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Wednesday, October 29, 2008 

Aftermath of the American invasion of Syria

This is a battle of words. True, eight people died, but everyone knows
Syria is not going to attack America - as it has the right to.

Syria has been invaded. America called it "taking matters into our own
hands". But the real debate is over what Syria is calling it.

On the streets, people are calling this an act of war. But officials
are deliberately steering clear of those two explosive words.

Syria does not want a war, no matter how limited, which is what
America appears to be gunning for.

Instead, they're calling it a war crime. That's telling, because it
frames the attack within the context of what's going on in Iraq. Syria
is making it clear it sees the invasion as a misstep in America's war
on Iraq. It is not an outright invasion.

Syria is as stunned as the rest of the world. It has cracked down on
people crossing the border. It's impossible to travel anywhere near
the border without getting stopped, checked or followed.

And America knows it. It has praised Syria for stopping the flow of fighters.

In Damascus, protection has been stepped up at the US Embassy. And on
the night of the attack there was an impromptu demonstration on the
city centre.

I have such mixed feelings on this.

On the one hand, I regret what was indisputably an invasion of Syrian territory.

On the other, there doesn't seem to be much doubt that the Americans got their man. These were bad people who helped kill many, many Iraqis. Surely having stopped that from continuing should be of some comfort at least?

Also, it is interesting that this attack happened during daylight. Did Syrian forces not see the helicopters? They must have if the army presence on the border is as serious as you say. Why didn't the engage them? Is it possible Assad was warned in advance?

This way he would be rid of the problem of al-Qaeda moving through his country, while letting the Americans take the blame for it.

If the American got their man in this incursion, the Syrian authority should lose any credibility for the rest of times. If the American got their man it means that Syria Being warned and did not took action trying to make a bargaining chip for his head. It means that they had knowledge of a lot of killing happened in Iraq and now playing crying baby and using the incident to show off like they are the Men who can defend the country by sending their people to say NO to the American in the Streets and by closing the American school and the cultural center, repeated old fashion actions been taken many times before and does not make payback for the bodies of the innocent people killed in the raid. Now the FM wants USA to apologize and then he will forgive them.
Are they going to tell us who died in the previous terrorist attack in Damascus, was there one of the guys involved in Harriri’s investigation, what is his name, are they going to come clean and tell their people to keep respect while sticking to the chair of power.

We will wait and see.

Matt - why is there not much doubt that the Americans got their man? Because the Americans say so? The Americans said there was a North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. Anyone who knows anything about Syria knows this to be an absurd accusation. The Americans said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. People like you believed them.

Secondly, even if the Americans did kill an al-Qa'ida man, their attack was an unwarrasnted act of terrorism. There are al-Qa'ida people in Britain. If America bombed Britain there would be a crisis of relations between the two countries.

Thirdly, the greatest terrorist organisation at work in the middle east is the USA.

Qunfuz: Excellent observation (re: your second point). I think that this choice by the Americans to cross the border into Syria and "take matters into their own hands" speaks greatly to the way that the US views Syria. Like you said, there are al-Qua'ida in the UK, but my sense is that the US trusts that they have the same stance against al-Qua'ida and have the means to arrest such people as necessary. The US also values their relationship with the UK and such a move would mean the loss of a major international ally.

Clearly the US feels much differently about Syria. While Syria has a more immediate border to Iraq than the UK does, it's not like overseas communication is difficult to attain, and if the US feels that they have gotten the man who has killed many Iraqis, maybe they only have one of the lower ranked people on the ground rather than one the people making decisions long distance. The choice to cross the border into Syria also demonstrates the lack of respect for the country, the belief that they do not have adequate control of the borders, nor do they stand behind stopping the individuals in charge of mass killings of their neighbors. Syria has just become part of the suspicious Middle Eastern blob that extends into Central/South Asia when necessary (Pakistan, Afghanistan).

It's ridiculous, and seems to ultimately be tied to a larger theme of the US being a global police force. What should be the US's role internationally as a very wealthy and powerful country? Should they just stay out of everyone else's business, or is that selfish when they have resources? Should they be distributing resources? With China becoming a world power, what will their role be internationally?

Matt - why is there not much doubt that the Americans got their man? Because the Americans say so? The Americans said there was a North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria. Anyone who knows anything about Syria knows this to be an absurd accusation.

Really? I don't claim to know much about Syria, but there doesn't seem to by anything particular to Syria that means its leaders couldn't try to build a nuclear reactor.

The Americans said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. People like you believed them.

One of the many (many) negative outcomes of the Iraq war is the free excuse that any American intelligence about anything is wrong. Obviously, people willing to accept this will find other excuses. But you do not provide any reason to doubt that an important al-Qaeda figure was in fact killed, except to mention WMD in Iraq.

I had hoped for just a little bit of embarrassment that Syria was a base for years for men who killed thousands of Iraqis. Maybe this is how you hide that embarrassment? Silly comparisons and sweeping comments about America being wrong about everything.

Secondly, even if the Americans did kill an al-Qa'ida man, their attack was an unwarrasnted act of terrorism

Terrorism has many definitions, but one of them is an attack on a civilian target. In your hypothetical, the al-Qaeda man is a military target.

There are al-Qa'ida people in Britain. If America bombed Britain there would be a crisis of relations between the two countries.

Again, more silly comparisons. The al-Qaeda man in Syria did (or might have, if that helps your conscience) help kill many, many Iraqis and Americans. How many Americans have been killed by terrorists from Britain? Very, very few. And I hardly think the British would say no if the Americans asked them to arrest or kill an al-Qaeda figure sending terrorists to America.

Thirdly, the greatest terrorist organisation at work in the middle east is the USA.

But of course. That certainly makes things easier for you. As an argument, it allows you to ignore all the different acts of terrorism carried out by Arab Muslim groups in the Middle East.

The US has no right to be in Iraq in the first place. There was no AQ in Iraq or Syria before the invasion. Saddam was not a threat to the US ever! (OK maybe the Wahabist KSA who funded the people of attacked us on 911). Anytime, anywhere the US attacks and occupies a Muslim country (or any other; see Vietnam) fighters will appear. Its not just the US it was the USSR and is Israel too. Arabs and Muslims have a right to self determination and sovereignty just as much as any people on earth. Too me this is all about driving a wedge between the US and Islam perpetrated by the Israeli's because they see that their moral rational for occupation, lack of a peace deal and the settlements is coming unraveled. The right wing Israelis are desperate backed into a corner and dangerous.

As for aftermath this is the kind of consequences of the Bush doctrine:

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - A Syrian television station is reporting that the country is reducing the number of troops on its border with Iraq in response to a deadly U.S. cross-border raid.

Syrian and Iraqi officials did not immediately confirm the report.

The private station, Dunia, showed footage Thursday of Syrian troops dismantling positions on the border and leaving the area. The report says the act was a Syrian response to the "American aggression."

On Sunday, the U.S. military launched a deadly raid into Syria.

Washington hasn't formally acknowledged the raid. But U.S. officials say the target was a top al-Qaida in Iraq figure who operated a network that smuggled fighters into Iraq.

and

Iraqi Cabinet ministers said they now wanted SOFA to include a clear text confirming that Iraqi territory would not be used to launch "aggression" against its neighbors. Both Syria and Iran have for months been urging Baghdad against signing a deal that would allow Iraq to be used by U.S. forces to launch military operations against them.

En'Shallah!

Way to go USA USA USA!

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  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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