Sunday, February 27, 2005

Syria: After the killing of Rafik al-Hariri , the Iraqi elections and international pressure, Syria is starting to realize they need to change their tactics.

"The Iraqi government did not give further details of Mr. Tikriti's arrest and did not mention whether American or other foreign forces had helped out, but The Associated Press, citing anonymous Iraqi officials, reported that Mr. Tikriti had been arrested in Syria with 29 other suspected insurgents and had been handed over to the Iraqis as a sign of good will. The Iraqi prime minister's office put out a terse statement saying Mr. Tikriti was involved in actions that "killed and tortured many Iraqi people." It also said that "it is worth mentioning that Sabawi has contributed in an active way in planning, supervising and carrying out a large number of terrorist attacks inside Iraq."
Power and the willingness to use that power will get you results, especially in the Middle East where diplomatic talk is considered a weakness, not a virtue. Captain's Quarters: "What did I tell you? With the wave of popular sentiment sweeping across Southwest Asia for democratic self-determination and pressure from both America and France to get out of Lebanon or else, Syria has decided to start playing nice with the new Iraqi government rather than protect Assad's political Ba'athist cousins. Ibrahim hardly made himself an asset to Assad anyway, and with all of the diplomatic heat coming down on Damascus, Assad has belatedly found the Iraqi Ba'athist leadership very disposable." John Cole: "Diplomatic niceties and nervous hand-wringing has never achieved results, particularly in the Middle East. The lowest level of motivation is compliance, and there are three criteria that must be met in order to achieve compliance from a party that does not otherwise wish to comply- concern, control, and scrutiny. "

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