Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

Pelosi meets Syrian despite Bush objections

April 5, 2007


— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the White House on Middle East policy Wednesday, meeting with Syria's leader and insisting "the road to Damascus is a road to peace."

That brought a sharp attack from the Bush administration, which has rejected direct talks with Damascus until it changes its ways.

"Unfortunately that road is lined with the victims of Hamas and Hezbollah, the victims of terrorists who cross from Syria into Iraq," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council. "It's unfortunate that she took this unilateral trip which we only see as counterproductive."

Washington accuses Syria of backing Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups it deems terrorist organizations. It also says Syria is fueling Iraq's violence by allowing Sunni insurgents to operate from its territory and is destabilizing Lebanon's government. Syrian security officials have been implicated in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri in Beirut, though Damascus has denied a role.

Pelosi was the highest-ranking American politician to visit Syria since relations began to deteriorate in 2003. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell went to Damascus in May 2003.

The visit heightened tensions between the administration and congressional Democrats, who have stepped up their push for change in U.S. policy in the Mideast and the Iraq war. But Democrats - and some Republicans - say the refusal of dialogue has closed doors to possible progress in resolving Mideast crises.

Pelosi said she expressed to President Bashar Assad "our concern about Syria's connections to Hezbollah and Hamas" and militant fighters slipping across the Syrian border into Iraq.

She said that despite differences over whether to talk with Syria, "there is absolutely no division between this delegation and the president of the United States on the issues of concern."

Pelosi also said she brought a message to Assad from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Israel was ready for peace talks with Syria. However, Olmert's office said in a statement later this would only be possible if Syria abandoned terror and stopped assisting terror groups.

Syria hosts the exiled leadership of Hamas, as well as other Palestinian radical groups, and is a major patron of Hezbollah. Its government insists Hamas is a legitimate resistance movement working for Palestinian freedom and Hezbollah is a regular Lebanese political party.


Porter 11 years ago

Putting Syria in "timeout" has done a lot of good for our soldiers, President Bush (read sarcasm).

Maybe it's time to try some diplomacy for once?

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

the syrians still to this day support hezbollah. burka nan going to syria is sick. also, her wearing the headscarf or the burka is an insult to all the millions of women oppressed under them. if she were living under the burka she wouldn't be speaker of the house (a benefit), would not could not speak her mind (another benefit), couldn't even travel unescorted. this meeting represents more of the leftist antisemitism. syria gives money to terrorist organizations fighting israel and in lebanon. syria is opposed to democracy in lebanon, they still have secret police etc., in lebanon. they think lebanon should be a province of syria. the leaders of syria maintain as cruel a police state as did saddam, and saddam's WMD's are now there.

those in favor of this are either willfully ignorant of the constitution, or are suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

pelosi going there is an effort to undermine the foreign policy of the executive branch...the ones in charge of it! senate and house don't get to have their own foreign policy, just like they don't get to be little generals micromanaging the operation of war. shame on Axis Nancy.

jmadison 11 years ago

That well known right wing newspaper called the Washington Post had an editorial today which succinctly sums up the activities of Speaker Pelosi. The following is the conclusion of this editorial. "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. Here is the link:

Porter 11 years ago

I hope you guys aren't forgetting that there are Repuiblicans in this delegation as well (Adelhoff, Wolff).

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

and the republicans didn't present anything different from the whitehouse. they probably went along to keep an eye on Axis Nancy.

further, after Axis Nancy's trip the prime minister of israel had to hurriedly release a statement to correct her claims of "something new" to say nothing new was communicated by him. she's apparently also a bumbling newby at this,

madison's WP ref cannot be overemphasized. what syria is doing to lebanon is shameful. too.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

From yesterday's World Net Daily...the interviewing is chilling:

Terrorists endorse Pelosi's 'good policy of dialogue' Militants call House speaker's visit 'brave' and hope for talks with Iran Posted: April 4, 2007 2:14 p.m. Eastern

Editor's note: Listen to audio of terrorists endorsing Nancy Pelosi's visit By Aaron Klein © 2007

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

JERUSALEM House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit today to Syria in which she called for dialogue with Damascus was "brave" and "very appreciated" and could bring about "important changes" to America's foreign policy, including talks with "Middle East resistance groups," according to members of terror organizations here whose top leaders live in Syria.

