Friday, October 08, 2004

Syria Retreats

Probably good news from the Syrian Front in the War on Terror:

Syrian President Bashar Assad is offering to make peace with Israel and says he is ready to cooperate with the United States in stabilizing Iraq, a former senior State Department official said Wednesday.


On peacemaking, Assad offered to hold talks with Israel without preconditions, Indyk said, and had made several overtures to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that the latter rebuffed.


On the domestic side, Indyk said, Assad spoke "about the need to reform the government."


On Iraq, Assad "figured out he was on the wrong side" and has switched to cooperation with the U.S. occupation forces in the country, Indyk said.

On support for terrorism, Assad was responding to U.S. demands by moving some leaders of militant Palestinian groups out of Damascus, Indyk said.

I say probably because Syria is not the first Islamic, terror-sponsoring country to make "peace" with Israel then revert to type when they were ready for the next advance. Egypt made peace with Israel in the late 70s but has been making some disturbing noises more recently.

I am also a bit concerned that Sharon has rebuffed Syria's diplomacy. I am more inclined to trust his instincts that Colin Powell's. And what exactly does it mean to "move" Palestinian groups out of Damascus? Is that anything like "moving" Arafat out of Beirut?

Still, if Syria follows through this will be a definite victory for the Bush Doctrine. And if we don't have to invade Syria, that will leave us that much freer to focus on Iran.

(Via Winds of Change)

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