Last night, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice again belittled Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for traveling to Syria, hours after she held high-level talks with Syria’s foreign minister.
In an interview with CNN, Rice attacked Pelosi’s trip as a photo-op. She claimed Pelosi had only gone to Damascus “to have those pictures” and to suggest a relationship “that doesn’t exist with Syria.”
It’s a familiar talking-point: in the midst of this trumped up “controversy,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Pelosi was only traveling to “have a photo opportunity and have tea” with Syria’s prime minister, and President Bush said “photo opportunities and/or meetings” send “mixed messages.”
Pelosi’s substantive talks with the Syrians should not be derided and reduced to a photo-op, as she “reinforced the administration’s policies” and drove the same message as Rice did with respect to Iraq — “insisting that [the Syrian] government block militants seeking to cross into Iraq and join insurgents there.” Unfortunately, Rice still finds a way to target Pelosi while failing to even mention the five Republicans who have visited Syria in the past year.