Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Something is rotten in the state of syria

Got this from Foxnews.com, via an AP report:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A powerful bomb tore through the motorcade of a former prime minister Monday, killing him, carving a 30-foot hole in a street and turning armored cars into burning wrecks. The devastation harked back to Lebanon's violent past and raised fears of new bloodshed in the bitter dispute over Syria, the country's chief power broker.
The blast wounded 100 people and killed 10, including the main target: Rafik Hariri,
a billionaire businessman who helped rebuild Lebanon after its civil war, but had recently fallen out with Syria.

All signs point to Syrians pulling this one off, since Hariri had recently begun to side with opposition groups to the Lebanese gov't and it's Syrian overlords. Either the Syrians knew that he was Up To Something, or they made an overt example of their power over Lebanon. Regardless, it was stupid, from a geopolitical standpoint. It focused attention on the Syrian/Lebanese relationship in ways that Syria DOESN'T want any attention focused upon. Plus, it all but declares open season on the Syrian gov't and forces in Lebanon for the Lebanese opposition groups. They will now increasingly look towards agressive action against the Syrians rather than just protesting. Still, how braindead are the Syrian intelligence and military leaders? Iraq and Afghanistan are now free by force of (American) arms, Egypt/Jordan/Israel/PA have just made joint agreements and are all but set to act as a military alliance, and there are calls for the democratization of the middle east from President Bush to opposition parties in many countries, be it Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran........and even Syria. The Syrians just made it that much easier for the opposition groups to find a partner willing to help them air their disagreements....and back it up. What happens if the opposition parites in Syria ask the Israelis to help them free Lebanon, and in exchange, the Lebanese would eradicate Hezbollah, and completely recognize Israel and their mutual borders with Lebanon? Does anyone think that the Egyptians and Jordanians would object- especially after what appears to be a Syrian led assassination of a Lebanese opposition leader? I think not.

Bashar Assad is playing with fire right now, and he probably knows it. Well, fire up the BBQ, Mr. Assad, because it's only going to get hotter now. Just pray to whatever god you pray to that it's not a hellfire missile that is what makes it hotter.


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