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July 14, 2006

The Assads - Syria's Serial Exporters Of Instability

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Last week, Ammar Abdulhamid wrote an excellent op-ed for the Daily Star explaining the real nature of the Assad regime in Syria reminding us why the Assads (plural), and the inherent nature of the regime they created, can never "reform" or abandon their destabilizing foreign policy, one that is inseparably tied to domestic policy and regime survival. Owing to Syria's role at the heart of a now- emerging regional war, Abdulhamid's piece offers interesting insight into our understanding that the current situation very likely to go from bad to much worse:

[...] Furthermore, after a period of lying low, the Assads are re-emerging as one of the Middle East's chief backers of radical groups - Islamist or ultra-nationalist. The recent showdown with Israel over the fate of an abducted Israeli soldier is a case in point, as the kidnapping seems to have been instigated, if not orchestrated, by Hamas leaders residing in Damascus, where they live under the protection of the Assads.

... Together with the Syrian regime's continuing dabbling in Lebanon and its strengthened alliance with Iran, the Assads seem to be thumbing their noses at the international community. What is prompting this potentially disastrous course of action by the regime? And what's behind its growing internal and external belligerence?

... Having to continuously manage outside crises is the only way for him and his family to maintain their grip on power. Adventurism, therefore, will remain a mainstay of Syrian foreign policy, no matter how suicidal it might seem at this time, considering the constantly changing geopolitical realities in the region.

Continue reading...

Across the Bay has additional insight on the Assads.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has set an "urgent" meeting for today, and Arab governments have agreed to send their foreign ministers to Cairo for an emergency meeting on Saturday - to discuss the escalation. The United States, says the Jewish state had the right to self-defense and blamed Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas for the violence, Russia and the EU condemned the strikes as a "disproportionate act of war." (Israel's actions to defend itself are anything but "disproportionate" - especially when you consider that it is actually being attacked by Iran and Syria - by proxy).

If you ever wondered whether it was worth all the trouble to keep Iran from getting a nuke, look at the news today. Especially since "Iran Attacking Israel Is Really Attack on U.S."

Gideon Meir, a senior Israeli foreign ministry official, told reporters on Thursday that Israel had "concrete evidence that Hezbollah plans to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran," but he gave no specifics or source for the claim. "As a result," Mr. Meir said, "Israel views Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as the main players in the axis of terror and hate that endangers not only Israel, but the entire world."

Posted by Richard at July 14, 2006 6:36 AM

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