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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Heavy Pressure On Syria Is Required

The world is never at a loss for dictators. Can we clear the world of all of them? No. We can do so as part of our national interests. However, we have seen people can rise up on their own if there is a sense of protection nearby. The Lebanese experience is testament to that.

Unfortunately, the UN has proven its ineffectiveness through diplomacy, military intervention or sheer interest to stop any bloodshed of innocent people in the Sudan, African nations, North Korea or China.

William Kristol sees a major error by the Bush administration in its failure to pressure, with the threat of military action, upon Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia. The biggest failure is in Syria. Says Kristol:

[I]t seems Syria remains a safe haven for terror sponsors. The Defense Department apparently refused a CIA request to launch an attack on a Syrian terror-sponsoring target within the last two weeks. Shouldn't it be the case that if Assad can't police his border, we won't respect it either, since we have to defend ourselves and our Iraqi friends against jihadists infiltrating Iraq from his territory?

Surely our inaction with respect to Syria is a poor precedent if we're fighting a war on terror. For that matter, is the Saudi government doing as much as it can to stop its young men from trooping to Iraq to kill Americans? How much pressure have we put on either government? Wasn't it a big mistake of the 1980s and the 1990s not to make the friends and enablers of terror pay a real price for their activities?

I agree. While we cannot contain every dictator in every location, the Syrian situation immediately means losing American lives. The Iraqi situation can only improve is we take an offensive position against Syria beyond rhetoric.

Concludes Kristol:

In recent weeks, there have been some good speeches and gestures by the Bush White House, and some useful deeds. But the dictators have had smooth enough sailing in the last couple of months that we should worry. It would be unfortunate if the spring of 2005 went down in the history books as a turning point -- in favor of the dictators.

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