George and Nancy Make Nice
KURT NIMMO 9nov2006
[Note: All links in article are to other articles on this page]
It is show time, folks.
No sooner did the dust settle after the midterm elections, with the trumped up significance of a Democrat victory in both houses of Congress, did the corporate media begin concentrating on “reconciliation” between Democrats and the unitary decider.
“Within hours of an election that puts Democrats in charge of the House and the Senate for the final two years of Bush’s presidency, the president and the woman all but certain to be House speaker proclaimed reconciliation,” reports the Associated Press.
George invited Nancy to lunch. George ate crow, we are told, and “Pelosi pledged to find common ground in a turned-upside-down Washington.” Bush said the “people have spoken, and now it’s time for us to move on,” and Nancy vowed no recrimination, declaring “Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping the American people to get ahead.”
Of course, as a result of the shell game successfully concluded earlier this week, we can expect more of the same, that is to say the only people who will “get ahead” will be the small number ensconced in the corporate plutocracy, determined to continue the incremental push to convert America into a feudal estate lorded over by bankster suzerains and their minions, such as Pelosi and Bush. Everything else, as they say, is show business.
As the Associated Press is eager to inform us, the Democrats will do nothing to upset the apple cart, lest they be viewed as “unproductive or too obstructionist” and chance “losing their majority” in two years, as if that sincerely means anything. “Hence all the happy talk about bipartisanship,” that is to say business as usual.
Don’t expect impeachment, an end to the Iraq imbroglio, or a cessation of threats issued against Iran. Expect the Neoliberal Order to continue its drive to render North America into a “free trade zone,” that is to say the sovereignty of nations will be destroyed and populations reduced to biddable pauperage.
According to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, all of this will be “an exciting ride” and “an enormous amount of responsibility… comes with the job” of making it appear Democrats will actually do something for the people, when in fact there ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between two sides of the same coin.
In regard to the “I” word, Pelosi’s own constituency demands action. “Pelosi represents what may well be the most impeachment-friendly district in the country. On Tuesday, San Francisco voters approved a referendum, Proposition J, urging impeachment,” notes John Nichols, writing for the Capital Times.
Nancy Pelosi is all about respecting the wishes of her constituents—who are, after all, the corporations that fill her coffers: Charles Schwab, IBM, Wells Fargo, and the usual list of suspects. “Just in the third quarter of this year, her donors included such GOP-friendly groups as the American Bankers Assoc, the American Hospital Assoc, Credit Suisse, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Mortgage Bankers Assoc, Honeywell Corp, Accenture, Genworth, Lockheed Martin and even the Nat’l Beer Wholesalers,” writes blogger Jonathan Tasini. According to Open Secrets, “securities and investment,” i.e., the banksters, run the Nancy Pelosi song and dance show.
As for foreign policy, Pelosi is as Zionist friendly as any Straussian neocon, albeit in a fuzzy Democrat sort of way, and thus we can expect more murder and mayhem in the Middle Eastern neighborhood.
Pelosi “denies that the key issue is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,” writes Mark Gaffney. “The real issue, she states, is the survival of Israel” and “the biggest danger to Israel today comes from Iran, whose nuclear ambitions, though still unproved, also threaten the US. Her perspective contains the seed of ominous things to come, because, after all, something will have to be done about Iran, right? Yes, and soon…. Meanwhile, Pelosi manages to overlook Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians,” a consistent crime, recently magnified to disgusting dimension by Israel’s recent attack on Beit Hanoun in the Gaza, killing innocents in their beds.
“The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever,” Pelosi avowed last year at the AIPAC meeting, never mind the seeming inexhaustible crimes against humanity. “There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.”
Last month, Pelosi “said that a party change in the House of Representatives wouldn’t affect support for Israel,” Yedioth Internet reported. “In an internet discussion with the pro-Israel lobby to the Democratic party, Pelosi emphasized that ‘a strong relationship between the United States and Israel has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans,’” in other words, when it comes to slaughtering Palestinian children, there is a consensus. “Nancy’s Pelosi’s record on Israeli-related topics is perfect. She expresses interest in the situation in the country and has always participated in votes related to Israel. She has not harmed Israeli interests,” that is to say she has consistently and will continue to give the tiny outlaw settler state her blessing, no matter the slow genocide unfolding with horrific regularity.
