Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Our Provisional Government

A Congressional delegation headed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is to arrive in Damascus tomorrow. With the Executive under the control of George W. Bush and his veto power, it is unclear what the delegation can hope to bring back that would change anything.... It is at least a thumb in the eye for the President, and perhaps the first signs of a materializing provisional government in Washington. The visit follows that of Senator John Kerry a few months ago. But apart from the question of bringing back something, what could they possibly offer that regime?

Make that, Our Provisional State Department

Update: Half of Congress is in the Middle East for the Easter recess. Senator John McCain and Lindsay Graham are in Baghdad, demonstrating how "safe" the city is (provided you travel with a 50-man platoon, armed to the teeth).

Speaker Pelosi was in Jerusalem Saturday. According to L'Orient-Le Jour, Pelosi has volunteered to deliver any message Ohlmert might have for Assad. On Monday, the Speaker goes to Lebanon for talks with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. She then goes to Saudi Arabia. Apparently, she is seeking the release of the three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah (2) and Palestinian groups (1)last summer.

Strangely, Pelosi's visit follow that of Republican Congressmen Frank Wolf, Joseph Pitts and Robert Aderholt. They met with President Assad, Syrian businessmen, religious officials and opposition figure Riad Seif. The Republicans claimed they discussed "sealing" the Syrian border with Iraq. But there is certainly more to it than that.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous William Hallowell said...

The debate over senatorial visits to the Middle East has been raging. I can't help but see a connection between the current debate and the focus of our research. We released the fourth edition of our Foreign Policy Index this week, and there are some very intriguing results. When it comes to foreign affairs, public anxiety is rising. While the war is definitely a driving force, the public's uneasiness spills over into the entire range of challenges facing the United States. Overwhelmingly, the public embraces diplomatic measures, with 44% of those surveyed favoring diplomacy with Iran and an addition 28% backing economic sanctions. Favor for military action is in the single digits. Our anxiety indicator is currently at 137 on a 200-point scale, edging toward the 150 point mark that we would consider a crisis of confidence in government policy. Go to http://www.publicagenda.org/foreignpolicy/index.cfm to check out the fourth edition of our “Foreign Policy Index.”

12:18 PM  
Blogger Shutter said...

Hey Nur! White women speak with fork tongue.

8:55 AM  

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