Across the Bay

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pratfall in Damascus

A couple of weeks after the LAT's editorial blasted Nancy Pelosi for playing General, The Washington Post's editorial lambastes her foolish trip to Damascus, including her dishonest distortion of PM Olmert's words:

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.

The Post piles it on, resonating well with my post yesterday:

"We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.

Never mind that that statement is ludicrous: As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri. The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush's military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi's attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.

Good for the Post.

Update: NRO's editorial is also worth a read. I didn't know about this, for example: "Pelosi’s trip is even worse coming as it does after her refusal to let the House vote before its recess on a resolution condemning Iran’s kidnapping of 15 British sailors and marines."

Update 2: Claudia Rosett finds Pelosi off her nut in a Damascus souk.