On the road to Damascus

Reader William Katz alerts us to this morning’s Washington Post editorial — “Pratfall in Damascus” — and comments: “Once again the Washington Post shows us that, although it’s a liberal paper, its editorial page is vastly superior to and more thoughtful than that of The New York Times. Here the Post rightfully condemns, and in forceful language, Nancy Pelosi’s freelancing in the Middle East.” Considering the source, the Post’s condemnation is both harsh and commendable, although it doesn’t quite do justice to Pelosi’s waywardness or misconduct:

“We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace,” Ms. Pelosi grandly declared.
Never mind that that statement is ludicrous: As any diplomat with knowledge of the region could have told Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Assad is a corrupt thug whose overriding priority at the moment is not peace with Israel but heading off U.N. charges that he orchestrated the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri. The really striking development here is the attempt by a Democratic congressional leader to substitute her own foreign policy for that of a sitting Republican president. Two weeks ago Ms. Pelosi rammed legislation through the House of Representatives that would strip Mr. Bush of his authority as commander in chief to manage troop movements in Iraq. Now she is attempting to introduce a new Middle East policy that directly conflicts with that of the president. We have found much to criticize in Mr. Bush’s military strategy and regional diplomacy. But Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to establish a shadow presidency is not only counterproductive, it is foolish.

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