“America’s commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering, regardless of which party is in power. However, the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe,” Pelosi declared. Never mind that such commitment is destroying and dividing America, to say nothing of bankrupting its treasury of funny money (i.e., more loans from banksters will be required, pauperizing future generations) and killing and maiming our soldiers has made America less safe. Of course, of utmost importance here is the state of Israel, thus revealing Pelosi is an Israel Firster, not much different than the most rabid neocon.
Indeed, George and Nancy have made nice, casting aside the theatrical snipes of the campaign. In essence, there is little difference between the unitary decider, a sock puppet for the neocons, and Nancy Pelosi, champion of Palestinian genocide in slow motion.
Now that the smoke has dissipated and the mirrors have been yanked from the stage, we will see “bipartisanship” between Pelosi, as presumptive leader of the Democrats in the House, and the neocon Republicans.
In fact, the show will go on—Iran will be attacked, come hell or high-water, and Bush will not face the music on his egregious and obvious lies leading to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Or for that matter will he be called to answer for his destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Meanwhile, the possibility of actually prosecuting Bush and crew for the inside job of nine eleven will remain about as remote as the Oort cloud.
Call me a doom and gloomer. But it should be manifestly apparent Pelosi and the Democrats have no intention of going after the unitary decider and his iniquitous crew.
Of course, I very well could be wrong.
I hope I am wrong.
But, at this juncture, delivering the thieves and warmongers to justice does not look very promising. It will take more, far more, than electing Democrats to office and then holding their feet to the fire.
It may take people going in the street and marching on Washington, and millions of people, not a few hundred thousand, a number effortlessly minimized by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fox News, and all the other corporate conspirators who would have use believe the election signifies the beginning of a new start in America, when in fact it is simply another act of the same old rotten performance, complete with a rotating cast of singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians.
source: http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=646 17nov2006
JENNIFER LOVEN / AP 9nov2006
WASHINGTON — He mocked her as "a secret admirer" of tax cuts and an opponent of measures crucial to keeping Americans safe, warning that "terrorists win and America loses" if her Democrats prevailed on Election Day. She called him dangerous and in denial, an "emperor with no clothes" who has misled the country about Iraq and presided over an economy that still fails many. Now, President Bush and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are making nice.
Within hours of an election that puts Democrats in charge of the House and the Senate for the final two years of Bush's presidency, the president and the woman all but certain to be House speaker proclaimed reconciliation.
It started with what both described as a gracious phone call early Wednesday and, at Bush's invitation, continues over lunch on Thursday.
What's on the menu? "For the president, it's probably a little bit of crow," presidential counselor Dan Bartlett told CBS' "Early Show" Thursday.
Before lunching with Pelosi, the president was having breakfast with House and Senate Republican leaders and meeting with his Cabinet.
Bush and Pelosi pledged to find common ground in a turned-upside-down Washington.
"The people have spoken, and now it's time for us to move on," Bush told reporters in the East Room on Wednesday.
Said Pelosi in her own news conference at the Capitol: "Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping the American people to get ahead."
This after some seriously sharp rhetoric.
Pelosi's criticism of Bush occasionally veered into the personal. "Oblivious, in denial, dangerous," she said of him in early September, referring to his administration's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. The president "is an incompetent leader — in fact he's not a leader," Pelosi said in 2004, referring to his Iraq policies.
"`Stay the course' is not a strategy, it's a slogan, and we need more than that," she said in June in a jab at how Bush once described his approach to the war.
Bush rarely referred to Pelosi by name. But in speeches during the campaign he made "the person who wants to be speaker of the House" — an idea that had him once snapping that "that's not going to happen" to an interviewer — the poster child for all he saw wrong with Democrats.
