speaking in Arabic from Washington. “The Iraqi government is convinced of this.”
What the hell?
Alberto Fernandez does he speak for the President or the American people? Since when does a career foreign policy officer speak to an enemies’ propaganda organ and criticize the United States. If Mr. Fernandez does not agree with American policy, he is free to resign and perhaps he should.
Maybe he can run for office? And, of course, write a book.
His telephone number at the State Department is 202-647-4199. Give his office a call and tell him what you think of his comments. Flap has, and will interview him if and when he calls me back. Flap will publish what he says.
Flap’s best guess is that Mr. Fernandez will be transferred as of Monday morning. Before then Mr. Fernandez should explain to the mother in the photo above why her son was wounded supporting a democratically elected government in Iraq.
Michelle Malkin has al Jazeera’s pet State Department mouthpiece
If this is “the face of the United States in the Middle East,” we need to withdraw all State Department bureaucrats from the region, find out what else Fernandez and his Arabic-speaking colleagues have been telling the Arab media, and boot them off the airwaves. Permanently. If showing “politeness” towards suicide bomb-embracing jihadi clerics and showing contempt for our country on enemy airwaves is how we plan to win “hearts and minds,” we’re screwed.
As of Sunday morning, Flap has NOT had a return call from Mr. Fernandez for an interview.
Apparently, Mr. Fernandez is saying he has been misquoted.
The State Department — which has long been at odds with the Pentagon over Iraq according to several recent books — had said earlier that a translation of the comments posted on Al Jazeera’s English language Web site had misquoted its director of public diplomacy in the bureau of Near Eastern affairs.
“What he (Fernandez) says is that it is not an accurate quote,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. Asked whether he thought the United States would be judged as being arrogant, McCormack said “No.”
Al Jazeera’s English language Web Site also quoted Fernandez as saying Washington was ready to talk with any Iraqi group except al Qaeda in Iraq to end violence.
How about a transcript of his remarks in English?
And, Mr. Fernandez how about an interview?Â Hugh Hewitt has told Flap that he would welcome you on his radio show tomorrow, Monday.