Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Incovenient Consensus

The results are in, and it doesn't look good for Speaker Pelosi's trip to Syria. A sampling of major newpaper editorial boards reveals that the Speaker's trip to Damascus was better left to those elected to do that sort of thing.

The Washington Post:
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.

The Chicago Tribune:
After she met with Syria's thuggish president, Bashar Assad, she issued this doozy: "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace."

It is also, administration officials quickly pointed out, the road by which arms are shipped to terrorists -- Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, and insurgents in Iraq.

The New York Times:
There is at least one point on which we and the critics of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Damascus can agree: It is the White House, not the speaker of the House, that should be taking the diplomatic lead.

USA Today:
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi crossed a line this week by visiting Syria, where she met with President Bashar Assad. She violated a long-held understanding that the United States should speak with one official voice abroad — even if the country is deeply divided on foreign policy back home.

The Boston Herald:
Normally, there’s no objection to members of Congress of either party meeting with officials of foreign governments. But Syria is not a normal government. In addition to exporting terror, its agents have tried to maintain control of Lebanon by assassinating opponents there.

A trip like Pelosi’s effectively rewards an outlaw Syria for nothing. What the “negotiate no matter what” crowd forgets is all the previous failed attempts to get Syria to negotiate seriously. They make new attempts and comments like Pelosi’s “the road to Damascus is a road to peace” nothing but rank foolishness. From 1993 to 2005, there have been many more than 20 high-level visits to Syria for nothing.


Charles D said...

There's not a real consensus here. The Post, Tribune, USA Today (a worthless rag), and the Boston Herald clearly disapprove of her trip. The Times however, is saying that the White House should be taking the diplomatic lead in talking to Syria - something they have failed to do.

We have a President who does not understand what the word diplomacy means. His idea of diplomacy is saying that he will talk with someone after they agree totally with his position. In other words, you do everything I say and I will pretend to be your friend. It's a childish position and has done great damage to our nation.

If Bush were really interested in solving the debacle in Iraq, he would ask Pelosi to drop by the White House and chat with him about her meeting with Assad.

neonprimetime said...

I don't think there is a media outlet that DL likes :-)

Oh, and funny how Bush did invite Pelosi to talk about Iraq ... and she rejected the offer!

Cameron said...

Not a real consensus? All of these editorials condemn Speaker Pelosi's trip.

Regardless of the differences in opinion regarding Middle East diplomatic policy, all of these respected journalists realize that what Speaker Pelosi did was stupid.

Charles D said...

While I'm not necessarily defending Pelosi's actions, they were necessitated by the utter and absolute failure of the Bush administration to make a single diplomatic step toward resolving any crisis in the Middle East.

It would be better if the President, who is responsible for foreign policy, did his job. Since he doesn't or can't, someone needs to do it for him or fire his sorry butt so we can get a competent person in the job.

Cameron said...

But you are defending her actions. "Someone needs to do it for him"? Uh, she's not the president. These editorial boards realize the danger in other members of the US gov't usurping presidential responsibility.