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Syria: Cruisin’ for a bruisin’?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 24, 2004

Growing evidence of Syrian support, be it tacit or overt, in the Ba'athist "insurgency" has speculation rampant over whether the US will do something to stop that if Syria won't. That would include cross-border incursions by US forces.

Apparently the mess hall bombing is driving this latest round of rumors, although Fallujah has provided an impetus as well, based on what US forces found there as they cleaned the place out. As we reported here, this sort of confrontation has been seen coming for some time. The mess hall bombing may provide the proverbial straw in this case.

That's the story according to one "unnamed administration official" in the Jerusalem Post story. However another unnamed official says that while its certainly being discussed as a contingency (and it would be foolish if it weren't) it's "premature" to say this sort of action is actually in the offing.

In terms of the volume of the violence it is, in my opinion, the Ba'athist who are driving the bulk of it. Al Queda certainly has a hand in some of the violence as well, but not in the volume of the Ba'athists. Al Queda relies heavily on foreigners to carry out its operations and thus don't have the size to carry out the amount of violence that do the Ba'athists. Stopping the native Iraqi Ba'athists is the key to stopping the majority of the violence.

Do that and it only leaves leaves al Queda (and small splinter groups) and its foreigners who, as we've seen in other parts of Iraq, are wearing out their welcome and have less and less popular support as each day go by.

I think it is obviously good strategy to focus on the Ba'athists and I also think the Syria is a big key to helping eliminate their threat, but I'm not yet inclined to agree that a military incursion into Syria at this juncture is the best method of accomplishing that.

Ratchet up the pressure on the Syrian government to the point that it's very uncomfortable for them to continue to allow the Iraqi Ba'athists to operate there. And let's continue to gather intel and plan for an incursion.

But let's hold off for a while in order to see if the pressure we bring to bear has the desired effect before opening a new front in this war.
 
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McQ:

"But let's hold off for a while..." on hitting Baathists in Syria? Couldn't agree more. Such a widening of the war--as the MSM is sure to call it--needs thorough preparation, especially on the home front. It's a pity that this administration are such klutzes when it comes to PR. Nothing would put more effective pressure on Baby Assad than a media campaign to explain why we need to hit Syria, why such a move would be fully justified under the doctrine of hot pursuit, how the Prez is determined to go ahead, etc. Even the spectacle of the Prez brushing off the inevitable howls about Nixon & Cambodia with a quip and a smirk would help to carry it off. Not bloody likely.
 
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