Noting that she voted against renewing the USA Patriot Act, creating a Homeland Security Department, authorizing a warrantless wiretapping program and questioning terrorists in the way he had proposed, the president said, "Given the record of Democrats on our nation's security, I understand why they want to change the subject."
Because of Democratic calls for an Iraq exit strategy, Bush accused them of believing "the best way to protect the American people is wait until we're attacked again."
Wednesday, the president dismissed the bitter language as nothing more than campaign-trail heat.
"I understand when campaigns end, and I know when governing begins," he said.
Both sides have much at stake.
The last two years of a presidency are difficult times for any Oval Office occupant. In the twilight of power, they must fight lame-duck status to get anything done.
But Bush is heading into that perilous period after an Election Day that pried his party's grip from Capitol Hill, in voting widely seen as a rebuke of him and his leadership, particularly on Iraq.
That makes his domestic wish list — such as adding private accounts to Social Security and permanently extending all tax cuts passed during his administration — not much more than a fantasy, especially for a president who largely has ignored the same Democrats who now will control the legislative agenda.
Add to that the prospect of Democratic investigations into missteps in the war, treatment of terrorism detainees and Bush's expansion of executive power, and his next two years could be a headache.
Democrats, too, have much to lose. If seen as unproductive or too obstructionist, they risk losing their majority — a very slim one in the Senate — in two years. How they govern also could impact the party's chances in the wide-open race for the White House in 2008.
Hence all the happy talk about bipartisanship.
Pelosi, for instance, put any suggestion of impeachment proceedings against Bush "off the table." She welcomed the president's move to capitulate to critics and accept the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
Bush promised "a lot of meetings with Democrats and a lot of discussion with Democrats." He signaled readiness to consider Democratic priorities such as a federal minimum-wage increase and to find compromise on renewing the No Child Left Behind education law, overhauling immigration policy and overhauling budget-busting entitlement programs.
Asked why his pledge of bipartisanship should be believed when so many others have been broken, he said simply: "Do it. That's how you do it."
Yet the two sides remain bitterly divided over Iraq.
"'Full speed ahead' — I don't think so," Pelosi said on CNN, mocking Vice President Dick Cheney's contention that the administration would continue its war strategy unbowed.
Bush countered that leaving Iraq before the mission is complete is a nonstarter. "If the goal is success, then we can work together. If the goal is, get out now regardless, then that's going to be hard to work together," he said.
Pelosi also said Democrats will pursue an agenda that has been resisted by Bush, including cutting student loan interest rates, funding embryonic stem cell research, authorizing the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare patients and imposing a national cap on industrial carbon dioxide emissions.
Bush indicated his patience with compromise would go only so far. He said he wanted to move ahead with strengthening presidential powers, an area where Democrats think Bush already has stretched too far.
"She's not going to abandon her principles and I'm not going to abandon mine," he said.
source: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/09/D8L9JMH00.html 17nov2006
SCOTT WHITLOCK 9nov2006
"Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer interviewed incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday and continued the fawning media coverage of the liberal Democrat. His gushing tone can best be described by how he closed the interview:
Wolf Blitzer: "Let me just congratulate you and wish you the best of luck. This is going to be an exciting ride. We started off that you are going to be the first woman to be the Speaker of the House. So you have an enormous amount of responsibility that comes with the job, a little bit extra because you're making history."
Nancy Pelosi: "Well, I appreciate your saying that and I think one of my first acts as -- post-election, will be to become a grandmother for the sixth time. We're anxiously awaiting the birth of our grandchild, who is due the first week in November, so a good omen. We get ready for our new grandbaby as we get ready for a new Congress."
Blitzer: "Well, we'll wish you only the best on that front as well."
Pelosi: "As well, thank you. Thank you, Wolf."
Throughout the segment, which aired at 5:28pm on November 8, Mr. Blitzer’s tone seemed similar to that of an excited fan interviewing a celebrity. He began the interview with a cutesy exchange over just what to call Ms. Pelosi:
Blitzer: "I don't know whether to call you Madam Speaker Designate, or what's the formal title until you're actually sworn in as speaker, what, January 3rd?"
