From LGF again:
Sen. Arlen Specter makes no bones about it; he visited Syria to engage in freelance diplomacy, because he’s decided the US government’s policies aren’t working: Specter, colleagues travel abroad, but bid for dialogue yields little.He seems completely oblivious to the fact that by lending legitimacy to the Syrian regime, Specter hands them another propaganda victory—and undermines US interests.
On Christmas Day, Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) arrived in Damascus for meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior regime officials. He becomes the fourth senator in recent weeks to break an informal travel embargo and visit the Syrian capital, following visits this month by Sens. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), John Kerry (D., Mass.), and Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.).
When Specter announced his intention to visit, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned to ask him not to go, but the senator refused.
“I deferred to them a year ago, and I deferred to them last August,” Specter told the Associated Press. “If there were any signs the administration policy [in the Middle East] was working, I’d defer to them again.”On each trip, Syria’s state-controlled television broadcast Specter’s meeting with the Syrian president. Specter may believe his words are tough, but the Syrian government twists them to imply endorsement. On Jan. 5, 2003, for example, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported that “the U.S. Senator... voiced the United States’ appreciation for Syria’s positions and efforts aimed at making the Middle East more secure and stable, adding that his country views Syria’s positions as principled and rational.”
On Dec. 26, 2006, Syrian television reported that Specter “stressed... Syria’s pivotal role in the region.” Bolstering the sense of importance and confidence of state sponsors of terrorism does not help regional diplomacy.
This man needs to be censured. He needs to be put back into his place. Senators are not to engage in International Diplomacy!! They in no way represent the national view. Sen. Specter should be held at the airport and not allowed in until he sits for several hours. He needs to be shown that those coming from Syria are not to be coddled. At the least, he needs to be removed his committee seats and given a reduced stature. He is no longer a republican. It was painfully obvious for many years that he was not a conservative.