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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Friday, April 01, 2005

Turn Up The Heat…
Hat-Tip to Captain’s Quarters for catching this outstanding piece by Charles Krauthammer. He’s right on the money.

Assad and Syria have been a thorn in the side of the Middle East for years. Not just to Israel when they send terrorists into the sovereign nation to initiate cowardly suicide attacks, but they have been a thorn in the side of Iraq. Iraq, despite the carpings of the Left, poses a significant threat to the brutal regimes of the Middle East. Democracy can flourish. It just needs a little push.

And right now, Assad is feeling the pressure. But Krauthammer’s right. The original "Axis of Evil" wasn’t an axis, per se. It was three points of evil in a world where evil seems to be lurking around almost every corner. Now that Iraq is off that list, a new member needs to be added to it. And it should be Syria. This isn’t just an ax-to-grind list. By putting Syria on the list, and on notice, it would signal to the world that al-Qaeda isn’t our only terrorist enemy.

Damascus has been a hotbed of terrorism for years. The regime in Syria has ties to some of the bloodiest, nastiest terrorist groups that have been spawned in the Middle East. That includes Hamas, Hezbollah (an organization that the EU still refuses to accept them as a terror group), el-Fatah, etc. And the pressure is mounting on Syria on all sides for them to withdraw from Lebanon. I pointed this out in our collaborative blog that democracy is on the march in the Middle East, and it’s marching loud and proud. I think the pro-democracy rallies in Lebanon says it all. They want the Syrian rule out of their country.

So, what do we do? Iran is too strong right now. North Korea will be dealt with in time. Right now, diplomacy is being used on North Korea, and we’ll see where that goes. Trust me, I’m not holding my breath on them. But Syria makes perfect sense in terms of a target; not just in military terms. It is a weak nation, made so by Assad’s inept rule. I think Krauthammer sums it up best.

"But Syria is different. Being a state, it has an address. The identity and location of its leadership, military installations and other fixed assets are known. Unlike Iran, however, it has no oil of any significance. It is poor. And the regime is weak, despised not only for its corruption and incompetence but also because of its extremely narrow ethnic base. Assad and his gang are almost exclusively from the Alawite sect, a Shiite offshoot considered heretical by many Muslims and representing about 10 percent of the Syrian population."

"Syria is the prize. It is vulnerable and critical, the geographic center of the axis, the transshipment point for weapons, and the territorial haven for Iranian and regional terrorists."

"If Syria can be flipped, the axis is broken. Iran will not be able to communicate directly with the local terrorists. They will be further weakened by the loss of their Syrian sponsor and protector. Prospects for true Lebanese independence and Arab-Israeli peace will improve dramatically."

So, honestly, the path is clear. Syria must be next. Much like the strategy used for dividing the Middle East in half with the invasion and liberation of Iraq, to strike Syria at it’s weakest moment would be enough to further isolate Iran. The pact that these two nations just announced just over a month ago makes it clear that as long as Syria is still intact, unchallenged, and within Assad’s grasp, the "Arab Bloom" that Krauthammer writes about will fail. More democracy in the Middle East will isolate nations that don’t share that philosophy. This isn’t a strategy of "divide and conquer". This is a strategy of allowing social and political change to be given a voice; the burning embers of freedom that with enough oxygen could explode into a democratic conflagration.

And the time is ripe to do this. If we can levy as much pressure as possible on Syria—economically, politically, and militarily—then we may have a chance to break this axis permanently. If Syria falls, a major blow will be struck against Iran, which is facing it’s own internal problems with people demanding to be free. Student protests are gaining in frequency and numbers in Iran, and the clerics in charge can’t seem to keep the natives from being restless.

If Syria falls, Iran is weakened. Their own internal struggles may be enough to push the momentum of freedom and democracy in Iran. Then, we’re left with North Korea. And losing both Syria and Iran further isolates Kim Jong Il. There will be no serious allies left for Kim Jong Il to turn to. But Syria must be the next step in the GWOT. It is literally the only logical choice, and in confronting them, the Bush Doctrine will be furthered because the world will be on notice that when we say we want an end to terror, that includes everyone, not just al-Qaeda.

Publius II


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