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For all the hollering about Nancy Pelosi's bungled trip to Syria, people have overlooked a perhaps more egregious offense committed by Nancy Pelosi's No. 2 in the House, Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.

On a visit to Cairo, Hoyer met twice with the head of the Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc, Mohammed el-Katatni. Secretary of State Rice has refused to meet with Katatni because he is the head of the powerful Islamist group which opposes Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

But it is not just that the Muslim Brotherhood opposes Hosni, a strong U.S. ally. The Muslim Brotherhood is a group considered a founding organization of the Islamist movement that seeks to impose a Muslim caliphate — or empire — throughout Muslim lands, and by extension to the rest of the world. In other words, these guys glow in the dark.

It's true Hoyer met Katatni at the U.S. ambassador's residence at a reception for Egyptian parliament members. But it's one thing for an ambassador to speak to the man whose group wants to enforce Islam on us, and it's quite another for the second in command to the No. 3 U.S. official to have met and engaged him twice on the same trip.

The Muslim Brotherhood officially forswears violence, but its offshoots include the Islamic group, bin Laden, and various others which have decided that to establish world Muslim rule, jihad must be employed. In any case, Hoyer probably should have given Katatni a tight smile, a nod of the head, and then said he'd forgotten to feed the cat and left the room.

I don't know what was said between Hoyer and Katatni, but I hope not much. Katatni's group has tried to overthrow secular Baathist rule in Syria, and that's a good thing.

What U.S. officials should say is, when you take care of the Syria thing, let us know. Maybe we'll have something to talk about. In the meantime, we feel you have us in your gunsights as much or more than anybody in the world.

This is yet another example of why dilettante, amateur-hour diplomacy by the new Democrat House leadership should have been avoided by the entire crowd staying home. Maybe they'll get a Democrat-elected president one day. That will be time enough to go back to Madeleine Albright diplomacy: all bluster and no action, and our enemies walking all over us.

That's My Word.

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