Nancy Pelosi, as you may have heard, has gone to Syria to, among other things, meet with the leaders of that country, one with which the United States officially has diplomatic relations but which the Bush administration has been seeking to coerce into adopting a more cooperative attitude through the cunning method of . . . refusing to meet with its leaders and saying mean things about them. Before going to Syria, Pelosi was in Israel, a country whose leaders are apparently afraid that there’s going to be an accidental war with Syria over a mix-up in which the Syrians think the Israelis are planning to attack them. Israel, unlike the United States, has no diplomatic relations with Syria and thus Pelosi “will deliver a message of calm from Israel.” But not, of course, if the Bush administration gets its way! Greg Djerejian remarks:
Bush remonstrates dastardly Nancy for her passage through Damascus, at the very time the Israelis are reportedly using her to pass a message to Bashar Assad to help avoid a possible conflagration with the Syrians. Soon, Bush will be telling Bibi Netanyahu or Avigdor Lieberman they’re wimps, and to hang Crawford tough against the ‘Palis’ or such. This is all so pitiable, isn’t it? How many more months left of this bungling amateurism and fake machismo do we have left? 22, is it? Sigh.
The whole thing is, of course, ridiculous. This is exactly the sort of thing we maintain a State Department for . . . so that the Speaker of the House doesn’t need to conduct America’s regional diplomacy by herself and get all-but called a traitor for her efforts.