Sunday, May 27, 2007

Impressions of Bill Richardson

I watched most of the first half of Bill Richardson's appearance on Meet the Press. Frankly, I didn't feel the need to watch the rest of it.

First, Tim Russert pointed out that Richardson has changed his position on a withdrawal from Iraq. In his recent book Richardson was against a precipitous withdrawal. His current position is to withdraw 100% of US forces by the end of 2007, leaving no "residual" forces to combat terrorist forces such as AQ. Basically, he refused to flatly say that he has changed his position. Russert is typically forgiving of those who acknowledge their changes, and he pursues those who do not own up to their changes.

Second, and perhaps most disturbing, is Richardson's proposal of an all-Muslim (or majority Muslim, depending on the venue) multi-national peacekeeping force for Iraq. There are two ways that could go - (1) The peacekeeping force is a toothless, UN-style organization that doesn't do any real fighting; or (2) Richardson will create a very strong pan-Muslim army capable of threatening Israel and establishing the Caliphate.

"Shooting the Moon" in this scenario would be the military establishment of a Turkish-style Islamic society in which the less-insane Muslims are in charge, but in which Christians, Jews, and any number of ethnic minorities are still persecuted.


lunkhead said...

I can't watch Meet the Press anymore; Russert is a Democratic party whore. I liked your insight on Richardson.
He's making a run for the VP nomination but emphasizing his Mexican roots. I don't understand why he's considered to have gravitas; he's considered an expert on North Korea but he's resolved nothing.

Sockless Joe said...

Russert's bias is a factor, but I honestly think he tries to be fair. Contrast that with his fellow NBC'ers Chris Matthews and Olberman. (Yikes!) MTP is pretty much the only "mainstream" political program I watch anymore. And it's only once a week so it's pretty tolerable.

During the MTP interview they showed a Richardson TV ad promoting his resume. Honestly, it's a well-done ad. However, then Richardson opens his mouth and you wonder how a guy this dumb got all those nifty titles.

(Wow, I have a reader. Holy crap!)

Lone Grasshopper said...

Did you see his interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show? He admitted to numerous blunders during his negotiating with Saddam Hussein to get captive Americans out of prison (years and years ago). Richardson did not seem to realize that he should be ashamed of his actions, not use them as examples of his foreign experience.

Richardson told about insulting Hussein because he didn't know to avoid certain gestures, refusing to apologize for the insult, and then at the end of his meeting, he reaches over to touch Hussein's hand when he wasn't looking, upsetting Hussein's security forces who probably thought Richardson was about to assassinate their leader.

Richardson was representing the U.S. government while ignorant of proper conduct towards a foreign head-of-state. Hussein may not have been a friend of the U.S., but unless the president sends him over there to create an international incident, he better not make such obvious mistakes.

I cannot get over how he proudly told these stories to Stewart as a way to show that he has more experience dealing with foreign situations than any other candidate.