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nn2004 Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:34 AM
Original message
Hamas returns to Syrian base,,1-824446,00.h...

SYRIA has been accused of allowing militant Palestinian organisations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad to resume operations in the country, despite repeated warnings from America not to do so.

The groups are thought to have scaled down their activities during the summer after Washington had put pressure on the government of President Bashar al-Assad in the weeks following the defeat of Saddam Hussein.

American and Israeli intelligence sources warned last week, however, that the groups had begun to return to their offices in Damascus, the Syrian capital, and are now fully operational again.
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Cappurr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well obviously...
We gotta bomb the shit outta them, right? (sarcasm)
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder if its related to this:

Witnessing such an overwhelming display of American will
and power, other regimes, such as Hizbollah-supporting Syria
in particular, would either have to bend to American purposes
or suffer the same fate.

The most interesting question, to my mind, now is: What will be
the reaction of these states to seeing the US fall flat on it's
face in Iraq? In other words, if the display of will and power
is not up to snuff, what then?

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Noses Will Be Thumbed, My Friend
At the very least, the effect of the current state of the Iraqi venture will be to demonstrate plainly that no other great effort could be made just now by the United States. An aerial bombardment, perhaps, but no invasion by ground forces, could conceivably be contemplated. Syria is engaged in far more important defiances than this just now, on its border with Iraq.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. One wouldn't think bombing in the absence of follow-up
would be likely to produce anything good, either. You're right
about the borders. One might suspect that things are going back
and forth on the Iranian side, also.

Nice to see you are with us today.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. This is an issue of continuing interest to me.
I have felt from the beginning that the major flaw, strategically,
in the PNAC approach was that it runs the risk of exposing our
relative weakness. It is a bluff, we are not actually capable of
defeating the whole world, we cannot even pacify Iraq, and like all
bluffs, if it fails one stands exposed.

In chess there is a saying: the threat is stronger than the move.
The US could have, IMHO, maintained its international position
better had it refrained from actually employing force, and had
it found it necessary to employ force, had it stuck with the lessons
learned in VietNam about clear goals, well-defined exit strategies,
and not hanging around where one makes a tempting target.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. You Are Right, Mr. Mildred
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 12:36 PM by The Magistrate
A threat is always more effective than its execution, and an unstated threat is generally more effective than an explicit one: adventurous youth, and even long marriage, have taught me that clearly. Action is always finite, always accompanied by mixed fortune and unforseen event, while fear of what might happen partakes of the ideal and greatest fear, namely, the unknown.

One of the reasons the whole P.N.A.C. brouha has left me so unmoved is precisely what you point out: that it is wholly impractical. People's intentions do not worry me much if they cannot be successfully carried out, and like all schemes for world domination, this one requires a long chain of steps to unfold perfectly in accord with the desires of the initiators if it is to succeed. This never happens; indeed, a plan with more than two steps is almost certain to come a cropper.

The flaw in the Iraqi situation, though, is to my view not so much a lack of clear goals and exit strategies, but of willful ignorance about the field of enterprise by the planners. The people in charge of our government today are, really, very limited in their experience of the world, having been largely surrounded by a corps of sycophants through out their careers, and having never traveled outside the protective bubble of the uppermost social strata in any country, including their own. They have no appreciation of the different forms of culture and society humanity employs in expressing the commonality of its natural aspirations. They were, it seems to me, genuinely in expectation the entry of U.S. forces into Iraq would be viewed viewe by Iraqis as something a'kin to the liberation of Paris in World War Two, rather than as an imposition on all that is right and holy by foreign devils, and genuine in their belief that the spectacle of force displayed would cow all who beheld it, rather than set them looking for chinks by which it might be assailed.

A further problem with the enterprise is that its true goal was never Iraq, or world domination, or any other thing but crippling the Democratic Party in the up-coming Presidential election. It was intended to provide distraction from economic woes, render difficult criticism by mainstream politicians of the current regime, and draw closer to the criminals of the '00 Coup those elements of the populace who, through attachment to traditional symbols of patriotism and religiousity, tend to vote for reactionary figures even though they would serve their own material interests better by voting for progressive ones. Success, of course, was required for these effects to be achieved, and events would seem well on the way to cheating such hopes by our foes.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Agreed.
And well said.
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