FAILURE OF DIPLOMACY WITH SYRIA
This report in the Telegraph on Syrian volunteers joining the Iraqi insurgency
makes for disheartening reading.
But what struck me, when I reread it this morning, was that to some extent more able siplomacy could have cut back very much on the size of the problem. Here is a representative voice:
Like many Syrians, he is convinced that his country will be invaded next and that it is only by keeping the US bogged down in Iraq that Syria will be spared.
"All we know is that Syria is the next station in the American plan. The Americans are all Jews and unbelievers," said Abdullah.
Now, leave aside his rather surprising finding that the 97% of Americans who are not Jewish are apparently atheists, he is making a clear point about the Syrian regime’s sense of threat. This should have been avoidable to some extent, by making it clear that there was going to be no push into Damascus after the one into Baghdad. Of course that wouldn’t have eradicated this kind of activity of supporting the insurgency and passive support of the Assad regime, but it would have been substantially less. This would be something to look at: to get Syria to do a Gaddafi. It would help us with our troubles in Iraq, would make an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal easier and would be beneficial to Syria by avoiding potentially damaging confrontations with the West.
Labels: Iraq, Israel, Lybia, Syria, terrorism