Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Syrian problem

It seems that in attacking Iraq, one of the great difficulties the United States have encountered is that their interests (and the interests of the civilized world) in other parts of the Near East are placed in jeopardy because of an inability to effectively respond to other crises in the region.

Such seems to be the case with the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Here was a man who did a great deal to bring about peace in Lebanon after a 15-year civil war, in a country bitterly divided between Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and Maronite Catholic Christians in union with Rome. Peace in Lebanon was not in the interest of Syria, which has 15,000 troops there. The Syrian government says that these troops are there to protect Syria's internal security, but their past behavior has indicated that they are really present in Lebanon in order to try and set up a government friendly to Syria.

Hariri was assaninated, and much of the world is under no illusion that any other party was responsible except Syria and those who sympathize with her. Washington has recalled the U.S. Ambassador to Damascus, but at this point, it seems that this is all that can be done. A military response might be for more appropriate and sufficient, but the U.S. cannot afford to stretch their military resources any thinner. Those resources are occupied considerably with Baghdad and its environs.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page
Profile Visitor Map - Click to view visits
Create your own visitor map