Thursday, 05 April 2007

NANCY PELOSI: ARROGANT & IGNORANT

Ken Berwitz

See that title?  I wrote it and obviously agree with it.  But, today, the reason for that judgment isn't coming from the Ken Berwitz playbook, it is coming from the Washington Post editorial page. 

Yes, the Washington Post...which no one will ever mistake for a charter member of the vast rightwing conspiracy.  Read what they have to say about her harebrained, unasked for and unwanted foray into foreign policy (bold print is mine):

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Pratfall in Damascus

Nancy Pelosi's foolish shuttle diplomacy

Thursday, April 5, 2007; Page A16

HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered an excellent demonstration yesterday of why members of Congress should not attempt to supplant the secretary of state when traveling abroad. After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that "Israel was ready to engage in peace talks" with Syria. What's more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to "resume the peace process" as well. Having announced this seeming diplomatic breakthrough, Ms. Pelosi suggested that her Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy was just getting started. "We expressed our interest in using our good offices in promoting peace between Israel and Syria," she said.

Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message. "What was communicated to the U.S. House Speaker does not contain any change in the policies of Israel," said a statement quickly issued by the prime minister's office. 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.

Ms. Pelosi was criticized by President Bush for visiting Damascus at a time when the administration -- rightly or wrongly -- has frozen high-level contacts with Syria. Mr. Bush said that thanks to the speaker's freelancing Mr. Assad was getting mixed messages from the United States. Ms. Pelosi responded by pointing out that Republican congressmen had visited Syria without drawing presidential censure. That's true enough -- but those other congressmen didn't try to introduce a new U.S. diplomatic initiative in the Middle East. "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.

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Dear Ms. Pelosi:

For the good of our nation and for the good of one of our staunchest allies, Israel:  will you please stop playing with foreign policy that you have no standing, authority or experience with?  You are hurting us.  The middle east is not a political whistle-stop where you can barf out stupidities, secure in the knowledge that mainstream media will protect you.

Please help our country, our allies, world diplomacy and what is left of your reputation:  shut the hell up.

Thank you.

UPDATE:  I just read this, and it should be added to the blog.  I'm not surprised one bit and neither should you be:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former President Jimmy Carter expressed his support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria, rejecting White House criticism of the visit.

"I was glad that she went," Carter said Wednesday. "When there is a crisis, the best way to help resolve the crisis is to deal with the people who are instrumental in the problem."

There you have it.  The twin twits at work.  Nancy Arrogant-Ignorant and Ramsey Clark with better PR.  2008 can't come fast enough.


MORE PELOSI

Ken Berwitz

This is posted just in case anyone actually believes anything Ms. Pelosi says.  I hate ignorance to win people over so I am doing my part to minimize it.  As always, the bold print is mind: 

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PMO denies peace message to Assad

The Prime Minister's Office issued a rare "clarification" Wednesday that, in gentle diplomatic terms, contradicted US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement in Damascus that she had brought a message from Israel about a willingness to engage in peace talks.

According to the statement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert emphasized in his meeting with Pelosi on Sunday that "although Israel is interested in peace with Syria, that country continues to be part of the Axis of Evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East."

Olmert, the statement clarified, told Pelosi that Syria's sincerity about a genuine peace with Israel would be judged by its willingness to "cease its support of terror, cease its sponsoring of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, refrain from providing weapons to Hizbullah and bringing about the destabilizing of Lebanon, cease its support of terror in Iraq, and relinquish the strategic ties it is building with the extremist regime in Iran."

  • The statement said Olmert had not communicated to Pelosi any change in Israeli policy on Damascus.

    Pelosi, who met in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the objections of US President George W. Bush, said she brought a message to Assad from Olmert saying that Israel was ready for peace talks.

    "We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president [Assad] that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel," Pelosi said after meeting Assad.

    She said the meeting with the Syrian leader "enabled us to communicate a message from Prime Minister Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well."

    According to officials in the Prime Minister's Office, however, this was not what transpired during her meeting with Olmert.

    The officials said Olmert had told Pelosi that he thought her trip to Damascus was a mistake, and that when she asked - nevertheless - whether he had a message for Assad, Olmert said Syria should first stop supporting terrorism and "act like a normal country," and only then would Israel be willing to hold discussions.

    The first part of that message, the officials said, was lost in what was reported from Damascus on Wednesday.

  • -

    Even a lot of the usually supportive media are going after Pelosi for this.  Better late than never.

    Incidentally, have you ever heard of the Logan Act?  Here's what it says--see if you can find Ms. Pelosi in it anywhere (I'll help with some bold print):

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    953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
    Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

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    Point made?  I thought so.


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