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What is Bashar doing?

September 11th, 2005 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Bashar Al-Assad has held a summit of 10 Palestinian resistance groups based in Damascus. He declared his support for Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mishael (below).

It’s a massive change in Syrian policy. For the past couple of years, Syria has insisted that the offices of Hamas and Islamic Jihad along with other rejectionist groups in Damascus had been shut down. Indeed, Mishael himself was not welcome in Syria and fled to Qatar. But now he’s at the top table.

It’s a move that’s bound to infuriate the US. But confusingly it flies in the face of Bashar’s ‘reformist-appeasement’ line.

Bashar was even planning to attend the UN summit in the hope of holding private talks with US officials. He has repeatedly offered to restart peace talks – unconditionally – with Israel. And he pulled out of Lebanon quicker than anyone in the region imagined.

America in recent months has been trying to isolate Bashar. He’s the Arab World’s latest boogeyman. But the flipside is that if the Bush administration continues to reject Syrian attempts at reconcilliation, Syria might just turn its back and make no attempt to please the States.

Today’s meeting makes it clear that peace talks with Israel are off, and support for the resistance is on.

Is this the price of the American brick wall?

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Sep 12, 2005 at 3.28 am

    Sasa, do you think that Syria gave up on coaperation in faver of confrontaion because of the stupedity of the american policy toward Syria?.

  • 2 yaman // Sep 13, 2005 at 9.58 pm

    This is a stupid move. Sticking our tongue out at the rest of the world has not helped us for the past 40 years, and it certainly will not help us now.

    This is not the proper response to American policy towards Syria. Confrontation is *NOT* a realistic option. It is a suicidal move.

    Instead of successfully resolving the situation in Syria, Bashar has basically taken the position that we might as well lose everything.

    This move does not reflect on the stupidity of America’s policy towards Syria. It reflects on the inability of our leaders in Syria to be successful diplomats. They are failures.

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