Bush escalating against Syria

I was going to write a post here noting that the Bushies have taken a serious step toward escalating their battle against Bashar al-Asad’s regime in Syria.
That link there goes to a report by Robin Wright and Glenn Kessler of the WaPo, that on Thursday the State Dept’s new “democracy czar” Elizabeth Cheney hosted a meeting that included “senior administration officials from Vice President Cheney’s office, the National Security Council and the Pentagon and about a dozen prominent Syrian Americans, including political activists, community leaders, academics and an opposition group.”
The opposition group in question is the Syria Reform Party, which Kessler and Wright say is “often compared to the Iraqi National Congress led by former exile Ahmed Chalabi.” The SRP– or rather, as it calls itself, the RPS– is headed by Farid Ghadry, a 50-year-old Syrian-American who left his homeland when he was ten years old…
Well, I was going to post about that, but then I found this great post on Josh Landis’s blog.
Josh is a good, serious US scholar of Syrian affairs who knows Syria fairly well and is currently in Damascus on a Fulbright scholarship. (He speaks and reads good Arabic and is married to a Syrian, all of which attributes certainly strengthen the authority with which he writes.)
One key passage of what he writes there is this:

    Reformers here believe that Syria

7 thoughts on “Bush escalating against Syria”

  1. THanks Helena for your informed report on Syria. I read the first article you quoted in the Wapo this morning and found it depressing. I can’t put up with the hawkish imperialist interventionism of the Bush administration anymore. There should be an answer to that.. there should be an answer, but what can it be ?

  2. Christian,
    The U.S. political system has been morphing into a power-worshipping police state that is divorced from reality. Maybe this will come to an end when everything falls apart, although scandels like Enron don’t seem to produce much reform. After the Great Depression there was reform. Of course these days we have a sinister media machine controlling public opinion, at least in some quarters.

  3. Showdown – Battle groups head for Middle East
    by Jerome Corsi on- world net daily
    Three carrier battle groups are converging on the Persian Gulf. The aircraft
    carrier USS Carl Vinson has departed Singapore and is currently crossing
    the Indian Ocean, en route to the Middle East. The aircraft carrier USS
    Theodore Roosevelt is also on the move, crossing the Atlantic Ocean,
    reportedly headed toward the Mediterranean.
    Reports are also circulating that the U.S. Navy has dispatched ships
    containing nuclear armaments to reinforce the battle groups. This will
    be the first time since February 2004 that the U.S. has had three major
    carrier groups stationed on or around the Middle East…

  4. The WaPo article with Rice has her saying that the Bush campaign to push for elections in Egypt and women’s suffrage in Saudi Arabia was based on “a strong certainty that the Middle East was not going to stay stable anyway”.
    The Post reporter says that she said this when denying that the motive for pushing for democracy in the Middle East was to fend off a rising Islamic extremism.
    The entire article is worth reading, if you can stand it, simply because it illuminates the vacuity and grandiosity of the ‘democracy’ initiative.

  5. Farid Ghadry gives off the same type of slimey odour that Chalabi does. That seems to be the sweetest of perfumes to the Bush administration, so it is no wonder they have embraced him.

  6. Rice’s remarks on the unlikelihood of stability under present conditions is truly disturbing and deserves much wider publicity. This approach is revolutionary in the worst possible sense — ‘let’s just pull everything to pieces and hope the pieces fall together again in a way that suits us’. When so many lives are at stake (lives of people who live in the Middle East), that is criminally irresponsible. Whatever happened to the conservative belief in what Karl Popper called ‘social engineering’? People with so much power should use their power to help slowly build the institutions that serve the public interest, not despair and throw tantrums. God save us from them.

  7. Bashar, the former opthamologist, is way out of his league…the Old Guard are OUT, then IN…his early talk of reforms and modernization came to nothing…arm twisting the Lebanese to extend Lahoud’s term was misguided…murdering Hariri a disaster…it energized the Lebanese opposition and enraged the billionaire’s friend Chirac, which strengthens the possibility of crippling EU-supported sanctions…the recent car bombing episodes in East Beirut (Apres moi, le deluge) will not help…lucky for him, the opposition in Syria is weak and unorganized…but that could begin to change…especially if reduced influence in a less stable Lebanon takes its toll on the already weak Syrian economy…Just imagine, for example, if thousands of Syrian laborers in Lebanon, whose remittances home are much valued, are sent packing.
    Say what you will about him, but his daddy he’s not. Indeed, this entire issue might be more fruitfully addressed by psychiatrists than political scientists.

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