THE SPINE DECEMBER 15, 2006
Do you recall when, as children, we played "doctor and patient?" It was quite titillating really. Now, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat from Florida has already been to Damascus to consult with Bashar Assad. And following on Nelson's footsteps will be John Kerry (who's always playing president), Arlen Spector, Republican from Pennsylvania, and Chris Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut. (See an article in Thursday's New York Sun, "Senators Trek to Damascus, Defying White House Policy" by Eli Lake and an editorial, "Road to Damascus", in the same issue.) Such visits with a nasty head of state usually go the traveler's head. Sometimes the visitor says that he is going to argue with his host, other times to probe his host. All of this is nonsense.
The rush to Syria has been provoked by the report of the Baker
Commission. And, already, Nelson has said that Assad is open to a
deal. Ipso facto, James Baker was right. These senators would be acting more in the national interest if they were going on travel-paid golf junkets to Scotland.