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Pelosi's Common Ground With Assad, Ahmadinejad

By Jack Kelly

Jihadists affiliated with al Qaida have been entering Lebanon from Syria, and now constitute about half the fighters battling the Lebanese army in a Palestinian refugee camp in the northern city of Tripoli, the commander of Lebanon's internal security forces told the Washington Times.

"The head of Fatah al Islam, Shakir Absi, was in the Syrian air force before being released from a Syrian jail and sent to Lebanon by the Syrian military intelligence," sources in the Reform Party of Syria told the Middle Eastern News Line (MENL).

Syria's strategy is to distract and weaken the Lebanese army to make it possible for the terror group Hezbollah to seize control of Lebanon later this summer, said Lebanese-American Walid Phares in an analysis for the Counterterrorism Blog.

The movement of jihadists into Lebanon via Syria follows a letter written several weeks ago by al Qaida's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, to the leader of al Qaida in Iraq urging that jihadists there extend their "holy war" to other Middle Eastern countries.

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has stepped up his support for terror since he received a friendly visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early April. Human rights advocates in Syria have gone into hiding.

"Many Syrian... pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi's message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad," reported the New York Observer. "They say that Ms. Pelosi's visit, no matter how well intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them."

Ms. Pelosi's embrace of the Syrian dictator "made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria," said a human rights advocate interviewed by reporter Katherine Zoepf. "This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes."

Shortly after Ms. Pelosi left Damascus, Syria's best known human rights lawyer, Anwar al-Bunni, was arrested on a trumped up charge. He reportedly has been tortured.

Seventy percent of insurgents fighting in Iraq come from (Persian) Gulf countries via Syria, where they are provided with forged passports, a senior intelligence officer in Iraq's Interior ministry said in an interview with a Kuwait newspaper May 22.

Upon her return from Syria, Ms. Pelosi expressed a desire to meet with Mr. Assad's senior partner in the axis of evil, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Iran is forging ties with al Qaida elements to plan a summer offensive "intended to tip a wavering U.S. Congress into voting for a full military withdrawal," reported the British newspaper The Guardian.

"They (Iran) are behind a lot of high profile attacks meant to undermine U.S. will and British will," The Guardian quoted a "senior U.S. official" in Baghdad as saying. "The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard, who are connected right to the top."

The heavy involvement of Iran and Syria in Iraq makes it unlikely the conflict there is primarily a civil war. The migration of jihadists from Iraq to Lebanon via Syria makes it unlikely the conflict can be restricted to Iraq. But Ms. Pelosi doesn't let facts affect her world view.

After three U.S. soldiers were taken prisoner by al Qaida May 12, the Washington Post conducted a telephone interview with reputed al Qaida member Mohamed al-Janabi.

"I can assure you that we will start pressuring Bush in a new way at the same time he is facing pressures from the Democrats," Mr. al-Janabi told the Post.

Democrats such as Ms. Pelosi are not for terrorism and mass murder. But they do have a soft spot for terrorists and mass murderers. Mr. Assad and Mr. Ahmadinejad hate President Bush. So does Nancy Pelosi. So she assumes common ground can be found.

"One Damascus-based researcher explained that in March, a group of Democratic operatives asked for a briefing in preparation for (Ms.) Pelosi's Syria trip," wrote Lee Smith, a Beirut-based researcher for the Hudson Institute. "'I explained they were walking into a minefield,' he told me. 'The regime is causing trouble throughout the region, and then there are plenty of human rights issues with their own imprisoned dissidents. And all they said was Yeah, yeah yeah.' In other words, don't bug us with the details, we're all about Bush."

But Mr. Assad and Mr. Ahmadinejad hate President Bush not because he's a Republican, but because he's an American, a distinction Ms. Pelosi seems unable to draw.

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