Monday, December 12, 2005
Once again I have to disagree with Joshua Landis’s analysis of things Lebanese and Syrians. His take on Tueni assassination is ludicrous. The suggestion that Tueni was the victim of continued pressures on Syria disregards the recent history of assassination and attempted assassinations that have been taken place all along. In fact, it confuses cause and effect. The problem with the current regime in Syria is that it has gotten out of control long before any pressures were put on it. Through its adventurist policies and miscalculations, through its insistence on ruling Lebanon according to the same old formula first introduced by Assad Sr. and without taking any note of the regional developments and changes, it courted disaster and created the context for the current crisis. Resort to tough policies in Lebanon predated the attempt on Hariri with the attempt on Marwan Hammadi.
As for the timing of the event, it is indeed quite curious, but it could be quite coincidental. It could indeed just be related to the fact that with the return of Tueni’s from Paris, an opportunity presented itself to Syria’s operatives who already have a list of names that need to be dealt with. The idea that there is a blacklist of sorts has been around for quite a while now and seems to have some credibility. Moreover, and as it is often said, stupidity is not a defense.
As for all those European ambassadors saying that the Bush Administration should begin talking to the Syrian regime, well, and putting aside the ludicrousness of confusing real politick with a readiness for embracing thugs in the age of democratization and reform, there is one little thing that this nice piece of advice seems to ignore, namely that there is an ongoing UN probe that has already implicated this regime and at the highest levels of political assassination. It is also obvious that bringing the guilty party to task is something that is bind to undermine the regime, so what are we talking about? This is not about what the Bush Administration is or is not doing, regardless of what one might think of if. Rather, this is more about the Syrian regime and the way it drove itself into the corner and declared itself defunct.
This regime does not behave in any kind of a rational manner that can allow for any kind of constructive dialogue to take place. Just ask the Saudis, the Egyptians, and the French about their experiences with negotiating with Bashar, just listen to what our Foreign Minister al-Sharaa has to say. And oh pray do get yourself investigated by Assef Chawkat for a change and see what this thug has to say about the nature of the contemporary world. These are Syria’s leaders. These are the people with whom the US should be making its deal, according to all those rational coolheaded observers out there. I say if one is seeking a deal to reopen Auschwitz under a new and improved management, well then this regime might indeed qualify.
But if that’s real politick for you, I strongly beg to differ. It sounds more like real polidick to me, and I am just tired of being screwed.