Tuesday, August 30, 2005



These were side-by-side headlines in today's NYTIMES:

5 Highly Placed Lebanese Detained in Ex-Premier's Death
Airstrikes by U.S. Continue Near Syria Border
These two headlines prove we are steadily turning up the heat on the Baathists in Syria.

Don't be surpised if Assad is toppled - by a peaceful popular uprising, or by a more violent one, one similar to what happened to Ceausescu [BBC: "After the euphoria of Solidarity's victory in free elections in Poland and the Velvet Revolution in Prague, this was different. The Romanian revolution was the last, and the bloodiest, in the whole region. It came to a head on Christmas Day, when the dictator and his wife were executed." ], or by a military coup - before the end of the year.

I suggest this will probably happen sooner rather than later because Syrians and Syrian Kurds must know that democracy is taking shape in Afghanistan and Iraq and Lebanon and Egypt, and they MUST want some, too. The more precarious Assad and his Baathist Party seems, the more likely his tyrannized people will come to believe that they can bring his evil regime down. By prosecuting his henchmen in Lebanon, and by bombing the border he shares with Iraq, (and by secretly encouraging the Syrian Kurds to rise up), we can hasten the day when Syrians will throw off their shackles and become democratic.

As the wise man says: FASTER, PLEASE!

UPDATE - 8/31 - MORE HERE from PRAIRIEPUNDIT, and a report he cites from the WASHPOST which shows that we ARE WINNING in the Sunni Arab Triangle and that the Sunni Arabs are now fighting the foreign jihadis and how our crackdown on the Syrian border is a part of this effort - which seems to be dealing a death-blow to the "insurgents." Here's a snippet:
The clashes between Sunni Arab tribes and insurgents, coupled with growing vows by Iraq's Sunni minority to turn out in force for national voting in the coming months, coincided with U.S. hopes for defusing the two-year-old insurgency. U.S. military leaders have repeatedly expressed optimism that public anger at insurgent violence would deprive insurgents of their base of support. A tribal leader near the Syrian border, Muhammed Mahallawi, said his Albu Mahal tribe began the latest fighting against Zarqawi's insurgents after they kidnapped and killed 31 members of his tribe to punish them for joining the Iraqi security forces. "We decided either we force them out of the city or we kill them," with the support of U.S. bombing, Mahallawi said by telephone.

Sunni Arab tribes in the western province of Anbar have clashed sporadically with Zarqawi's organization since at least May, usually in revenge for killings of tribe members accused of collaborating with U.S. forces or the Iraqi government. This month in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, tribes took up arms to block Zarqawi's group from enforcing his ultimatum for all Shiite Muslim families to leave the city. Fighting there killed several fighters on both sides. Local officials said Tuesday that Mahallawi's tribe and the insurgents had been fighting near the border for at least three days. Rawi, the emergency room director, said at least 61 people had been killed since the fighting began. The majority of the dead Tuesday were in the Western-style clothes and athletic shoes often worn by Zarqawi's fighters, Rawi said.
We are winning! UPDATE #2 - 8/31 - Saad S. Khan, The Daily Star / Bangladesh:

After Iraq and Afgha-nistan whose turn is it, is a moot question being debated about not only in the power corridors of the Middle East but also at the kerb-side tea cafes. Can the United States be really serious when it lists Syria among the states sponsoring terrorism? Admittedly the Baath old guard of Syria is not happy at the prospect of sharing the fate of their peers in Iraq, and the present Baghdad regime's allegations that most foreign terrorists are crossing over from Syria, is anything but exaggeration. Yet it hardly is a sufficient instigation for the US forces to embroil in another country as the political, human, and financial costs of another parallel adventure are domestically indefensible. Like Saddam in his last days in power, Bashar al Assad is now literally dancing on US beckoning -- withdrawing his country's 29-year military presence in Lebanon on a single phone call -- but trans-border intrusions are totally beyond his control. His own lack of character and cowardice being comparable only to those of Saddam, his border forces lack the will and the capacity to take the militants head on. The professionalism of his troops is restricted to torturing and interrogating intellectuals and human rights activists, that of his intelligence officers to murdering people in Lebanon, and that of his border security guards to gazing at the Israeli girls across the barbed wire. The days of Syria acting as a regional bully are history. No country in the Middle East can remain immune from the winds of reform. Bashar, therefore, has joined the reform bandwagon, ending up only in reforming the methods of tyranny.

... The US decision-makers are not so naïve not to realize the fact that democracy in Iraq will remain an elusive unless it is firmly rooted in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria. The rest of the region will then follow in domino effect. And that it is only for Syria that use of force will be necessary to that end. ... If Bush and Blair are sincere in their belief that Saddam's removal was morally justified, then one should rest assured that a Syria expedition is a question of "when" and not "if."

I agree. And "when" is sooner then anyone thinks. Stay tuned.


Pastorius said...

Man, you are feeling positive, aren't you? I'll have what you're having.

I really hope you are right, because what I've been having has been depressing the hell out of me.


Reliapundit said...

the sunni arabs don't like the new iraqi constitution, so what do they do?

protest and say they will VOTE it down.

that means we have won in iraq.

democracy has taken hold; there are many sunni arabs now who seek to use democracy and non-violence to achieve their political aims. they will satrt to kil off the insurgency.

one less regime to give aid to the jihadists. then we go after syria and iran.

and we are prepping the ground.

the rush to get an iraqi constitution is NOT so we can get our troops home. it's so we can go after syria. and then...

Anonymous said...

Faster...and more weight!

Pastorius said...

I see what you're saying. What's giving me a sense of futility lately, is the fact that it seems as if Bush is losing the will of the people. Without the will of the people, he can't move ahead.

It seems to me, that if we are to take care of Iran via peaceful means (fomenting an insurgency) then we have already squandered our best opportunity; that being, the heady time when Syrian forces fled Lebanon.

So, if we can't initiate an insurgency, and Bush lacks the will of the people how are we going to take care of Iran? Targeted strikes against it's nuclear facilities? There is a lot of doubt about whether that will work.

Bush will need either a jolt of very good or very bad news to get the will of the people back. The slow sludgy trek of Islamic Democracy in Iraq is not likely to provide either.

So, what will it be? What are you thinking is going to happen?

By the way, if you have read my stuff at CUANAS and Internet Journal of Public Policy, do you think I am too alarmist?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.