Piling into Pelosi


Here was Nancy Pelosi pretending to be Gertrude Bell, but now, it seems, she can hardly make it to the bell. The criticisms of her trip to Damascus earlier this week, but also of what is being seen as the Democrats' effort to hijack U.S. foreign policy, are piling up so high that all I can really offer here is a selected, annotated index of abuse.

The Los Angeles Times wonders if we really need a General Pelosi. The Washington Post confirms that we do not. USA Today says it's not the speaker's role to unfreeze relations with Syria's dictator, Bashar Assad. And the Wall Street Journal mentions a major foreign stake involved, namely that Syria saw the Pelosi visit as a means of wriggling out of the investigation into the murder of the late Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, which Syria's leadership almost certainly masterminded.

After failing to mention the trip for several days, the New York Times editorial board, which supports engagement with Syria, finally took a position on the Damascus visit, and hedged. The editors repeated the canard that engaging Syria might break it away from Iran (a position the Syrians have scoffed at), but nevertheless managed to agree that Pelosi's "job is to spur the Bush administration to pursue active diplomacy, not to attempt to conduct that diplomacy herself."

Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Claudia Rosett observed that Pelosi was "nuts" to visit Damascus. In the National Review, the editors thought the speaker raised "the white flag all over the Middle East." In the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes got a few good licks in. Here is my own contribution in the Daily Star, which Little Green Footballs was kind enough to link to. The comments section makes it interesting. In another post, LGF pointed to Pelosi's growing fan club in the Middle East. 

Among the first bloggers to savage Pelosi, in several successive posts from his pen in Bayside, was Tony Badran, who hosts the Across the Bay blog. Lee Smith, writing in Across the Bay, spills his bile all over Tom Lantos, who accompanied Pelosi and, almost magically, seemed to forget how openly critical he had been of the Syrian regime in the past. On his blog, Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid explained what was at stake in Pelosi's trip with respect to human rights in Syria, and he linked to this commentary published in the Daily Star on Pelosi's silence on human rights issues while she toured Assad's domain. IraqPundit described Pelosi as "blundering" around Damascus, in a visit that is "a dream come true for the desperate Assad regime; she might as well be reading from a script provided by Assad's public relations people."

The saga will continue, and you can follow all the blogs here. No need for Pelosi to search for eggs in her back yard this Easter weekend; they're mostly dripping from her face.