CNN’s Cafferty Spouts on Middle East Peace, War in Iraq

CNN’s Jack Cafferty gave another of his rantings against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration on Monday’s "The Situation Room." Cafferty, channeling Ramsey Clark, called the war in Iraq "an unprovoked act of naked aggression," and charged that the issues of establishing a Palestinian state and the brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians have been "virtually ignored by the Bush administration through almost two terms."

Cafferty made this commentary on the upcoming Annapolis, Maryland peace summit eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room" as part of his regular "Cafferty File" segment. In addition to the above, Cafferty speculated that the reason that the summit was occurring at this time was due to President Bush rushing to secure a legacy.

CAFFERTY: The last time serious attention was paid to the subject [of Middle Eastern peace] was the Camp David meetings in 2000, under then-President Clinton, and they were attended by only the U.S., the Israelis, and the Palestinians. The United States, of course, entering an election cycle. President Bush is the lamest of ducks at this point, and don't kid yourself, part of the reason for this is his legacy, try to burnish it up a little bit. It ain't in real good shape.

Of course, Cafferty doesn’t mention the fact that the Camp David meeting took place during the last months of President Clinton’s presidency, and his critics leveled the "legacy-building" accusation against the then-president.

Cafferty’s accusation that "the international approval rate of this country is lower than it has been in decades, maybe ever, mainly because of our unprovoked invasion of Iraq" is a charge that is likely based on Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. The project’s first major global survey took place in 2002, five years ago, so obviously, the international approval rate of this country can’t be "the lowest it has been in decades," since the survey hasn’t been around for decades.

The full transcript of Cafferty’s commentary from Monday’s "The Situation Room:"

JACK CAFFERTY: Any irony here? The United States is hosting a Middle East summit meeting aimed at kickstarting the peace process. Forty countries, maybe more, are expected to attend, including Syria, Saudi Arabia. But the only country currently at war in the Middle East is us, the United States. Prosecuting two separate wars there, count them two, one of them an unprovoked act of naked aggression, that would be the war in Iraq.

The issue of a separate Palestinian state, and peace between Israel and the Palestinians, has been virtually ignored by the Bush administration through almost two terms. The last time serious attention was paid to the subject was the Camp David meetings in 2000, under then-President Clinton, and they were attended by only the U.S., the Israelis, and the Palestinians. The United States, of course, entering an election cycle. President Bush is the lamest of ducks at this point, and don't kid yourself, part of the reason for this is his legacy, try to burnish it up a little bit. It ain't in real good shape. The international approval rate of this country is lower than it has been in decades, maybe ever, mainly because of our unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [is] generally considered to have been less-than-effective when it comes to diplomacy on issues considerably smaller and less complicated than achieving peace in the Middle East. No mean feat for that. Suffice to say, anything substantial coming out of this summit would border on the miraculous.

Here the question then: Is now the time, and is the United States the right place for a summit on Middle East peace? E-mail your thoughts to caffertyfile@cnn.Com, or go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. Wolf?

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center