Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The issue is not wearing a headscarf per se, it's the headscarf, the smile and through her behavior, an implied acceptance of a brutal subset of Islam that has no qualms about filming the beheadings of innocents and broadcasting them to the world.
Many on the left (both in comments on the original post and elsewhere) have pointed to Republican women wearing headscarves in a mosque or a Catholic church. Such arguments for moral equivalence ignore the central difference here: Pelosi is participating in a celebration of a beheading. This is a Pelosi propaganda pander that helps our radical Islamist enemies.
KING ADDS: I noted in comments in a previous post of Janet's that Speaker Pelosi at one time favored the restriction on official contact with the Syrian government. She voted for the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which instructed the president after a finding that Syria was still engaged in state terror:
(2) the President shall impose two or more of the following sanctions:I note that Republicans have also gone this past week to Syria. This too is regrettable, as the White House noted on Monday.
(A) Prohibit the export of products of the United States (other than food and medicine) to Syria.
(B) Prohibit United States businesses from investing or operating in Syria.
(C) Restrict Syrian diplomats in Washington, D.C., and at the United Nations in New York City, to travel only within a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C., or the United
Nations headquarters building, respectively.
(D) Prohibit aircraft of any air carrier owned or controlled by Syria to take off from, land in, or overfly the United States.
(E) Reduce United States diplomatic contacts with Syria (other than those contacts required to protect United States interests or carry out the purposes of this Act).
If Speaker Pelosi "thinks it's a good idea to establish facts and to try to build confidence with Syria," she should ask to repeal the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act. She has a majority that could do it; if not, I'm sure there's some more peanut research that needs funding.
Q Thanks. The Speaker said in Beirut today that -- first of all, she's criticizing the White House for what she says is ignoring other Republican lawmakers who have made trips to Syria in recent days. And, also, she said she thinks it's a good idea to establish facts and to try to build confidence with Syria. Why is that not a good idea? And how is that just a photo op?
MS. PERINO: Let me unpack that a little bit. First of all, last week when I was asked about her specific trip, I said in my comments that, in general, we discourage members from going to the region. And that is true. In fact, I looked back, when Tony Snow was asked at this podium months ago, when Senator Nelson made a similar trip, he said the same, that this was a blanket policy -- but I was asked a specific question about Speaker Pelosi, which is why I said that.
Speaker Pelosi is a high-ranking United States official. Nothing changes -- nothing has changed in Syria's behavior over the years when high-ranking U.S. officials go to see them. We sent Secretary Powell early on; the behavior doesn't change. Syria uses these opportunities to flaunt photo opportunities around its country and around the region and around the world, to say that they aren't isolated, that they don't need to change their behavior, and it alleviates the pressure that we are trying to put on them to change their behavior.
And by changing their behavior I mean as in, stop undermining the democratically elected government of Lebanon; stop allowing foreign fighters to flow from Syria into Iraq, in which they are then killing American soldiers and innocent Iraqis and Iraqi soldiers. They are state sponsors of terrorism, of both Hezbollah and Hamas, and they support Palestinian terrorism.And so that was the reason that we said that we discouraged her from going. But that policy applies to all.