Deadly 'dialogue'

Article Highlights

  • Five years ago, Bashar Assad welcomed Nancy Pelosi not for a sincere dialogue, but rather as a useful idiot

    Tweet This

  • 5 yrs ago, Syrian dissidents noted correctly that Assad would interpret the end of his US isolation as a green light for murder

    Tweet This

Five years ago today, then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi defied President George Bush's strategy of isolating Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by going to Damascus. "We do not encourage and, in fact, we discourage members of Congress to make such visits to Syria," the White House spokesman said, calling Syria "a state sponsor of terror."

To Pelosi, the Syrian dictator was a Western-educated reformer. "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," she told reporters.

The Syrian regime used the meeting to its full propaganda advantage. Unbeknownst to Pelosi, Syria was scrambling to put the final touches on a covert nuclear facility, and Syrian dissidents dove for cover, noting correctly that Assad would interpret the end of his US isolation as a green light for murder.

Assad, in hindsight, welcomed Pelosi not for a sincere dialogue, but rather as a useful idiot who might help relieve him of international pressure. Five years later, Assad hasn't changed, and neither has Pelosi.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Michael
Rubin


  • Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His newest book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement examines a half century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.


    Follow Michael Rubin on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-5851
    Email: mrubin@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Ahmad Majidyar
    Phone: 202-862-5845
    Email: ahmad.majidyar@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image The money in banking: Comparing salaries of bank and bank regulatory employees
image What Obama should say about China in Japan
image A key to college success: Involved dads
image China takes the fight to space
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.