Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Monday, April 02, 2007

Why Do Idiots Like This Believe That We Can Reason With Terror-Sponsoring Dictatorships?

Nancy Pelosi is an idiot:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday shrugged off White House criticism of her upcoming trip to Damascus, saying she had "great hope" for reviving U.S. relations with Syria and changing its behavior.

Soem people are yelling "hypocrisy" because of this:

"It's interesting because three of our colleagues, who are all Republicans, were in Syria yesterday and I didn't hear the White House speaking out about that," Pelosi said, referring to the Sunday meeting of Reps. Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Robert Aderholt with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.

"I think that it was an excellent idea for them to go," said Pelosi, who is to meet Syrian leaders Wednesday. "And I think it's an excellent idea for us to go, as well."

Michael Ledeen is complaining:

Just in case anyone thought that the appeasement virus was limited to the Dems, a reader has called my attention to a Republican sortie to Damascus...

This doesn't sound like the kind of granola-eating appeasement monkey talk we'd expect from Pelosi, though:

They say their talks focused on ending Syrian support for Hamas and Hezbollah and recognizing Israel's right to exist.

They also urged Syria to stop the flow of militants across its border into Iraq.

There are two issues to consider. One, as I just referenced, is the tone of the talks. We need to confront Assad and not suck up to him; the Republican delegation seems to be on the ball regarding this issue. Second - the question nobody seems to be asking - did either delegation cordinate their trip with the Bush administration, as any Congressional diplomatic venture should? It's obvious that Pelosi didn't, but the news stories I'm finding aren't reporting administration reactions to the Republican congressmen's trip.

Update: Does tough talk with tyrants accomplish anything? Yes, in two ways. Such diplomacy can make the tyrant budge it is backed with sufficiently strong threats. Our government is too wussified to get that tough with Syria - I don't think Assad will be moved by anything short of military threat - so the only other hope is that such trips energize that nation's dissidents, as Reagan's confrontations with the Soviets did.

Update: Bush's April 3 press conference tells me that he isn't too keen on any diplomatic ventures into Syria:

"There have been a lot of people who have gone to see President Assad: some Americans, but a lot of European leaders, high-ranking officials. And yet we haven't seen action," Bush told reporters at a Rose Garden news conference. "He hasn't responded."

Bush said that Assad had not reined in violent elements of militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah as requested by the international community, had acted to destabilize the democratically elected government of Lebanon and was allowing "foreign fighters" to move into Iraq from Syria.

"Sending delegations hasn't worked. It's just simply been counterproductive," Bush said.

Another bit of food for thought: maybe there hadn't been a lot of rightosphere chatter about the Republican delegation because most of us never heard of those guys, and didn't know about their mission into that Mideast heart of darkness until it was mentioned in the news stories about Pelosi.

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