Pelosi: "Well, this week, still Nancy."
Blitzer: "No, I'm not going to call you Nancy, but the President, when he spoke with you on the phone this morning, he called you.-"
Pelosi: "He called me speaker elect, but technically a caucus still has to act. Once they act, and then it's the Speaker is a constitutional officer elected by the House of Representatives, so that happens in the first week of January."
Blitzer: "I'll call you congresswoman for the time being."
Pelosi: "There we go."
Blitzer: "But they'll be plenty of time later to call you Speaker."
Blitzer quickly shifted into discussing just how "historic" the ascension of Nancy Pelosi is:
Blitzer: "It's obviously an historic moment, a woman becoming speaker of the House of Representatives. What is the impact? What does that mean for you?"
Pelosi: "Well, what it means for our country, I think, is something very important. The Congress is, of the United States, as you know, Wolf, is an institution steeped in history and tradition. For a woman to break through what I call the marble ceiling here is something quite remarkable. It sends a message that women can do anything."
Blitzer: "And do you feel a special responsibility knowing that, historically, this has never happened in our country before, that a woman becomes the Speaker of the House?"
Pelosi: "I do. I feel a very special responsibility. I feel a responsibility to have the most honest and open Congress, to have a Congress that has civility as its hallmark, bipartisanship in our debate and our deliberations, and fiscal soundness as a woman would want to have, not heaping mountains of debt on future generations. And as the first woman Speaker, I would want to conduct myself, perform my duties, in a way that would be sure that it wouldn't be too long before we'd have another woman Speaker of the House."
Blitzer: "It puts a little added pressure on you, but we'll get back to that."
Interestingly, CNN had no trouble coming up with a title for Ms. Pelosi on election night. A CNN producer designated her "Madame Speaker" before the votes were tallied.
A main focus of the CNN host’s questioning appeared to be whether Ms. Pelosi can reign in President Bush, specifically whether he would "do what you want him to do." He also repeatedly asked if Pelosi would cut funding for the Iraq war:
Blitzer: "But fundamentally, do you think there will be a real change in U.S. policy toward Iraq, or this is simply changing the cast of characters? Will the President, in other words, do what you want him to do?"
Pelosi: "Well, first of all, the president is the Commander in Chief. Donald Rumsfeld and whoever the president appoints are -- gets confirmed -- Mr. Gates, in this case -- is an employee of the president. So the policy is the president's. The implementation of the policy is Mr. Rumsfeld's, and that's why I think it was very important for him to go."
Blitzer: "If the President pursues the current policy, as you call it, stay the course, which he no longer uses that phrase, one option would be, in the House of Representatives, the power of the purse, to cut funding for the war in Iraq. Is that on the table?"
Pelosi: "Not really. We would never-"
Blitzer: "Why isn't it on the table?"
Pelosi: "Well, because our troops are in harm's way. They have been sent there, whether you agree with the policy or not, and I certainly did not agree with the resolution to go to war. We would not withhold our funding for the troops there."
Blitzer: "So what can the House of Representatives do, as you -- with you as Speaker, if the President, over the next two years, continues the strategy, the policy as is?"
Pelosi: "Well, what we have done in the House and Senate now, with a majority -- a Democratic majority in the Senate, I anticipate, Senator Reid and I, the Democratic leader there, have put forth some principles for solving the problem in Iraq." Blitzer: "You can make recommendations, basically."
Continuing with this theme, a few minutes later, Blitzer enthusiastically questioned the new Speaker of the House as to how she will use subpoena power:
Blitzer: "The power that you will have as the majority is subpoena power, when you conduct your investigations, your oversight. You said on ‘Meet the Press’ back on May 7th, ‘Well, we will have subpoena power. Investigation does not equate to impeachment. Investigation is the requirement of Congress. It's about checks and balances.’ Tell us how you plan on pursuing using this subpoena power.
