Across the Bay

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Consequences of "Talking"

The Beirut-based David Kenner writes on his blog:

Obviously, the only people who are responsible for the violence in Tripoli and the murders in Beirut are those who were involved in planning and carrying out the attacks. But it is also important to look at the people whose actions allowed the violence to occur. And at the top of that list has to be Nancy Pelosi and her trip to Damascus. When Bashar al-Assad saw her sitting there, veiled and smiling, all that he thought was: "the Americans need me now. I can run wild throughout the region, and they are powerless to respond."

Pelosi met with Assad, she said, "with no illusions, but great hope." Some reporter needs to ask her what has happened to that hope. He could also ask her if she regrets going to Damascus. However, I think I already know how she would answer. Lebanese lives are less important than sticking a finger in Bush's eye.

I made a similar comment the other day, as did Allahpundit, who wrote, "So now you see how 'productive' Pelosi’s — and Rice’s — outreach to Damascus has been."

Today, Ralph Peters also went down a similar road in his piece in the NYPost: "As for the mess in Lebanon, Syria's inability to refrain from deadly mischief is a blessing in at least one respect: It makes it harder for the advocates of phony Realpolitik (such as former Secretary of State Jim "Have you hugged your dictator today?" Baker) to push us back into yesteryear's cozy relationships with genocidal Arab despots."

And I remind you of Bill Harris' interview, which I linked yesterday: "Rice's meeting with Moallem only encouraged the Syrians in the view that they are the strategic center of the local universe and people will keep coming to them. That sort of thing makes absolutely no impact on them. The only thing that will make an impact is to get the court up and going. The Syrians are dead scared of us getting to this point."

As I said numerous times before, talking is not consequence-free, contrary to the prevailing punditry.