Thursday, October 02, 2008

Condoleezza Rice And The Syrian Disconnect

From December 2007:
US President George W Bush says he has long since lost patience with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and has ruled out opening a dialogue with him.
From October 2008:
Two days after George W. Bush criticized Syria as a state sponsor of terror in a speech at the United Nations, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem in New York. The meeting was first reported in the Syrian state press which noted that it took place at Rice's request. Mouallen told Al Hayat that the meeting represented a softening of the US position on Syria.
So: what has changed? Nothing.

IS Syria preparing to seize the opportunity provided by the global financial crisis and the US presidential campaign to invade Lebanon?

For the last week or so, Syria has been moving heavily armed elite military units to the Lebanese border - with up to 25,000 massed there by early last week. Backed by tanks, armored vehicles and attack helicopters, the units were on "maximum war footing," eyewitnesses say.

Damascus says the build-up is a response to smuggling rings that run the black market in the Syrian capital and major provincial centers. My Lebanese contacts call that explanation "laughable" - noting that Syrian elite itself runs the black market in both countries through the security services.

It seems the only ones who take Bush seriously these days is Israel--to its own detriment.

[Hat tip: Abe Greenwald]

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