Pelosi: "Well, first of all, others have said to us, do the Democrats want to get even now that we're in the majority? We're not about wanting to get even. What we want to do is to help the American people get ahead, not to get even with the Republicans. And so, as we go forward with our hearing process and -- which is the normal checks and balance responsibility of Congress, it will be to what is in furtherance of passing legislation that makes the policy better, that improves the lives of the American people. In order to make important decisions, you have to base them on facts. That's the only way your judgment-"
Blitzer: "So you'll use that subpoena power as appropriate?"
Pelosi: "Well, it's not a question -- well, subpoena power is a last resort. We would hope that there would be cooperation from the executive branch in terms of investigating the pre-war intelligence. I don't know -- those decisions will be made by our caucus with the wisdom of the committees of jurisdiction. They may or may not be a priority. We're a brand-new caucus, we have many new, excellent members coming in and we will establish our priorities together. But we will not abdicate our responsibility as the first branch of government, Article I, the legislative branch and our checks and balances responsibilities."
Only a few days after the midterm elections, one thing is clear: The Democrats will have a willing ally in their battles against Republicans.
source: http://newsbusters.org/node/8976 17nov2006
JONATHAN TASINI / The Huffington Post 23oct2006
There's a big elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about--and I'm not talking about the Republican Party. It's the gusher of money flowing to Democrats from K Street lobbyists. And it is worrisome that so few progressives want to talk about this openly.
Sure, I'm all for booting the Republicans out of the House and Senate.
But, I find it ironic, to say the least, that the polls show that the majority of the people believe that the political system is broken (according to a new CNN poll) and the polls also show the Democrats on the verge of taking over the House yet the Democrats are lining up and feeding at the lobbyist trough even more eagerly than before.
I've pointed out recently how Democrats are cozying up to business. Now, The Hotline reported just last week an item entitled, "K Street Veering Left." Turns out that House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi's "...corporate contributions have spiked compared to 2004. Just in the third quarter of this year, her donors included such GOP-friendly groups as the American Bankers Assoc, the American Hospital Assoc, Credit Suisse, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Mortgage Bankers Assoc, Honeywell Corp, Accenture, Genworth, Lockheed Martin and even the Nat'l Beer Wholesalers."
House Majority Leader-in-waiting Steny Hoyer, who The Hotline calls "the chief K St liaison for House Democrats," is also cashing in: "...Hoyer has also has seen his corporate contributions soar from Republican-leaning sources. The National Retail Federation, Capital One, Sallie Mae, and Occidental Petroleum have all stepped up their giving from 2004 to the man who could be the next Maj[ority] Leader of the House."
The scariest part of this money flow is how the Democrats view their good fortune. According to The Hotline, "Asked about the influx of K St dollars to the would-be leaders of a Democratic-controlled House, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said it indicated "support for our agenda and the political reality that we have a chance to win."
I know, there's an attitude out there that says, right now, it's just about winning and good Democrats should just shut up and not ask hard questions about what our party stands for. But, how long do we think the Democratic majority--if it should come to pass this November--will last once the voters figure out that one party has simply elbowed aside the other party so it can harness the spigot from which corporate money gushes to grease the legislative process? How will we move real changes in health care (a single-payer system), stop the passage of more devastating so-called "free trade" agreements and strengthen the rights of workers who want to unionize if the check-writers from K Street don't miss a beat? These questions must be asked now of our party leaders. In six months, once the spoils of victory are divided (committee chairs, party positions) it will be the voters who are left wondering what they've voted for.
