Boring your readers to death is not a good strategy for a blogger, so (I think) these will be my last words on Kurtzer, Syria, etc. for the time being. But Noah deserves a response. (I’ll make it short.)
Some reasonable people believe there’s merit in exploring the Syria track, and I don’t think all of them are dangerous appeasers. If I don’t really like the growing tendency of Americans–and Israelis–to talk to Assad, it’s because I think it’s been done from a position of weakness. A bad decision in every such case, especially bad in the case of the “gangster regime” in Damascus.
However, what I was trying to point out in my previous post is that making Kurtzer an example is somewhat strange, considering the other dignitaries doing essentially the same thing. Also, I think that comparing Kurtzer’s views and those expressed by Ross in recent years doesn’t survive scrutiny. Ross was a very successful peace envoy in all but one sense–he didn’t bring about peace. I think he learned some useful lessons from that experience. It’s not a secret: you can read the many articles he wrote in the last seven years and see for yourself.
To conclude: not liking Obama’s position regarding Syria is one thing. But expressing shock and dismay every time one of his advisors repeats this well-known position–or acts on it–is quite another. I refuse to be shocked.