Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Thursday, April 17, 2003
The talk of scheduling Damascus as the next stop on the 2003 War Against WMD World Tour has died down for the moment. But it remains unclear whether it is a temporary lull. Remember, the administation prefers not to launch new product until after Labor Day, so we won't know for some time whether this is a real threat or just attempts to keep Bashar Assad in line.
It is quite possible that the recent talk has been intended merely as a warning. The US will have a large number of troops in Iraq for al least the remainder of this year, probably longer, who will be vulnerable to potential terrorist attacks. Syria undoubtedly is a host and sponsor to several terrorist groups. These groups are focused on attacking Israel and rarely go after US targets - Syria is generally believed to have assisted US intelligence in pursuing al Qaeda. A warning to Syria - and to Iran, which is probably the world's major terror-sponsoring government - would be a sensible action. Unfortunately, giving an action of this administration the most positive reading is usually wrong.
Michael Ledeen thinks that Syria is committed to a new terror campaign to be modeled on the successful campaign it played a large role in that drove the US under Reagan out of Lebanon. If Ledeen is right, a war against Syria seems highly probable. The question is whether Bashar Assas is as foolish as Ledeen thinks he is. In general, the Assad dynasty had been pragmatic in its anti-American stances - tweaking the US, but avoiding irreperable breaks.