source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-tasini/nancy-pelosi-stop-drinki_b_32293.html 17nov2006
From OpenSecrets.org NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) Top Industries The top industries supporting Nancy Pelosi are: 1 Securities & Investment $93,600 2 Real Estate $81,300 3 Transportation Unions $78,000 4 Building Trade Unions $75,000 5 Lawyers/Law Firms $74,050 6 Retired $71,750 7 Public Sector Unions $64,000 8 Industrial Unions $58,000 9 Misc Unions $50,000 10 Insurance $46,450 11 Health Professionals $38,700 12 TV/Movies/Music $33,750 13 Beer, Wine & Liquor $26,750 14 Commercial Banks $24,500 15 Computers/Internet $23,400 16 Telephone Utilities $22,500 17 Pro-Israel $22,350 18 Misc Finance $22,150 19 Lobbyists $21,600 19 Oil & Gas $21,600 Nancy Pelosi is a top House recipient from the following industries for the 2005-2006 election cycle: Industrial Unions (#1) Bldg Trade Unions (#2) Misc Unions (#2) Venture capital (#4)
For details, please go to the source: http://www.crp.org/politicians/indus.asp?CID=N00007360&cycle=2006
The Democratic leader in her own words
MARK GAFFNEY 27may2005
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s recent speech to the Israeli-American lobby (AIPAC) ought to be a clarion call for peace activists. Her address did not contain any big surprises. But it is, nonetheless, remarkable for its transparency. The speech (see below for the text) affords a up-close look at what Pelosi thinks about Israel, the Palestinians, the Mideast, and nukes.
It’s worth a look too because Pelosi’s beliefs on these matters are not a departure. Most of the Democratic Party leadership espouse similar ideas. The bipartisan voting record of Congress in recent years on Mideast issues proves this to be the case. Remember, this is the party that’s supposed to represent the grassroots, i.e., we the people. So what is the Democratic leader of the House doing, anyway, giving a pep talk to the second largest lobby in Washington? Indeed, to the lobby of a foreign power? It’s a question more Americans ought to be asking.
Most of the speech is the same old stuff. I draw your attention only to several points:
Pelosi denies that the key issue is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza --- at a stroke repudiating numerous UN Security Council Resolutions that the US voted for and supposedly still supports. But clearly, that’s no longer the case, and hasn’t been for many years.
The real issue, she states, is the survival of Israel. This is the familiar mantra by which anything and everything becomes possible. Only, there's a minor catch: The statement isn’t true and hasn’t been since probably 1949.
If nothing else, Pelosi is well-versed. She recites another familiar line, the one about how there was no partner for peace until Arafat expired, when light suddenly came flooding in. Pelosi makes it clear that in her view the Palestinian leader Abbas’ real job is to serve as policeman for Israel. Evidently, his legitimacy largely depends on this. Looking after the best interests of his own people comes in a distant second.
But her most revealing statements concern nuclear proliferation, and they show why the Democrats (who don’t get it) are no improvement over the Republicans (who always get it wrong). In fact, the Democrats may be even more dangerous, precisely because there is still the perception in the land, however mistaken, that the Democrats are the party of enlightened ideas. I would be willing to bet that most registered democrats are not aware of how extreme their elected Democratic representatives are on these key issues. Nor can most thus have a true sense of how dire the situation is.
According to Pelosi, the biggest danger to Israel today comes from Iran, whose nuclear ambitions, though still unproved, also threaten the US. Her perspective contains the seed of ominous things to come, because, after all, something will have to be done about Iran, right? Yes, and soon.
Meanwhile, Pelosi manages to overlook Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians, which undoubtedly is the greatest danger to Israel, by far, and comes from within. Nor does she mention Israel’s massive nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenal. But her statements additionally contain the tacit and troublesome assumption that the only people in the region who matter are Israelis and Americans. Everyone else, virtually the entire population of numerous countries, though no less imperiled by nuclear weapons (arguably even more so), simply don’t count in this calculus. In fact, Pelosi’s remarks are implicitly racist for this reason.
The shocker, though, also near the end, is where Pelosi takes the US and Israeli nuclear monopoly in the region for granted, as if this were a good and necessary thing. The purpose of the NPT in her view is to shut down the rogue proliferators, who by definition are always those other guys, never us. It’s the stuff of which nuclear nightmares are made. I would also bet that the vast majority of people who live in the Mideast take sharp issue with Pelosi’s thinking, and probably have a bone to pick with her about where the actual threat lies.
George Washington, our founding father, who warned against entangling alliances, must be turning over, about now. But don’t take my word for it. Read Pelosi’s speech (which follows) and draw your own conclusions.
