The U.S. Congress is in the midst of a two-week “spring break” after delivering a war funding bill that is absolutely loaded with spending that has nothing to do with the war and that has an exit plan that they know will be vetoed by the president; this shows that we have elected a majority of senators and representatives who are totally irresponsible . . . these are senators and representatives (on both sides of the ‘isle’) who should be serving their very last terms in public office*. We know, however, that that won’t happen — these people are experts at duping the public into believing their ‘justifications’ for even the most reproachful behavior.
What a certain group of these representatives are doing on their spring break is also a topic of controversy that has the Right and the Left once again butting heads. A story on the Los Angeles Times website (along with hundreds of other news sources) highlights this; the LA Times story is titled: “Pelosi going to Syria despite Administration objections”. The bottom line of this story is: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Peolsi and an entourage of U.S. Representatives are on a fact-finding mission in the Middle-East and have the intention of including a visit to Syria on their itinerary. The administration (read, President Bush’s advisors) thinks that this side-trip to Syria is a bad idea; in the words of State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, “In our view, it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria.” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino added some context to the State Department’s message when she said: “This (Syria) is a country that is a state sponsor of terror, one that is trying to disrupt the Saniora government (Fuad Saniora is prime minister of Lebanon) . . . and one that is allowing foreign fighters to flow into Iraq from its borders.” From all reports, Ms. Perino’s statement is unequivocally true but it does not really answer the question: ‘Why is this “not the right time” for a sit down with the President of Syria?
It may sound jaded to say so but I truly believe that, from the administration’s perspective, NO time is the right time for the Democratic House Speaker to make a diplomatic trip! Below the surface they are basically saying that it makes our country and its leadership (in the eyes of our enemies) look disorganized and fractious to have Rep. Pelosi, the third most powerful politician in Washington (in the sense that she is third in line in presidential succession) in a clearly hostile country, against the stated wishes of the administration, and in a situation that has the potential for an improvement of our relations with Syria. Not that any diplomatic breakthroughs are likely but what if . . .?
Syria is, without a doubt, aware of the political dynamics and the upcoming elections and will, very possibly, allow Rep. Pelosi to return from this trip with news of a softening of some previously held Syrian position or even something bigger; the objective, of course, would be to hurt President Bush and his party by helping his political opposition.
From Rep. Pelosi’s perspective, making the president appear to be ineffective and weak is exactly what she wants. I don’t doubt for a second that Rep. Pelosi cares far more about her political ambitions than she does about a Middle-East peace and anything that makes the current administration look bad furthers her ambitions while satisfying her deep-seated contempt for the president. Above all, I believe that Rep. Pelosi has her eye on the prize, the pot-o’-gold at the end of the rainbow: the presidency in 2012 or possibly 2016; any measure of ‘success’ that can be claimed as a result of this trip will be another step toward that prize and, in the near term, another step toward the total defeat of the Republican party in 2008.
If my (admittedly jaded) analysis is correct, it would appear that neither the Left or the Right is as concerned about the Middle-East as they are about playing political games. It’s all about politics and power to those ‘sceptered’ few who sit and hold the reins of our government. The future of America, to them, appears to lie no further than the next election cycle.
Los Angeles Times website: Pelosi going to Syria despite Administration objections
San Francisco Chronicle: Pelosi to take message from Jerusalem to Syria
*No More Incumbents: “Working to insure natural term limits by removing all incumbents from office”
What bloggers are saying:
The Liberal Gambler: Kudos to Nancy Pelosi
Thespis Journal: A Fool’s Errand