Sawyer softballed the intro to the segment by drooling that Pelosi is “galvanized steel with a smile,” but she soon made up for it, as you’ll see. Doubly clever is how she put her on the spot in the guise of a touchy-feely question about comforting the bereaved.

Pelosi has no answer, of course. She does her best, but what can she say when the highest octane in the anti-war engine is the left’s moral certitude that American soldiers are dying in vain? As with so much else about Democratic politics, she can’t tell the country how they and she really feel lest it cost them votes, so she politely and tactfully lies and mumbles about patriotism. And then hands Bush a check to keep the war, which she considers a “tragedy” and a “stark blunder,” going.

The White House unloaded on her this afternoon for what she suggested about the timing of the surge — namely, that Bush rushed the troops to Iraq because he suspected the Democrats wouldn’t have the balls to defund them once they’re there, which of course was correct — so I included her comments on that point, too.

Please note that the clip has been edited for brevity.

Update: Barnett wonders when exactly Marines became “young men.”

Update: As for her endorsement of “diplomatic and political initiatives” in Iraq, here’s what Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told Lee Hamilton of the Baker Commission today when he appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

Representative Tom Lantos, the California Democrat who has just assumed the chairmanship of the panel, said it was “utterly unrealistic” to imagine that Tehran and Damascus would help the United States stabilize Iraq, given that they have interests in destabilizing that country and have long worked against American interests in the region.

The committee’s ranking Republican, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, was even more hostile to the idea of negotiating with Iran and Syria. “Given the interests of these two countries, their ongoing terrorist activities, and their poor record of international cooperation, I strongly believe that it would be a mistake to turn to them for assistance in Iraq,” she said.

Update: Army Lawyer summarizes Pelosi’s position thusly: “They didn’t die for nothing, they died for something stupid.”