From Yahoo News, Wed Apr 27, by Anthony Ventre:
...It was 2007 when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hit the road for Damascus, overriding Bush state department criticism of her attempted rogue diplomacy. What wish-fulfillment fantasies compelled Pelosi to visit a country officially listed as a "state sponsor of terror?
"The road to Damascus is the road to peace!" Pelosi enthused.
Pelosi's judgment was that Syria's dictator would succumb to the American left-liberal vision of peace with Israel so long as Israel returned the Golan Heights. It didn't matter to Pelosi that Syria's Bashar Assad was a client state of Iran and a chief sponsor of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Nor did it matter that Syria was funneling fighters into Iraq to oppose U.S. troops. It didn't matter, either, that the Israelis had not consented to any peace process initiated by Pelosi, and were blind-sided by her proclamation.
The Israelis often point out that there could be no peace process without a reliable "peace partner." Terror groups like Hamas could never be peace partners, for example, because they would simply lie to obtain what they wanted. And they did lie. When the Israelis pulled out of Gaza, Hamas amped up its efforts at firing rockets into Israel.
Syria has unmasked itself as an imaginary "peace partner" by murdering an estimated 400 protestors in the current crisis. Assad's regime terrorizes political opponents with tanks and snipers hired from Iran to pick off protest leaders. Such was the fate of Neda Soltan during the 2009 pro-democracy uprising—shot dead by an Iranian police sniper.
Just because Arabs and Persians have been telling us for years that the postage stamp sized state of Israel is the main reason for a Middle Eastern failure doesn't mean it is so. This is particularly obvious now that the Middle Eastern winds have shifted. Clearly, Israel has had nothing to do with the uprisings which have now dwarfed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in scope and consequences for the U.S.
Putting Israel at the center of Middle Eastern conflicts is a facile copout ....
... The Obama administration has not withdrawn its ambassador, frozen Syrian assets, or threatened war crimes trials as it has with Gadhafi in Libya. Yet, those things can be done now and easily.
It's time for the myth of the "good dictator" in Syria to be put to rest.