It's Showtime!… Pelosi Meets With Bashar Assad
Both Speaker Pelosi and Syrian leader Bashar Assad knew they would have one thing in common…
They both want US troops out of Iraq now.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Damascus, April 4, 2007. (REUTERS/Jamal Saidi)
Speaker Pelosi did it! Nancy Pelosi met with Syrian regime today.
Pelosi, the third most senior U.S. official, sat next to Assad in front of cameras before starting a meeting at his hilltop palace overlooking Damascus.
Assad then took Pelosi for lunch at a restaurant in a restored house in Damascus’s historic district, witnesses said.
The White House has described her visit as a bad idea.
A member of Pelosi’s delegation said that during her meeting she would raise Syria’s suspected support for anti-U.S. rebels in Iraq and its backing for Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The United States withdrew its ambassador from Damascus shortly after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Rafik al-Hariri in February 2005.
The democratic delegation proudly marched into Damascus after surrendering Iraq in a recent vote on the House floor less than two weeks ago.
The photo on the right is U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leading a group of Congress members as she arrives to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus April 4, 2007. (REUTERS/ Khaled al-Hariri)
The photo on the left, of course, is the surrender by the Japanese in World War II.
This does make it look official, anyway.
Pelosi left the luncheon with Assad saying the talks were “very productive”:
The talks have so far been “very productive,” Pelosi said in a televised news conference in the Syrian capital today, adding she was “determined that the road to Damascus would be the path to peace.”
Assad gave assurances of his willingness to restart talks with Israel on the Middle East peace process, Pelosi said. She said she was able to convey a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that his country is also ready to engage in peace talks.
Syrian activists are attacking Pelosi for her statement to Middle Eastern women…
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears a veil as she visits the tomb of John the Baptist inside the Umayyad mosque in Damascus April 3, 2007. (Jamal Saidi/Reuters)
** The Reform Party of Syria ripped Pelosi:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was seen roaming the streets of Damascus flaunting a Hijab. The Hijab worn by women across the Muslim world has come to symbolize either one of three things: 1) a symbol that men control women by forcing piety, or 2) a return to religiosity because of oppressive rulers, or 3) a fashion statement. If you ask any expert on the Middle East, you would get any one of three answers. The ones who usually claim it is a fashion statement are the political rulers who usually oppress people in general. A Hijab is NOT a confirmation of the rights of women in the Middle East but rather a symbol of their suppression.
As a Muslim, I fully understand respect of our religion by visiting US officials and I applaud that respect. Had Speaker Pelosi worn the Hijab inside a Mosque, this would have indicated respect but for Pelosi to wear it on the streets of Damascus all the while she is sitting with the self-imposed Baschar al-Assad who has come to symbolize oppression and one of the reasons why women are forced to wear the Hijab as they turn to religion to express their freedom is a statement of submittal not only to oppression but also to lack of women’s rights in the Middle East. Pelosi just reversed the work of the Syrian civil society and those who aspire for women’s freedom in the Muslim countries many years back with her visual statement. Her lack of experience of the Middle East is showing.