A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 4, 2007

Speaker Pelosi’s Syrian Tour

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, met with Syrian President Assad and Syrian Public Relations Muhsan Balal today.
After giving Syria a message of Israel’s assurance for peace, the Syrians let out a few statements:

“If Israel is really interested in renewing negotiations for peace, it must declare this in a clear manner,” Bilal said.

Well, isn’t that just special, I wonder if Syria would be interested in also declaring in a clear manner a willingness to have peace by confronting Hamas openly about their positions concerning Israel’s right to exist, and maybe do a bit better at guarding their borders – yes the irony of guarding borders doesn’t escape me – and not allowing terrorist to saunter into Israel with a bit more difficulty than most teens have at getting beer for a Friday night kegger. It would also be meaningful if Syria would drop their demand for the return of the Golan Heights – as that will not happen. Nothing personal, but if someone historically has used an area as a easily for a route of invasion like it is familiar as Little Red Riding Hood’s route to Grandma’s house, I have a feeling there will be a no standing or parking sign put up in that area.

While it would not be reasonable to have a dialogue with nations, it would be important for that dialogue to be genuine. Other Representatives present at the fact finding mission, had some worthwhile additions to the conversation.

The U.S. House members, who included Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, Pennsylvania Republican Joe Pitts and Alabama Republican Robert Aderholt, also said they had raised with Syrian officials the issue of stopping the alleged flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Iraq. In a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, the congressmen said they had talked about “ending support for Hezbollah and Hamas, recognizing Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and ceasing interference in Lebanon.”

This is altogether proper. That is part of the process of negotiations, that they are done in good faith. Hopefully, this will be more than a photo opportunity for Speaker Pelosi, who is well within her pervue to undertake such a mission and conference. Like it or not, she is the third senior politician in succession.

And then came Iraq – what you didn’t think that would be mentioned.

Syrian officials said Damascus wants to help Washington achieve an “honorable withdrawal” from Iraq but in return the United States must press Israel to return the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

Ahh, you knew it was coming, a win-win for Syria. If you pull out of Iraq and make Israel give back our staging area for invasion, we’ll try to enter a dialogue. What a bunch of guys. Although it is GOOD to see that the Congress’ plan of withdrawl has the official sponsorship of Syria. Of course this drew a comment from Madam Speaker:

Pelosi said she and other members of her congressional delegation raised with Assad their concern about militants crossing from Syria into Iraq, as well the Israel Defense Forces soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants.

Now, I don’t dislike Speaker Pelosi, I really don’t. I like to hope she will be an effective leader as her party won, that’s how democracy works gang, in case we forgot, but this “raising of concern” seems to be a bit timid. And for those that think for a moment Syria will be the guardian against terrorists crossing into Iraq (cough) and Israel (pardon me while I choke), I would like to have you go over some waterfront property in Death Valley that I want to unload.

I’m all for talking; I was for it when President Reagan tried to positively engage Syria, and would be for it now, but until these other nations are willing to be honest bargainers, and realize that a mere promise – that hasn’t been backed up by any change of behavior – is not the basis for constructive negotiations. Perhaps President Bush summed this one up the best by calling these talks, “counterproductive and encouragement for a “state sponsor of terror.”

I’m not from Missouri, but Syria, Iran, and all the other nations of this region are going to have to “Show Me” something before I’d be willing to have my dialogue be, have a nice day and try not to kill a few hundred Jews or US Servicemen.

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