Debra J. Saunders

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently is willing to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad -- even though Syria has supported terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah and allowed terrorists to cross the Syrian border with Iraq to attack U.S. troops -- but until late Wednesday, she would not accept an invitation from the president of the United States to discuss legislation to continue funding for the Iraq war.

At a hometown press conference Tuesday, Pelosi explained: "What the president invited us to do is to come to his office so that we could accept, without any discussion, the bill that he wants. That's not worthy of the concerns of the American people. And I join with Sen. (Harry) Reid (D-Nev.) in rejecting an invitation of that kind."

If Pelosi's Tuesday logic -- meet with Assad, but not Bush -- doesn't work for you, consider her spin on her recent trek to the Middle East. Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Pelosi at her press conference, where he crowed, "It was on a scale of 10, a 10, and the United States foreign policy was dramatically advanced by the speaker's mission."

Funny, when in Syria, Pelosi said, "There is no division on policy between us and President Bush -- be it on Israel, Palestine or Syria."

Sooooooo: The Pelosi mission was a 10 out of 10 -- because Pelosi and company advanced Bush's foreign policy? It helps if you forget that while in Israel, Lantos announced, "We have an alternative Democratic foreign policy." And forget that the Bush policy is to not call on Assad. I don't understand why Pelosi can't be honest about the fact that she was deliberately undercutting Bush. Maybe the speaker was shaken by editorials that took her to task for overstepping her powers as she moonlights as a general and a diplomat.

The Washington Post chided Pelosi for her "foolish shuttle diplomacy," most notably her "ludicrous" assertion that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had asked her to deliver the message to Assad that "Israel was ready to engage in peace talks" with Syria. The Olmert government promptly issued a statement correcting Pelosi -- and the record.

The Post harrumphed over the speaker's misstep -- and her equally wrong-headed claim that Assad was ready to "resume the peace process" -- thus: "Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were propaganda."

Debra J. Saunders

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