Hi, I’m Nancy Pelosi, and I’m not only speaker of the House of Representatives (my day job), I’m also the founder and president of The Nancy Pelosi Famously Inept School of Free-Lance Diplomacy.
We can give you the training and tools you need to become a famously inept free-lance diplomat – just like Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter and me!
You don’t have to be the president, secretary of state or an ambassador to engage in free-lance diplomacy. You don’t even need half a brain – as my recent trip to the Middle East demonstrates.
All that’s required is an entrenched naiveté, an unshakable faith in the good will of tyrants and terrorists and a dogmatic adherence to a leftist worldview. We can supply the rest -- as well as teaching you how to say “pass the humus” in Arabic and Farsi.
Before you know it, you’ll be running off to Third World dungeons, chatting it up with dangerous dictators and odious anti-Semites, calling for blind trust in the sponsors of terrorism, lying about what heads of state told you and generally engaging in a kamikaze version of shuttle diplomacy.
Now, to begin your training, repeat after me: “The road to (fill in the blank) is the road to peace.”
After meeting with Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, I assured all and sundry, “We came in friendship, hope and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace. (Note: This formulae works equally well in any appeasement situation. Thus, the road to peace in Asia can be said to run through Pyongyang. The road to peace in Latin America runs through Havana or Caracas. Another branch of the road to Middle East peace runs through Tehran, and so on.)
Of course, a spokesman for the National Security Council inconviently noted, “That road (to Damascus) is lined with the victims of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the victims of terrorists who cross from Syria to Iraq.” But liberals never let a few corpses – or a few million – get in the way of negotiated surrender.
Here’s another helpful hint: Try not to get caught in a lie. When you are, simply ignore it.
Thus, I told President Assad that I was delivering a message from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that “Israel is ready to engage in peace talks with Syria.” After my 3-hour tête-à-tête with Assad, I insisted that I was assured, “He’s ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel.”
But no such assurances were given by either party. It was all grand-standing on my part.
Almost immediately, Syria’s ambassador to the United States contradicted me, observing, “Syria will not hurriedly offer concessions when it refused to offer them under much greater pressure from the United States in the past.”
Prime Minister Olmert issued a “clarification” (a diplomatic way of disavowing the really dumb statement of a high-ranking official of an ally). “Although Israel is interested in peace with Syria, that country continues to be part of the axis of evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East,” Olmert’s office observed.
But am I discouraged? Heck no! Jerusalem is now committed to entering into negotiations with Damascus as soon as the latter stops being part of the axis of evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East – in other words, when Bashar Assad ceases to be Bashar Assad, which could happen any day now.
In the wake of my famously inept, free-lance diplomacy, The Washington Post (which ordinarily adores my party) tore into me.
“Ms Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel’s position,” a Post editorial charged, “but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad’s words were mere propaganda.” The editorial concluded, “Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.”
Clearly, the Post has become a tool of Dick Cheney and the GOP foreign policy establishment.
Omran Salman, Bahraini editor of the reformist website Afaq, said I had turned my back “on Syrian reformers and had harmed the cause of democracy in Syria.” Salman continued “Is it any secret that the Syrian regime is one of the most vicious regimes, and one of the most repressive regimes, in the region?” And? Every famously inept free-lance diplomat knows a crafty tyrant is the perfect peace partner.
Others were more discerning, and congratulated me on my initiative. Khaled Al-Batch, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, said I understand the Middle East “more than Bush and Dr. Rice.” Al-Batch said he hopes my party wins the next election! Maybe he’ll make campaign spots for Democratic candidates in ’08.
I also got high marks from Abu Abdullah, leader of the Hamas military wing in Gaza, who said my eagerness to talk with Assad “is proof of the importance of our resistance against the U.S.” (i.e., kidnapping Israeli soldiers and firing rockets into Israel).
And the happily named Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, called me “a brave woman.” With the proper training, you too could receive fulsome praise from dudes named “Abu” and “Jihad” who run martyrs brigades.
Of course, skeptics were quick to point out Assad’s less than exemplary record, including:
Signing a military alliance with the nuke-building nut-cases of Tehran.
Not more than two-months ago, welcoming to Damascus Iranian President and Holocaust-Denier-in-Chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and announcing that Syria and Tehran are in solidarity against “the evil aims by the U.S. and Zionists.”
Complicity in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.
Supplying Hezbollah with large quantities of weapons which it used to start a mini-war with Israel last summer, in turn necessitating an Israeli incursion into Lebanon.
Providing a base of operations for leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Arming and providing safe transit for the terrorists killing American troops in Iraq.
Stoking the fires of anti-Semitism in the Moslem world, as when Assad told John Paul II, during a 2001 papal visit to Syria, that Jews “try to kill all the principles of divine faiths with the same mentality of betraying Jesus and torturing him, and the same way that they tried to commit treachery against Mohammad.”
I don’t let such minor details keep me from reaching out to butchers. Did Kristallnacht and the Anschluss stop Neville Chamberlain?
My public life is a testament to the “dogmatic adherence to a leftist worldview” which I mentioned at the outset as a prerequisite for a career in famously inept, free-lance diplomacy.
In 2004, I held roundtable discussions with a number of American Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – of which my Democratic colleague and New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer declared, “We know (CAIR) has ties to terrorism.”
I’ve fought to end what I call the “racial and religious profiling” of Muslim passengers, on the theory that an Irish nun is just as apt to blow up a plane as a man carrying a Koran and muttering “jihad, jihad!” Flying imams – buckle your seatbelts!
In 2006, I voted against consideration of an intelligence appropriations bill, because it provided for NSA’s warrantless electronic surveillance. I firmly believe that domestic terrorism is a law enforcement – not a national security – problem. It’s our own fault for not serving warrants on those planes before they crashed into the World Trade Center.
I also voted against reauthorization of the U.S. Patriot Act and against Congress establishing procedures for the detainment and interrogation of suspected terrorists, and military tribunals to try them – all legal according to the Supreme Court. Confidentially, I’m a terrorist’s wet dream.
Oh, and I opposed both the 1991 Gulf War to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, despite Saddam’s repeated refusals to allow inspections for weapons of mass destruction. I even voted against a bill affirming that the region and world were safer after the overthrow of Saddam.
In 2005, all of this earned me a 100% approval rating from the aforesaid Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose motto should be: “National Security? We don’t need no stinkin’ national security!”
So, you see, my famously inept diplomacy is consistent with my congressional voting record – both equally delusional.
In fact, some observers have said my cuddling with Assad reminds them of another effort at free-lance diplomacy by a famously inept member of my party - Joseph P. Kennedy.
As ambassador to the court of St. James in 1938, Kennedy engaged in free-lance diplomacy when he met with German Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen. (Kennedy was ambassador to London, not Berlin).
The patriarch of the Kennedy clan assured von Dirksen that FDR wasn’t anti-German and wanted warm relations with the Third Reich, but powerful and sinister Jewish interests (probably neo-cons) were stirring up trouble. A year and three months later, Panzer divisions rolled into Poland, starting World War II.
But, never you mind. As I announced at Damascus International Airport, before leaving the land of happy car bombs, “As a mother, I will exhaust every remedy for peace.”
Even if your free-lance diplomacy makes the world less safe, promotes violence by encouraging aggressors and undermines national security, you can deflect any criticism by wrapping yourself in the mantle of motherhood. It’s also useful to have an apple pie and an American flag handy.
The best thing about being a famously inept free-lance diplomat is it lets you feel like Henry Kissinger while sounding like Rosie O’Donnell.
(This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com.)
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