One terror leader, Khaled Al-Batch, a militant and spokesman for Islamic Jihad, expressed hope Pelosi would continue winning elections, explaining the House speaker's Damascus visit demonstrated she understands the Middle East.

Pelosi's visit was opposed by President Bush, who called Syria a "state sponsor of terror."

(Story continues below)

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

"Nancy Pelosi understands the area (Middle East) well, more than Bush and Dr. (Condoleeza) Rice," said Al-Batch, speaking to WND from Gaza. "If the Democrats want to make negotiations with Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah, this means the Democratic Party understands well what happens in this area and I think Pelosi will succeed. ... I hope she wins the next elections."

Islamic Jihad has carried out scores of shootings and rocket attacks, and, together with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years.

Ramadan Shallah, overall chief of Islamic Jihad, lives in Syria, as does Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal. Israel has accused the Syrian-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership of ordering militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to carry out terror attacks.

Al-Batch expressed hope Pelosi and the Democratic Party will pressure Bush to create dialogue with Syria and Middle East "resistance movements" and prompt an American withdrawal from Iraq.

"Bush and Dr. Rice made so many mistakes in the Middle East. Just look at Palestinian clashes and Iraq. But I think some changes are happening for the Bush administration's foreign policy because of the hand of Nancy Pelosi. I think the Democratic Party can do things the best. ... Pelosi is going down a good road by this policy of dialogue," he said.

Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the willingness by some lawmakers to talk with Syria "is proof of the importance of the resistance against the U.S."

"The Americans know and understand they are losing in Iraq and the Middle East and that their only chance to survive is to reduce hostilities with Arab countries and with Islam. Islam is the new giant of the world."

"Pelosi's visit to Syria was very brave. She is a brave woman," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND.

"I think it's very nice and I think it's much better when you sit face to face and talk to (Syrian President Bashar) Assad. It's a very good idea. I think she is brave and hope all the people will support her. All the American people must make peace with Syria and Iran and with Hamas. Why not?" Jaara said.

Pelosi, the most senior U.S. official to visit Syria in two years, sat next to Assad earlier today in front of camera crews before starting their meeting at his hilltop palace overlooking Damascus. The Syrian president then reportedly took Pelosi to lunch at a restaurant in a restored house in Damascus' historic district, according to witnesses.

At a press conference after the meeting, Pelosi said that during her talks with Assad she "determined that the road to Damascus is the road to peace."

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

okay BeanScooter, bright guy, what would you do about UBL in Pakistan? send in our troops to invade a sovreign country and cause the overthrow of a friendly government because of the uproar? also, large numbers of troops aren't capable of being effective in the frontier of Waziristan (sp?) because of the landscape and the tribal, lawless, nature of that country. BeanScooter, once again you are just spouting BS. PM has caught more al-qaeda and killed more al-qaeda than any other muslim leader, and you want to topple him. further, you guys often accuse GWB of acting like a tyrant yet you want him to be a tyrant to the pakistanis...not very bright and very hypocritical.

whistlestop75 11 years ago

President Pelosi...the next candidate to file for '08...The road to the white house is a happy road to Damascus...hand over our freedoms and forget the people who have died getting us here...WHAT is wrong with the Democratic Party today that has no clue what moderate Americans are thinking...

Porter 11 years ago

bg asks: "what would you do about UBL...send in our troops to invade a sovreign country and cause the overthrow of a friendly government because of the uproar? also, large numbers of troops aren't capable of being effective in the frontier of Waziristan (sp?) because of the landscape and the tribal, lawless, nature of that country."

Change "Waziristan" to "Iraq" and you have EXACTLY what we did 4 years ago. The only difference is there were no Al- Qaeda in Iraq!! Why was this strategy so brilliant 4 years ago, but so dumb today?

whistlestop75 11 years ago

PORTER ??? Are you honestly saying that Iraq was a friendly government? ARE you honestly saying that Iraq did not have training facilitys for Al-Qaeda and helped to bankroll the organization? WMD were not found...I'll agree on that one...but good grief...Where did you learn history?

Porter 11 years ago

No, Iraq was not a friendly govt. You're right. But can you say that Pakistan is?? I seem to remember several presidential speeches about "terrorists and the countries that give aid to terrorists". For the life of me, I don't know why Pakistan isn't on that list.

And for the record, I AM saying that Iraq did not have training facilities for Al-Qaeda. There's no way Saddam would've allowed that. You're saying they bankrolled Al-Qaeda?? Seriously, where'd you hear that one?

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