Pelosi Attempts to Return Balance to American Policy

Despite the objections voiced by the administration of George W. Bush, the visit to Damascus of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the third most powerful figure in the United States – is of particular importance. By carrying out this visit, Mrs. Pelosi confirms the existence of a desire to restore balance to American diplomacy, which in more than one region, has been so severely disrupted by the diplomatic and military actions of the American administration.

It is well known that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the key to solving all the other problems in the Middle East, and that any serious effort to settle this conflict will require the inclusion of Damascus, both because of its own territory that is presently occupied by Israel, and because of Syria’s regional clout, which cannot be denied.

The United States has insisted on completely adopting the Israeli point of view, and Pelosi is no exception, but her visit to Damascus to listen to Syria’s point of view constitutes an important step forward, especially in light of the new political push to kick-start the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

The United States has committed, across several decades, many serious mistakes that have resulted in the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and this conflict in turn has led to problems on many different levels and in more than one region. And of course, the George W. Bush Administration has been the worst ever, be it because of its military occupation of Iraq and its inexplicable boycott of Syria.

Pelosi’s visit doesn’t mean that dramatic changes are in the offing, but it was an important opportunity to hear the views of Damascus and understand the opinions of the other side, in order to try and solve problems that cannot be solved without doing so.

What America says about Syrian support for terrorism when it points to relations with Hamas and Hezbullah is highly hypocritical. After all, the entire Arab world and most other countries have normal relations with those two movements, both of which play important roles on the Palestinian and Lebanese stages. We have also seen senior Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister] Ismail Haniya participate in the latest Arab Summit, alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas. We haven’t heard that Washington has decided to boycott the other Arab countries and end all dialogue with them because of this position.

All that the U.S. House Speaker heard is that Syria is keen on holding a serious and sincere and responsible dialogue with the Americans, to find fair and lasting solutions to the region’s problems, and this should be the subject of further cooperation. Dialogue has always been the best way to find solutions to disputes and conflict. Now as always, threats of force have failed. What we are seeing in Iraq should stand as an eloquent lesson for advocates of extremism and war in the United States and beyond.

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