From the Austin Bay blog:
Excuse me, Speaker Pelosi.
Israel’s office of the prime minister insists Pelosi did not carry a “message of peace” to Damascus.
Pelosi is not ready for prime time. Her foreign trip, dear readers, is about her. Sure, it’s about domestic politics (upstaging President Bush, etc), but Pelosi is another me-generation politico who is rarely held responsible for “doing what suits her.”
To whit, the Haaretz report:
The Prime Minister’s Office was quick to issue a denial, stating that “what was discussed with the House speaker did not include any change in Israel’s policy, as it has been presented to international parties involved in the matter.”
In a special statement of clarification, the bureau stressed that Olmert had told Pelosi that Israel continued to regard Syria as “part of the axis of evil and a party encouraging terrorism in the entire Middle East.”
According to sources at the Prime Minister’s Office, “Pelosi took part of the things that were said in the meeting, and used what suited her.”
The Assad regime is a vicious gang. A UN-sponsored prosecutor has assembled credible evidence of Syrian regime complicity in the murder of Lebanese priminister Rafik Hariri.
Speaker Pelosi is prancing and chatting up peace with the murderers.
Shuttle diplomacy? Muddle diplomacy.
The Washington Post isn’t impressed, either.
HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “Israel was ready to engage in peace talks” with Syria. What’s more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to “resume the peace process” as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. “We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria,” she said.
Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. “What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel,” said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister’s office. In fact, Mr. Olmert told Ms. Pelosi that “a number of Senate and House members who recently visited Damascus received the impression that despite the declarations of Bashar Assad, there is no change in the position of his country regarding a possible peace process with Israel.” In other words, Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel’s position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad’s words were mere propaganda.
I suppose she can always blame Bush.
I doubt the NYDCLA Axis will turn on Pelosi, but this Washington Post editorial draws blood.
Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.
However –Pelosi and her comrades took power in Washington on an anti-Bush agenda and this fool’s lark in the lion’s den is that anti-Bush agenda expressed in foreign policy.
It’s stupid. It’s vacuous.
It’s also stupid and vacuous in regards to Iraq.