Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Grandma Makes Peace?

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes an independent, unauthorized trip to Syria to make diplomatic overtures to Syrian President Bashar Assad, as reported by the Associated Press. Her trip immediately followed her visit to Israel earlier this week.

Her message to both countries: Grandma Speaker wants the kids to stop that bickering and just get along.

Obviously believing Foreign Policy to be well within the ken of the average Grandparent, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes nice with Dictator Assad in Syria. This is contrary to US Foreign Policy, as constitutionally conducted by the Executive Branch. Her go-it-alone diplomatic initiatives are, however, entirely in line with the desires of new Democratic Party majorities, who view the constrictions of the US Constitution as quaint, and ever malleable and adaptable to whatever they want at any moment.

The problem is, there are excellent reasons the founders invested powers and responsibilities for foreign policy with the Presidency. Not least among them, the United States must speak with a unified voice on matters of International Relations. When Speaker Pelosi starts doing her wise old Grandmother shtick with foreign dictators, elevating them to co-equal status with Democracies and allies such as Israel (or the US for that matter), she confounds and acts against US national interests, however wrong and misguided Grandma Pelosi believes them to be.

The President objects to Pelosi’s visit to Syria, and reminds us that the US remains estranged from normal relations with Syria based on Syria’s active support for terrorism:

Bush has said Pelosi's trip signals that the Assad government is part of the international mainstream when it is not. The United States says Syria allows Iraqi Sunni insurgents to operate from its territory, backs the Hezbollah and Hamas militant groups and is trying to destabilize the Lebanese government. Syria denies the allegations.

As they also deny having had a role in assassinating Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Does Grandma Speaker and her Congressional allies consider these allegations and objections as mere “squabbles” amongst the grandkids? She certainly gives that impression, and thereby make matters more difficult as she coddles tyrants and confounds US national interests.

Syria reacts as one might expect, further underscoring the damage Grandma Pelosi has caused:

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem was quoted Wednesday as saying that Pelosi and other members of Congress were "welcome" in Syria.

"Better late than never," he told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba in an interview. He said the visits were taking place because Americans and Europeans had realized that their policy of trying to isolate Syria had failed.

However, the Syrian ambassador to Washington, Imad Moustapha, was quoted as saying Syria was "wary of the sudden U.S. openness" and would respond cautiously.

"Syria will not hurriedly offer concessions when it refused to offer them under much greater pressure from the United States in the past," he said in an interview with the Al-Baath newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling party.

"Syria will take a step forward every time the Americans take one," he added.

Yet in the very same AP report, the efforts of the Bush Administration are credited with successfully isolating the Syrian regime, although now undermined by overtures by European (and now US) officials:

Washington has since succeeded in largely isolating Damascus, with its European and Arab allies shunning Assad. The last high-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria was then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage in January 2005.

The isolation, however, has begun to crumble in recent months, with visits by U.S. lawmakers and some European officials.

Note to the Democrats: the “will of the people” you so stridently trumpet before each of these petty little power plays refers to the latest Congressional elections, not Presidential. That means the “mandate” you claim can rightfully only apply to the powers of Congress. No election result can be construed to mandate powers or control beyond the constructs of the Constitution. During the Civil War, US citizens who behaved as Speaker Pelosi were greeted upon their return with a warrant for their arrest. Not such a bad idea, if you ask me.

We have arrived at a point where acts of treason, disloyalty, acts of war, aiding and abetting the enemy at time of war, constructive complicity with war criminals, are all condoned, excused, or tolerated as politics.

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