Monday, April 17, 2006

The Leering Lions of Syria!

I hear the speeches commemorating Independence Day in Syria were filled with references to the Golan Heights, with some even advocating jihad as the only remaining alternative to get them back. Well, well, well. The Assad Clan seems well on their way to losing the only real international backer they have in the world – Israel.

Yes, it is not secret by now that Israel wants the Assad regime to stay in power: it is too weak to be a threat and strong enough (they think) to prevent the country from imploding into another sectarian mess. But if this regime is going to contemplate opening the Golan Heights for infiltration by Islamist terrorists, well then this regime has just outlived its usefulness.

But the Assads must be aware of this, some might argue. Surely they cannot be that stupid, not to mention suicidal. As such, the fiery statements we hear today must be mere saber-rattling, an attempt to send a message to new Israeli government to the effect that Syrian can’t be ignored.

Well, perhaps. But let’s not forget that saber-rattling by Middle Eastern leaders did lead to wars before – the 1967 War comes to mind in this regard. Let’s not forget as well that certain developments can be set in motion even when no one really has an interest in seeing them take place. At a time when there are so many groups and forces on the ground with so many private and competing agendas, saber-rattling can easily pave the way for the exchange of rocket fire, and the next thing you know you have a full-fledged war on your hand.

One thing is clear here: a confident Syrian regime is a dangerous Syrian regime, and this regime in Syria has just regained its composure and confidence, after all, its alliance with Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran seems to be paying off, well, at least as far as the Assads’ and their western acolytes’ reading of the situation goes. And who am I to dispute their reading? I can only point out that the Lions of Syria are at their worst when they leer and act with confidence. In fact, almost all of their errors were made at times like these.

But it’s no skin off my back – after all, I am in the opposition.