Liberale stemmer i Midtøsten betrakter Nancy Pelosis besøk hos Bashir Assad som et svik mot den demokratiske opposisjonen i Syria.
De etablerte kommentarene er velkjente: Pelosi viser at Bush er isolert og at demokratene begynner å forstå hvor håpløs politikken har vært, eller at det ikke er noen forskjell på Pelosi og Bush.
Men hos www.aafaq.org kalles Assad en bøddel som burde vært holdt isolert. Istedet har Pelosi beæret ham med et besøk.
In an article titled «Shame on Ms. Pelosi for Shaking the Hand of the Damascus Hangman!» Omran Salman, the Bahraini editor of the reformist website Aafaq, wrote that Pelosi had turned her back on Syrian reformists and had harmed the cause of democracy in Syria:
«Of course no observer of Middle Eastern affairs could at all take seriously what Pelosi said [about Syria’s willingness to renew the peace process]. The most [such an observer] could do would be to struggle to keep from laughing…
«What the honorable U.S. congresswoman said has no basis in reality. Syria did not say that it would stem the flow of terrorists into Iraq. Likewise, it did not say that it would close the offices of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Damascus and expel their leaders. If it had wanted to do this, it would have done so years ago, in response to American demands and pressures…»
Pelosi Delivered a Blow to the Liberal Opposition in Syria and Frustrated Reformists’ Hopes
«The only result that Pelosi achieved in visiting Damascus, and in sitting down with the Syrian president and shaking his hand, was to deliver a blow to the liberal opposition in Syria and frustrate reformists’ hopes for change. By breaking through the ring of isolation [surrounding] Bashar Assad’s regime, Syria advanced [several] steps towards repression and despotism, and the march of reform and democracy fell behind.
«Is it any secret that the Syrian regime supports terrorism and is the prime suspect in being behind the… Hariri assassination and the assassinations of a number of other Lebanese journalists and politicians?
«Is it any secret that the Syrian regime is one of the most vicious of regimes, and one of the most repressive, in the region…?
«Perhaps Pelosi did not know… that during her visit to Damascus, this regime was specializing in torturing Syrian oppositionists – among them Kamal Al-Labwani, the founder of the Liberal Democratic Rally in Syria…
«What was Kamal Al-Labwani’s crime? In October-November 2005, Al-Labwani toured Europe and the U.S. to gather support for the cause of democracy in Syria. In the U.S., Al-Labwani met with members of the U.S. government and Congress and members of Amnesty International…»
Pelosi Rewarded the Hangman and Turned Her Back on the Victim
«Instead of demanding [Al-Labwani’s] immediate release [from prison], Pelosi went to reward the hangman, and turned her back on the victim. Did Al-Labwani fall victim to the trust he placed in America’s promises to support democracy and those demanding it?
«This is more than saddening; it is disgraceful to the highest degree. But not all of the blame falls on Ms. Pelosi alone. Over the last four months, more than 10 U.S. members of Congress, from both parties… have made the pilgrimage to Damascus and met with Assad… What is certain is that support for reform and democracy in Syria was not on their agenda.
«Any observer cannot help but be astounded how elected representatives of the American people, which loves liberty and humanity and is devoted to democracy, can engage with a first-rate dictatorial regime…»