Mark Gaffney is the author of Dimona: the Third Temple?, a pioneering 1989 book about Mordechai Vanunu and the Israeli nuke program. Mark’s latest book is Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes. Mark can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org
source: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0527-23.htm 17nov2006
From Official Website of
Nancy Pelosi House Democratic Leader 23may2005
Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee at their 2005 Policy Conference tonight. Pelosi discussed the relationship between the United States and Israel and the continued effort for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Below are her remarks:
“Thank you, Amy Friedkin, my dear friend for so many years. Californians, North and South, are proud of your great leadership at AIPAC. And to Bernice Manocherian, President of AIPAC, thank you. All who care about peace in the Middle East are grateful for your strength and wisdom in guiding AIPAC. As a native of Baltimore, I take special pride of your incoming President, Howard Friedman, who will continue in the tradition of outstanding leadership at AIPAC.
“I also want to acknowledge all of the students who are here. It is great to see so many young people taking such an interest in public affairs, especially on one of the critical issues of our time: peace in the Middle East.
“This spring, I was in Israel as part of a congressional trip that also took us to Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. One of the most powerful experiences was taking a helicopter toward Gaza, over the path of the security fence. We set down in a field that belonged to a local kibbutz. It was a cool but sunny day, and the field was starting to bloom with mustard. Mustard is a crop that grows in California, and it felt at that moment as if I were home.
“And then we were told that the reason we had to land in that field, as opposed to our actual destination, was because there had been an infiltration that morning, and they weren’t sure how secure the area was. And that point alone brought us back to the daily reality of Israel: even moments of peace and beauty are haunted by the specter of violence.
“While in Israel, we met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice Premier Shimon Perez. From them and from other leaders, we heard something I had not heard in a long time: cautious optimism. This was an attitude quite different from the one that confronted us when I spoke to AIPAC two years ago.
“One thing, however is unchanged: America’s commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering. America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship.
“Prime Minister Sharon’s leadership of Israel at this crucial time has been remarkable. He has brought Israel through an extremely challenging period, and now he has made the difficult decision that it is in Israel’s national security interest to disengage from Gaza.
“In the next few months, Israeli settlers will be evacuated entirely from Gaza and from four settlements in the northern West Bank. This courageous decision is gut-wrenching for Israel.
“Israel’s decision can be a decisive milestone on the road to peace. If the Palestinians agree to coordinate with Israel on the evacuation, establish the rule of law, and demonstrate a capacity to govern, the world may be convinced that finally there is a real partner for peace.
“Any progress on the Roadmap for Peace must be based on real change on the ground, as evidenced by the establishment of an accountable, and reconstituted Palestinian security force that prevents terrorism, not promotes it.
“Fortunately, Palestinian Authority President Abbas is no Yasir Arafat. He has condemned terrorism in Arabic, stating that it prolongs the day that the Palestinian goal of statehood can be achieved, and, at least as significant, stating that terrorism is immoral. He has begun to restructure the security services. All that is commendable.
“But he has not removed Arafat’s corrupt cronies from positions of power, nor has he moved to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. That is, I am sorry to say, cause for concern. President Abbas has said his goal is to establish the rule of law, but he has done nowhere near enough to realize that vision, and now he is confronted with a huge challenge: by the end of summer, Israel will be out of Gaza.
“Can Gaza become a pilot case for self-government for a Palestinian state? Or will it become a terrorist haven, a launching pad for rockets into Israel?
“President Abbas must act, for his own good, against those he must know are his enemies and are the enemies of the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
“The United States, just as Israel, wants to see him succeed. That is why I was so pleased when President Bush dispatched Jim Wolfensohn to help with the Gaza withdrawal. It is why I supported additional aid to the Palestinians in the Emergency Supplemental bill that recently passed Congress.
“There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
“The greatest threat to Israel’s right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran. For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology.
“Proliferation represents a clear threat to Israel and to America. It must be confronted by an international coalition against proliferation, with a commitment and a coalition every bit as strong as our commitment to the war against terror.
