The Unnatural Linkage of Hariri, Pelosi and Assad
Much has been said and written of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to meet with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. But for all the criticism, little if any has been leveled at perhaps the most stunning statement to date made by a public figure (this side of Ahmadinejad). It was made by Speaker Pelosi while visiting Beirut Tuesday. Lebanon's Daily Star headline alone is enough to grab the attention of the mildly observant: Pelosi stresses dialogue with Syria as medicine for what ails Lebanon. But the quote within is a jaw dropper.
"The road to solving Lebanon's problems passes through Damascus," Pelosi told reporters after meeting with Lebanese parliamentary leader Saad Hariri at Qoreitem.
That she believes "the road to solving Lebanon's problems" passes anywhere near Damascus is troubling enough, as 'solving' has nothing to do with it.
But that a major US political figure uttered such after speaking with the son of a man assassinated at the command of Bashar Assad - who happens to live in Damascus, coincidentally - is simply stunning. Stunning. I've no other words.
I had sent this article and quote to a few friends. One of them, a counterterrorism analyst I spoke to later by phone, replied, "She seriously said that? I thought it was a joke." The conversation then naturally led down the path of such similarly proud moments as the new sitting Chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence not understanding the fundamental difference between Sunni and Shi'a just days before his confirmation. But even that pales in comparison to pontificating to Saad Hariri that 'dialogue' with his father's assassin will solve Lebanon's problems.
Lebanon's biggest problem is it's Syria-supported Hizballah terrorist 'state within a state.' Up there also is Lebanon's sitting pro-Syrian president, Emil Lahoud, still in office though installed during Syrian occupation. And the assassinations of anti-Syrian Lebanese figures after Rafik Hariri was blown up with 19 others by a Beirut truck bomb? All of these roads lead to Damascus.
For those who may criticize these words here as a 'partisan attack,' I offer:
Exhibit 'A': Who is Next?
Pay special attention to the last frame, as the words in the presentation's title are not mine. They are Lebanese in origin.
Madam Speaker, with all due respect, you owe Saad Hariri an apology.