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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 05, 2003

Powell, Rumsfeld defend Syria trip after Gingrich blast

From what I have read, the "official" reports point to an optimism that is scorned by the public statements of the terror groups, thus in fact suggesting that Gingrich, out of office, is able to express truths that need to be stated rather than playing nonsensical games of treating the public to utter nonsense. The so-called retort from the Powell/Rumsfield camp diverts the issue by saying Gingrich is saying nasty things about Bush! childish answer at best.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has defended his trip to Syria against criticism from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying yesterday that it was a necessary trip ordered by President Bush.

Gingrich called the trip ludicrous. If so, Powell said, Gingrich was calling the president ludicrous, too.

Also yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld denied that Gingrich was speaking for him when he blasted Powell in an April 22 speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

In that speech, Gingrich lambasted the State Department, saying that its Middle East policy ''will clearly throw away all the fruits of hard-won victory'' in the Iraq war.

Powell returned Saturday from a trip to the region that included a three-hour meeting in Damascus with President Bashar Assad.

Gingrich said that to meet ''with a terrorist-supporting, secret-police-wielding dictator is ludicrous.''

Powell fired back at the Georgia Republican, saying that ''he's accusing the president of a ludicrous act.''

''Mr. Gingrich was taking a broad swipe and a shot at the policies of the president of the United States,'' the secretary of state said. ''He was allegedly doing it because he has some dissatisfaction with the way the State Department runs. But he missed the State Department and hit the president.'' [more]