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Mediocrates
04-14-2010, 12:51 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304604204575182290135333282.html?m od=djkeyword#

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041304378.html


and we should be happy that an act of war is what it takes to dissuade Obama from appointing a new ambassador to Syria?

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2010/04/us-postpones-sending-ambassador-to.html

http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0410/The_Scud_through_his_Syria_nomination.html


So how is that strategy of groveling at your enemy's feet whilst whipping your friends working out?

Mediocrates
04-18-2010, 07:44 AM
But's AOK according to them:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/279321

Obama’s Syrian engagement policy is in shambles. The decision to return our ambassador to Damascus has earned us the contempt of Bashar al-Assad and has done nothing to halt his embrace of Iran. We’ve now seen that Assad has upped the ante with the transfer of scud missiles to Hezbollah. This report (http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100415/FOREIGN/704149882/1002)suggests that the Obami then went a step further in the appeasement dance — calling off an Israeli attack

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/04/syria-sends-long-range-missiles-to.html

So the State Department has invented a new concept. Yes, missiles have been delivered, it explains, but only "in part." (http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0410/US_says_unclear_if_Scuds_delivered_to_Lebanon.html ?showall) What does this mean? Perhaps the Syrians merely shipped Hizballah equipment or parts to repair and enhance missiles it delivered earlier in violation of the U.S.-sponsored ceasefire agreement. It is possible that it means the Syrians only delivered part of the number of missiles it promised.

What it comes down to is that the Syrians broke the agreement, says the State Department, but they didn't break it as much as they might have done. (Historical note: I can't help thinking of the Cuban missile crisis if, in 1962, the Kennedy Administration said that the Soviets had only shipped missiles to Cuba which could target the United States "in part," so it was ok.)

Mediocrates
04-20-2010, 08:07 AM
Abrams:
http://article.nationalreview.com/431789/scuds-and-syria/elliott-abrams

Rubin (quoting Abrams):
The supply of SCUDs to Hezbollah is a violation of Resolution 1701, and Israel has the right to act to prevent it, both under 1701 and as an exercise of the right of self-defense. It should also be made clear that if Israel strikes, it will have U.S. support, and we will veto any Security Council resolution criticizing Israel for doing so.
That message would no doubt be heard in Damascus but also in Tehran, where Bashar al-Assad’s new best friends are assessing how badly U.S.-Israel ties have frayed. A reminder that the administration is ready to enforce UN resolutions and back Israel’s right to self defense would come at an opportune time — when there is considerable doubt as to both. Will the U.S. do so? It would be welcomed but entirely out of character. And our silence will, of course, send another powerful signal to the mullahs – just as our quietude on the deaths of Americans in Iraq (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/271941) at the hands of Iranians did: that there is no price to be paid for aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

Rubin:
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/280811

The U.S. government (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/usmideastlebanonsyriahezbollaharms)has confirmed the delivery of SCUD missiles by Syria to Hezbollah. Its response? A remarkably tough press release from a State Department spokesman, which reads as follows:


The most senior Syrian diplomat present in Washington today, Deputy Chief of Mission Zouheir Jabbour, was summoned to the Department of State to review Syria’s provocative behavior concerning the potential transfer of arms to Hezbollah. This was the fourth occasion on which these concerns have been raised to the Syrian Embassy in recent months, intended to further amplify our messages communicated to the Syrian government. Our dialogue with Syria on this issue has been frank and sustained. We expect the same in return.


Benny Morris:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-morris16-2010apr16,0,6295075.story

Perhaps Obama has privately resigned himself to Iran's nuclear ambitions and believes, or hopes, that deterrence will prevent Tehran from unleashing its nuclear arsenal. But what if deterrence won't do the trick? What if the mullahs, believing they are carrying out Allah's will and enjoy divine protection, are undeterred?

The American veto may ultimately consign millions of Israelis, including me and my family, to a premature death and Israel to politicide. It would then be comparable to Britain and France's veto in the fall of 1938 of the Czechs defending their territorial integrity against their rapacious Nazi neighbors. Within six months, Czechoslovakia was gobbled up by Germany.

But will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu follow in Czech President Edvard Benes' footsteps? Will he allow an American veto to override Israel's existential interests? And can Israel go it alone, without an American green (or even yellow) light, without American political cover and overflight permissions and additional American equipment? Much depends on what the Israeli military and intelligence chiefs believe their forces -- air force, navy, commandos -- can achieve. Full destruction of the Iranian nuclear project? A long-term delay? And on how they view Israel's ability (with or without U.S. support) to weather the reaction from Iran and its proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria.

Michael Young/Daily Star:
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=113806#ixzz0lXu2B7ax

In this context, what role are the Syrian arms to Hizbullah playing? To return to Lebanon militarily, Syria needs several prerequisites: An Arab consensus in favor; an Israeli green light; approval by Western governments, above all the United States; and a Lebanese political class that is split over Syria. Assad is working hard on the last of these conditions, and would probably face anemic Arab opposition to a military return to Lebanon if the situation allowed it.

Andrew Tabler:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/14/inside_the_syrian_missile_crisis

Mediocrates
04-25-2010, 11:15 AM
As noted here, their foreign policy is simple and hasn't changed in decades:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/283866

Lebanon should be worried about American uncertainty. When there is doubt in Washington, it usually means the Israelis have wide latitude to do what they see fit here. With much of the Lebanese political class openly or objectively siding with Hezbollah, rather than shaping an American approach to Lebanon that might reinforce its sovereignty, we can guess the calamitous effect of that abdication. Young’s worry is confirmed by this remarkable report (http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/04/23/obama_team_works_to_head_off_new_mideast_war_amid_ confusion_about_syrian_intentions) from Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin:
As for why Syria seems to be playing such an unhelpful role, “that’s the million-dollar question,” the [Obama administration] official said….”We do not understand Syrian intentions. No one does, and until we get to that question we can never get to the root of the problem,” the official said. “Until then it’s all damage control.”
This is quite simply amazing. The Assads, father and now son, have run the same foreign policy for decades. It is a very simple model, and one that gets discussed (http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/31466/shadow-play/) in detail (http://nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=160312) on a regular basis (http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001458.html): They are the arsonists who sell water to the fire department. The administration official should start his odyssey of discovery by reading Bret Stephens’s 2009 Commentary essay, “The Syrian Temptation — and Why Obama Must Resist It.” (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-syria-temptation-and-why-obama-must-resist-it-15081)