The Road to Damascus

Returning from Easter break, I was stunned when I read that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commented that “the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” More than anything else Pelosi did or said last week while in the Middle East, this particular comment struck me as particular galling — even for the Speaker.

The last time I checked, the Syrian government openly supports terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah — the two terrorist groups responsible for the death of hundreds of American citizens. According to The Wall Street Journal, “this is the same Syrian regime that has facilitated the movement of money and insurgents to kill Americans in Iraq; that has been implicated by a U.N. probe in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri; and that has snubbed any number of U.S. overtures since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Speaker’s “Road to Damascus” statement is all the more galling when you consider that both she and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) voted for the Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act that required President Bush to impose a variety of sanctions against the Syrian government. How have their actions changed, or to what particular action/series of actions can the Speaker point to that would merit praise from senior American government officials to Syrian rulers who openly condone the actions of groups that kill innocent Americans?

Suffice it to say, the only thing that has changed in the mind of the Speaker and other senior Democrats on Capitol Hill is that they perceive they can score political points against President Bush at will and without retribution. Sadly, what these leaders don’t realize is that such actions embolden our enemies at a time when our troops are deployed and in harm’s way to protect us all. I only wish those in charge of running the House and Senate would choose to carry out their sworn duties and provide funds to the troops in the field rather than pat themselves on the back while playing politics with the safety of our nation.

The road to Damascus has been a bloody, violent road that has cost the lives of countless innocent Americans. Rather than preening for the cameras before a government hostile to the American people, I can only hope the Speaker of the House will return to the road of reason and pass a clean funding bill to provide much-needed support for our troops — an action that will lead to a road of peace and stability in the Middle East.