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Beauty and the Beast - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Being the first woman to chair the US House of Representatives, the majority of comments referred to Nancy Pelosi’s elegance, choice of colors and make-up. However soon enough, people started to listen to what Ms. Pelosi had to say. The secluded administration that was “embarrassed” by the electoral defeat of the parliamentary majority made quite an effort to belittle, disdain and ridicule Pelosi and her comments, especially with regard to the issue of the Middle East in general and the senseless war on Iraq in particular. Thus, she began to take firm and clear stances regarding the approval of financing troops in Iraq and an increase in their numbers without a clear timetable for their withdrawal. Recently, Pelosi had conducted an important and interesting tour in the Middle East. She was accompanied by a finely selected and skillful delegation that included a veteran representative of Arab descent, the first Muslim representative as well as members of active committees whose activities are related to the policies of the United States in the region. This visit was met with much controversy particularly Pelosi’s visit to Syria. American media that is deemed as conservative rightist, had indulged in attempting to destroy the efficiency and credibility of this woman, attempting to portray her as a novice and inexperienced. The truth is that Nancy Pelosi’s trip to the Middle East was the most positive image conveyed by the United States of America to this region. Her visit surpassed the results of any public relations campaigns and attempts of specialized figures that aimed at improving the image of the United States. Pelosi belongs to the Democratic Party, which is in the process of rediscovering its tasks, besides that it has become a strong candidate to take over presidency in the United States. This is also the same party of which some of its members are currently aiming at removing the term “war on terror” from correspondences issued by the White House and requests for funding and support and replacing this term with “war in Afghanistan” or “war in Iraq”. They consider the term “war on terror” misleading in the same way as the term “mission accomplished”, which was used after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime, as well as the term “weapons of mass destruction” and other lies that were promoted for.

Nancy Pelosi represents the promising face of a responsible foreign policy that depends on the opinion of electors. She was correct when she said that George Bush should be fully aware that “there’s a new congress in town”. Accordingly what could have been done before may not be possible today. I met with Nancy Pelosi for dinner during her recent visit to the region, and I listened to her views. I saw how she dealt with people and listened to them and how she respected the opinions of others. She does not suffer from irritability, delusions of superiority, arrogance and lack of respect for the other, which are common traits among some members of the current American administration. Whilst speaking to a businessman, Nancy Pelosi commented on her meeting with one of the Arab leaders saying, “He depends on violence and issues decisions single-handedly, besides he deals with suspicious groups.” The businessman replied asking, “Are you talking about the Arab leader or George Bush?” To which she responded with an understanding smile.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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