We all remember the infamous pilgrimage ex-speaker Nancy Pelosi took to Damascus in April of 2007 (Pictured above with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem surrounded by Assad security men).

That day and for a brief moment, Ms. Pelosi cloaked herself with the title of an elected President and Vice-President, an appointed Secretary of State, and an appointed Secretary of Defense all in one. That exuberance on her face says it all.

She claimed it was for peace but the reality was she wanted to support Assad who was under pressure from a US administration for the terror he unleashed on the Iraqi and the Lebanese communities.

Not that she condone that violence, I am certain, but her visit of appeasement against the background of today’s terror unleashed against innocent and unarmed civilians should be a lesson to all.

Our hope is that soon some reporter in Washington would ask her this question: “Looking back, do you think your trip to Damascus was a wise decision?” Let’s hear a “Yes” with the long explanation that will certainly follow (I call it the dripping water answer because you wish afterwards you never asked the question) or maybe it will be a 60-minutes-moment when eyelashes freeze, lips tighten, and eyes bulge.

True that one political calculation, taken under a set of conditions, may totally become irrelevant under a new set of conditions. Using this prism of wisdom, it is therefore the right of Speaker Boehner today to receive the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Washington only to erase our memory of painfully watching Rep. Pelosi in Damascus shaking the hands of a terrorist.

In fact, I think it would be a favor to Rep. Pelosi that she should thank him for.

Along the same line, I am also reminded of another pilgrimage the famous actress Angelina Jolie took with her husband Brad Pitt to visit with the Assads.

Jolie’s pure intentions at that time were to adopt a Syrian child, or so we were told. Since neither Jolie nor Pitt have access to the same intelligence reports Pelosi had at the time she visited with Assad, one would have to give them a pass.

In fact, I think both have watched some of the horrifying videos streaming from Syria and must have thought to themselves “That was a bad decision”. It is more than certain, given the charitable disposition both exalt with us that this is a trip they want to forget badly.

Trips like these have an intangible benefit to freedom lovers around the world. In the future, much scrutiny will precede such visits by politicians or famous people to far away dictators. But then, maybe not.

Admirers will forget and forgive a one-time indiscretion but it would be hard to apply fluff and giggles again to the serious business of paying homage to violent men who kill children deliberately no matter how dazzled with fame the public is. 

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