Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Two article links to better understand the contending agendas in Washington vis-a-vis Syria. Earlier I posted Richard Sale's long UPI dispatch on what happened on the Syrian-Iraqi border several weeks ago.

Now Seymour Hersh has weighed in with a piece in the New Yorker, confirming many of Sale's revelations and adding several of his own, including (for local Lebanese interest) Information Minister Michel Samaha's absurd claim that Hizbullah actually protects Israel's border from radical Palestinian groups. As Samaha knows well, the cross-border attacks by Palestinian groups in April 2002 (which included an attack against an Israeli bus, causing several fatalities) was conducted with Hizbullah assistance.

Another article worth reading is this piece I commissioned for the Daily Star op-ed page from the American Enterprise Institute's Danielle Pletka, who warns: "In the old days, Washington’s threats rarely meant much. But times have changed and Assad and Hizbullah remain very much in Washington’s sights."

Her article is a warning to the Syrians, who remember Pletka from the days when she was an aide to Senator Jesse Helms. On a visit to Beirut she made a number of statements that made Syria, well, uncomfortable.

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