Monday, August 08, 2005

Let's get Syria...

From the Austin Bay Blog: "I just spotted this story in An-Nahar. It reports that the US have pulled a Bashar and stopped 700 Syrian trucks on the Syrian-Iraqi border from entering into Syria. Obviously, I don't know the reasoning behind this, but I'd say it serves as a reminder that if Syria thinks it can use geography and economic pressure to muscle Lebanon, two can play at that game: on the eastern front. This may be a reminder of what the US and the EU can do to Syria's economy. For more on that, read Peter Schweizer's piece in USA Today. The Syrian papers went nuts. And, on a seperate note, the story notes how Syrian papers are continuing to harp on the "Syrians missing in Lebanon" (before and after Hariri's murder) issue. Again, that's fine. But until the Syrians start taking seriously the plight of the parents of the missing Lebanese, many still languishing in Syrian prisons, there's very little to talk about. Hazem Saghieh had a piece last week that while lamenting the ugly way in which Syrian and Lebanese issues are being played out, actually embraces the move away from all the "brotherly" talk to actual sovereign state to sovereign state relations. Maybe the US move on the Syria-Iraq border will help speed up that process and take away the bullying blockade card away from Bashar, and force him to deal properly with Lebanon (no intelligence services, no blockade, no car bombs); even perhaps encourage him to do something he and Farouq Sharaa hate like poison: open up an embassy in Beirut! Well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's see how this plays out."

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