Kucinich, who accused the Bush administration of policies that have destabilized the Mideast, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad during his visit to Damascus. He said Assad was receptive to his ideas of "strength through peace."
He also praised Syria for taking in Iraqi refugees.
However, at the same time, Kucinich exposed his limited understanding both of international law and of the real facts of the Middle East. He reportedly refused to visit Iraq due to his dislike of the Bush Administration and his possibly sincere though naive and ignorant belief that the United States' overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is illegal. As the Post wrote,
Kucinich, a strong anti-war opponent who trails far in the US presidential polls, also said he won't visit Iraq on his trip to the region because he considers the US military deployment there illegal.
"I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation ... I don't want to bless that occupation with my presence," he said in an interview in Lebanon, after visiting Syria. "I will not do it."
In these two statements, Kucinich showed clearly why he should not even be consdiered as a serious contender for the nation's highest office. Firstly, his refusal to visit Iraq showed his disdain for the men and women of the UNited States Armed Forces. Democrats like to say they support the troops but not the mmission. However, visiting Iraq to get an actual picture of how conditions are for many fellow Americans could be accomplished whether one supports the rationnale for sending them or not. Kucinich showed that for him, military servicemen and servicewomen do not count. How then can he consider himself qualified to ask to be their Commander-in-Chief?
Secondly, Kucinich apparently has no problem with Syria's far longer occupation of Lebanon, judging by his willingness to visit. He accused his own country of acting 'illegally' in occupying Iraq- a nation whose leader representeed a clear threat to the United States, yet showed no concern with a much longer, far more brutal and continuing pressuring of Lebanon by Syria. If the US occupation of Iraq is 'illegal' according to Kucinich, how can Syria's occupation fo Lebanaon not be 'illegal'?
Of course, the media did not appear to be interested in asking those questions. Even the Jerusalem Post, which one would have thoughb aware of the inherent contradiction in Kucinich's comments, failed to ask the congressman of how he could determine one occupation illegal and one not. Especially since the Syrian occupation was condemned by the United Nations as well.
Fortunately, Kucinich's chances of becoming President are slim. But it is worrying that a candiadte for the Presidency in this day and age should display such shocking ignorance and disdain his fellow countrymen and women as blatantly as did Kucinich. And it is also worrying that the media do not call him on this, though their role as watchdog seems to occur to them only when a Republican might be embarrassed.