“The people of Israel long for peace and are willing to make the sacrifices to achieve it. We hope that peace and security come soon – and that this moment of opportunity is not lost. As Israel continues to take risks for peace, she will have no friend more steadfast than the United States.
“In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel ‘as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.’
“The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever.”
source: http://democraticleader.house.gov/press/releases.cfm?pressReleaseID=999 17nov2006
Votes for US House and Senate to take place Nov. 7, indicate Democrats to win majority. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says Israel has nothing to fear from party change in Congress
YITZHAK BENORIN / YNet News 28oct2006
WASHINGTON - Friday night, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi – who is expected to be House Majority Leader if the Democrats achieve a majority in the upcoming November polls for Congress – said that a party change in the House of Representatives wouldn't affect support for Israel .
Pelosi, one of the leading opponents to the war in Iraq in Congress, is the new up-and-coming American in politics, and a nightmare for George Bush. A tough and experienced politician, she knows how to play the game in Washington.
In an internet discussion with the pro-Israel lobby to the Democratic party, Pelosi emphasized that "a strong relationship between the United States and Israel has long been supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
"America's commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel is unwavering, regardless of which party is in power. However, the war in Iraq has made both America and Israel less safe," she declared.
Supports Israel – and 'land for peace'
Nancy's Pelosi's record on Israeli-related topics is perfect. She expresses interest in the situation in the country and has always participated in votes related to Israel. She has not harmed Israeli interests.
Prior to elections in the Palestinian Authority, for example, she voted in favor of a Congress initiative not to support Hamas and other terrorist organizations' participation in the elections. The Bush government thought otherwise, and the result is known.
In conversations with friends, she says that the creation of the State of Israel is one of the miracles of the twentieth century.
Nonetheless, she does not support Jewish settlements in the territories, and like most American politicians, including President Bush, agrees with the formal US stance in support of land-for-peace.
Regarding Iran, Pelosi's stance is close to Israel's. In a speech she gave at the AIPAC 2005 yearly conference, Pelosi said that "for too long, leaders from both parties haven't done enough" to struggle against Russia and China who are providing Iran with technological information on nuclear issues and missiles.
She responded to a Ynet writer's question regarding her intended treatment of the problem, in the event of becoming House Majority Leader.
"If evidence of participation by other nations in Iran's nuclear program is discovered, I will insist that the Administration use, rather than ignore, the evidence in determining how the US deals with that nation or nations on other issues," she said.
It's too early to say for sure, but if, as voter polls indicate, Democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives on Nov. 7, President Bush can expect his last few years in the White House to be a struggle, even if Democrats don't push for impeachment.
The US Congress serves as a check on presidential power and so, if Pelosi becomes House Majority Leader, it's safe to assume that he will be checked: Since he can't make budget changes or pass legislation without Congress approval, Pelosi will make it harder for him to increase spending in Iraq.
Nonetheless, Pelosi already emphasized that she would not push for impeachment. The last thing she wants is for disgruntled Republican voters to make an extra effort to come to the polls or to distance independent voters who may think that she's only out for revenge instead of out for the American voter.
Barring surprises, Pelosi need only wait patiently for a few days before going down in history as the first House Majority Leader.
With all due respect to Condoleezza Rice, according to the US Constitution, the House Majority Leader is the third person in the presidential hierarchy. If both president and vice-president are incapacitated, the majority leader takes command. Secretary of State is sixth on the list.
With almost 20 years of experience in the House of Representatives, and four years as House Democratic Leader, Pelosi has managed to exert a surprising amount of control over a party that, unlike the GOP, is known for pluralism and heterogeneousness.
Pelosi represents perhaps one of the most liberal districts in the United States – San Francisco. However, she has started to lean towards the center of the political spectrum and it seems that, despite Republican horror stories to Jewish voters, most of them intend to vote Democrat. They tend, like Pelosi, to oppose the war in Iraq and support Israel.
source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3320428,00.html 17nov2006
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source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3028645,00.html 17nov2006s