It is well worth a read (or a listen, as the case may be). But the thing that stood out for me, was Sandmonkeys thoughts on the recent Pelosi Peace Tour in the ME.
I was in Turkey a couple of weeks ago and I met a couple of Syrian activists. The one thing they told me that was really funny about the Pelosi visit. After Pelosi came to Syria two things happened. People on Syrian TV were saying, "We forced the Americans to knock on the Damascus gate!" Sort of like an admission that we messed things up in Iraq so much that America had to come and beg for their help.That's the price you make others pay for your short-sighted goody-two-shoes approach to international relations. And what's worse: The people on who's head all this shit lands are the best of the country and our best hope for lasting, REAL, peace. Actions have consequences. One should consider those consequences before going off on a misbegotten (ego-) trip. And it should give every citizen pause for a moment of contemplation when our betters yet again argue we must engage in a 'dialogue' with such regimes as that of Assads Syria.
But the day after Pelosi's visits there were immediate arrests of Syrian activists. That was the fruit she yielded. "Oh the Americans came over and they said they have a different foreign policy and they're more interested in placating Bashar's ego." And he went out and got [arrested] everyone he wanted because he knew he had an ally in Washington that wouldn't pressure him as much