Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel Gives Syria Ultimatum

The moment we have been waiting for.
London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat says Israel gave Syria 72 hours to stop Hizbullah's activity, bring about release of kidnapped IDF troops. 'Israel will not end military activity until new situation created that will prevent Syria, Iran from using terror organizations to threaten its security,' newspaper quotes Pentagon official as saying.
If the first ultimatum doesn't work, I hope the next one is delivered by way of a bomb. Remember how effective that bomb was that Sharon had directed at a deserted terrorist training camp in Syria. They called off their attack dogs immediately.

Big Pharaoh comments that reason that no bombs have yet fallen in Syria may be because:
Israel, the US, and many other countries might not be happy with Syria's behavior, yet they still want to see Bashar Assad in power. The removal of Assad might create a vacuum that will eventually be filled by entities that are more fearsome; radical Sunni Islamists are an example. This is the reason why Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is so keen that nothing will undermine the Syrian regime. He knows that if Bashar is to go and then followed by a Muslim Brotherhood take over, his own regime will be undermined since Egypt and Syria have a lot in common.
While he makes sensical remarks, there is also an endpoint to this kind of logic, when the tyrant moves beyond the rationale for keeping him in power. Syria, for several years now, with no punishment to itself, has been actively helping to wreak havoc in Iraq, and housing and facilitating the activities of the exiled Baathists from Saddam's court in their ongoing quest to destroy Iraq through civil war and ruin all the work done to restore that country to freedom, stability and prosperity.

Omar at Iraq the Model speaks eloquently on this issue here:
From an Iraqi perspective I believe that a powerful strike to Hizbollah will be in Iraq's national interest. Hizbollah is Iran's and Syria's partner in feeding instability in Iraq as there were evidence that this terror group has a role in equipping and training insurgents in Iraq and Hizbollah had more than once openly showed support for the "resistance" in Iraq and sponsored the meetings of Baathist and radical Islamist militants who are responsible for most of the violence in Iraq.

Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbollah have made it clear that their mission is to fight back the American plans in the Middle East, to me that is equal to saying that their mission is to stop Iraq from becoming a stable democratic country to prevent democracy from spreading to the rest of the region.


Now Syria is facilitating precisely the same kind of activity in Lebanon - with no regard for how much destruction is wrought in Lebanon, upon those Lebanese who only wish to be free of him and Hezbollah.

There comes a moment in time when the actions of petty tyrants move beyond the point when their neighbors will and ought to tolerate them based on the threat of a theoretical future. Have we now reached that time?

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, former special ambassador Dennis Ross tangentially addresses this issue regarding the impression he had of Bashir Assad, after meeting him in person a few times.
HH: Dennis Ross, you've dealt with the older Assad. Did you have any dealings with the younger Assad, who's now president of Syria?

DR: I did meet him twice, and I found him to be someone who was fundamentally less aware of the real limits of power, someone who I found, unlike his father, to understand when you could push to a limit, when you understood that if you went over the line, you could damage yourself.

Has Assad now damaged himself to that limit, to a place where his actions must be addressed?

For three years now, Syria has been crossing that line in Iraq. And now Assad has helped manipulate hostilities to open up a second front, in his two front war against both his enemies, America and Israel.

I believe that the time has come when this must be addressed. When Syria must begin to face consequences for her wreckless, heedless, destructive actions upon the stage of the Middle East. Otherwise, Syria is likely to believe that whatever she does, whatever havoc she wreaks in the wars she is exporting, she will never be made to face any consequences at all. Which, in the final analysis, will only embolden her to greater acts. Hasn't America learned that lesson painfully enough from Osama? And from Iran?

For, of course, beyond Syria lies the threat of Iran, whose current government has been America's enemy since its rise. Who has instigated the murder of our soldiers and civilians. And who American has never made to face the consequences. No wonder Iran believes herself free to act with impunity.

However, Iran has now boldly showed us what she is willing to do with her missiles: to lend them to Hezbollah and fire them off to rain down indiscriminately upon Israel. And she likely provided her soldiers, members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, to fire or help Hezbollah fire the missiles that struck both Haifa and the warship sitting in the port of Beirut.
A senior Israeli intelligence official said Iranian troops helped Hezbollah fire a missile that damaged an Israeli warship off the Lebanese coast Friday night.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the ship that killed one and left three missing.


This is a taunt for all the world to see. These missiles I give those who pay fealty to me now to strike Haifa and Safed and Tiberias. But next year, I will rain down nuclear warheads in Jerusalem.

Speaking of Iran, Radio Blogger is currently hosting two important interviews that analyze the role of Iran and its client-state Syria, as a provocateurs in the Middle East; and how Israel should react.

The first with Michael Ledeen, Iran expert. The second with Victor Davis Hanson, military historian and classicist. Both are quite sobering, but seem, to me, very much on the mark.

For Mark Steyn fans, he weighs in with commentary on the situation at radio blogger here. Where, among other things, he reminds us that the roots of the current Islamist cult of death arose from the genesis of the Palestinian movement.
MS: I think it is one war. You know, I think we forget how much of the present depravity derives from the Palestinian situation. Going back to 1971, the Palestinians assassinated this guy in an Egyptian hotel. They shoot him dead in the lobby, and as he falls to the parquet, the guys who killed him rushed forward and start drinking his blood. You know, a lot of the death cults started in this...with this particular situation, and it is metastasized, and I think it is one war.

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