Assad “Runs the Table”

Bashar "But criticism rolls off Assad’s back, and it has not been accompanied by measures compelling Syria to change its behavior. Whether Washington has been unwilling or unable to extract a real price from Syria, the effect is the same: Damascus believes it has dodged the bullet. The regime of Bashar Assad appears more confident than at any time since 2003."  Schenker in the Weekly Standard


There is something terribly ironic in Schenker’s authorship of this piece.  Look at his bio.

Take a look at the SST posts on Syria on 22 and 23 October, 2005.  It was altogether predictable that Syria would call the bluff of the United States over the many supposed "crises" in our relations.  They did not believe last year and they do not believe now that the United States is going to do anything "serious" to them.

"Serious" in this case means the overthrow of the regime in Damascus.  Short of that they follow the rule of the old childrens’ rhyme, "Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me."  Brokenarm

They are not impressed.  They saw clearly last year that we were stuck on the flypaper of Iraq.  They see now that our policy with regard to Israel/Palestine is a morass.  They also see that we are being "gamed" and mocked by the oh so clever Iranians.  They are not impressed.

They await regime change in Washington.

Pat Lang

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14 Responses to Assad “Runs the Table”

  1. zanzibar says:

    While gas prices are over $3/gallon and the mayhem continues in Iraq and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan and Iran works the Persian bazaar tactic on us (Khamenei speech via Juan Cole) and the US dollar drops again this morning to a 13 month low against the Euro and a 20 year low against the Loonie;
    what’s the most important issue for Bush-Cheney and the Republican congress – a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that will never be ratified!

  2. al palumbo says:

    I encourage you and your readers to visit the website of Tom O’Donnell, PhD
    URL and take the time to read his article appearing in Z magazine titled:
    The political economy of the U. S.-Iran crisis: Oil hegemony, not nukes, is the real issue.
    Good luck.
    A. P.

  3. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    Does US have an interest in destablizing Syria?
    Seems to me, judging by the history of that country, Lebeanon, and now Iraq, instability could lead to civil war there. Is that beneficial to US and her allies?

  4. ckrantz says:

    Assad is doing just fine. France and US can finance a opposition and hope for the best but he is clearly not going anywhere. And any new deals with the west seems to be out of the picture for now. Which is to bad. The syrians where apparently effective when it came to fighting al-quaida in 2001 and they could probably help out in Iraq.
    And now the Russians seems to back in Syria again prepairing for a naval base in Tartus and a expanded permanent military presence in the Mediterranean.

  5. J says:

    once again you hit the nail on the head — syria is biding its time awaiting d.c.’s regime change, and iran is ‘gaming’ us.

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I would agree. we are much better off if we do not awaken the sleeper. pl

  7. Curious says:

    We are in recession. If we don’t finish the war in Iraq within 2 years, The entire country will be in major financial crisis within 5 years. A lot of people are betting on this time frame.
    Somebody at the IMF is going to hear about this one! You just wait until your father comes home! The IMF’s director of the Middle East and Central Asia, Moshin Kahn, has suggested that the Persian Gulf countries consider pegging their currencies to the euro, instead of the dollar. “We’re advocating the Gulf states stay with the dollar for now, but think seriously about the euro” Moshin was quoted as saying… There are 6 countries currently pegging their currency to the dollar, that want to form their own single currency by 2010… So… This proposed move to the euro might not come for some time… But I found this to be quite interesting that the IMF would propose this…
    Did you see the story that developed over the weekend regarding Iran? Well… Iran is suggesting that U.S. actions may disrupt oil shipments… That news sent oil soaring, yes, even over the weekend… Oil is now trading at $73.75 per barrel… That’s over $1.50 higher than it was on Friday, and more than 3-cents higher than it traded on June 1st!

  8. Curious says:

    Does US have an interest in destablizing Syria?
    Posted by: Babak Makkinejad | 05 June 2006 at 03:01 PM
    There is no rational strategic interest in all our current “adventure”. (Iraq, central Asia, Syria, Iran)
    We don’t even take care the thing that we suppose to take care, afghanistan, Pakistan.
    It’s all neocon hack job and we are paying for it dearly. (maybe we are crying for several thousands dead service men right now. but soon we will be crying about 20% of our dolar value. and it gonna hurt a lot. It’ll make Nixon stagflation looks like weekend K-mart close out sale.)

  9. wtofd says:

    Babak, you’ve repeated the question so I am curious as to whether you have your own answer. If you had to give a neo-phyte/con an adage as to why it’s prudent to move cautiously in the ME I’d choose, “let sleeping dogs lie.”

  10. Norbert Schulz says:

    There is this difference between having a rational goal, and the unshakable if unfounded faith in having a rational goal.
    The secret of neo-con success, aside of being articulate, is this sincerity of having seen the light. Thus opposing views to their vision of a secular Middle East based on Turkey’s model are dismissed as “babbling”. Absolute faith like that overwhelms the need for analysis. Expertise is not necessary where faith is present.
    There is an interesting piece in the Asia Times today, part of a ponderous four part series, that I like to recommend (after all I stole the last three sentences of the previous paragraph there).
    PL, what do you think about the articles?

  11. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I do not recall repeating my question.
    Yes, I have my opinion, but I thought I could be wrong.

  12. Soonmyung Hong says:

    Seymour Hersh wrote Assad regime gave quite impressive information about al-Qaida but discontinued after iraqi war on his book “Chain of Command”.
    It seems that Assad thought if U.S. has real intention of crushing al-Qaida, they have good common ground.
    So he gave some information as payment in advance, but didn’t get return, right?

  13. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Syria was disappointed in the lack of improvement in its status vis a vis the US after the first Gulf War.
    The Syrian Baath offered its help against Saddam a number of times without result.
    The post 9/11 world saw a renewal of the offer which was accepted by CIA. The Bush Administration put an end to that after Saddam fell. pl

  14. Paul says:

    Let’s face it….Syria is a threat (the extent of which is debateable) to only one nation in the region – Israel. It is time US policy and actions serve US interest vice others. The Syrian government is not significantly worse than most others in the region, both nations pro and anti US.

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