On Friday, the White House released a document entitled “Setting the Record Straight: President Bush’s Foreign Policy is Succeeding.” One section, headlined “Conservatives Stand Behind The President’s Policies,” contains just one example:
On Wednesday, Max Boot Wrote: “Our Best Response Is Exactly What Bush Has Done So Far – Reject Premature Calls For A Cease-Fire And Let Israel Finish The Job.” (Max Boot, “It’s Time To Let The Israelis Take Off The Gloves,” Los Angeles Times, 7/19/06)
So apparently, urging the Israelis to “take off the gloves” means you are endorsing the administration’s policies in the current conflict. Also, the Boot column that the White House views as an endorsement of their policies also calls on Israel to attack Syria:
Syria is weak and next door. To secure its borders, Israel needs to hit the Assad regime. Hard. If it does, it will be doing Washington’s dirty work.
Tim Russert confronted White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten about the release on Meet the Press yesterday. Bolten claimed the Boot column “was sent around as a reflection of some of the conservative columnists’ support for Israel.” In fact, it was sent around explicitly as reflecting support for administration policy. Watch it:
RUSSERT: Also, the White House communications office, on Friday, issued a statement called “Setting the Record Straight.”
And they had this: “Conservatives Stand Behind the President’s Policies.”
And what they do is refer to an article by Max Boot of the Los Angeles Times as evidence of the conservative support for the president: “It’s time to let the Israelis take off the gloves. To secure its borders, Israel needs to hit the Syrian Assad regime. Hard. If it does, it will be doing Washington’s dirty work. Our best response is exactly what Bush has done so far, reject premature calls for a cease-fire and let Israel finish the job.”
That’s the White House communications office endorsing an article which says, hit Syria – for Israel to hit Syria. Is that administration policy?
BOLTEN: That article was sent around as a reflection of some of the conservative columnists’ support for Israel.
But no, the U.S. policy is that what we are doing and our diplomatic effort, from Secretary Rice, will be to ensure that the world community remains united in its understanding that the problem that we’re facing in the Middle East right now was generated by and is being sustained by terrorist attacks that need to stop.
And the United States will do everything that we can to ensure that there’s a sustainable cease-fire based on the Security Council resolution that says that terrorism has no place in Lebanon or anywhere else.