Syria: Which way?

By Ami Isseroff

An effort by the EU and USA is underway to engage Syria, after many years of isolation. The EU sent Javier Solana to Damascus with a package of goodies, and US, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian representatives met in Baghdad to discuss the stabilization of Iraq, with another, higher level meeting, reportedly planned soon.

What Syria would get is an end to the isolation that has been imposed on it by the west. It is also promised the Golan Heights. US Ambassador Jones has now declared that the US is not stopping Israel from engaging in negotiations with Syria, which may or may not be true.

What Syria is expected to give in return, is to move away from Iran, keep its nose out of Iraq and its fingers out of Lebanon, and to stop supporting Palestinian terror. In Al-Ahram, Dina Ezzat explored the prospects, which are less than encouraging actually. According to Ezzat, Syrians feel on the one hand, that Syria has managed to tire the US out in the Middle East and has won its point, and on the other hand, that Syria has moved too close to Iran. Therefore, one would expect some true moves of rapprochement. One might imagine that Syrian cooperation in Iraq, for example, would extend to arresting terrorists and supplying intelligence information.
[Ami Isseroff surprised me this time. He correctly analysis the problem (which he usually does), but this time came to the right conclusion. He is a strong proponent of withdrawal and negotiations but here concludes there is nothing to gain from negotiations. T. Belman]

March 18, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Negotiate with Syria?
    1. Syria is one of the most artificial countries in the Middle East. For 400 years it was a province of Turkey. After England drove Turkey out of Syria, it sat down with France to draw up borders for British Palestine, and French Syria-Lebanon. In the bargaining that followed, France wanted a Syria-Lebanon as large as possible, and England was willing to accept that as long as British Palestine had enough water. So the Golan Heights went to France, and the Sea of Galillee at the foot of the Golan heights to Palestine.
    2. The French controlled Syria until World War Two. When the (Christian German) Nazis conquered France, Syria became a Nazi satellite. England then invaded Syria and took control. After World War Two England declared Syria independent.
    3. Syria has never known democracy. It has been ruled by a succession of brutal military dictatorships. Syria is a mini-empire that was artifically patched together to form a “country”. It is populated by a mixture of mutally antagonistic ethnic groups: Sunnis, Christians, Kurds, Shiites and Shiite splinter groups like the Druze and Alawites. The Alawite tribes currently control the country. They dominate the army and the political posts. A non-Alawite either works with them, and is rewarded, or is ruthlessly murdered.
    4. Israel’s possession of the Golan Heights protects Israel’s vital water supply, and lets it keep an eye on Damascus, which is only 20 miles away. It is a reasonably fertile piece of land and is sparsely populated by Muslims.
    5. Syria (whatever that is) was arbitrarily awarded the Goaln Heights when Egland and France drew a line on a map. Syria “owned” the Golan Heights for only 20 years (1946-1967). Israel has “occupied” it for 40.
    6. Twenty thousand Jews now live on the Golan Heights, and have done so for 40 years. Israel would have to be insane to hand it over to Syria in return for a “peace” treaty with the Muslim savages.

  2. Good point Per. And I think Hungary and some other European countries should do the same. And I especially think that India ought to be cajoled to give itself back to the Indian Muslims. India ought to become a defacto province of Pakistan.

    This is fun, and it’s endless.

    The truth is – and I’m sure it’s been said before – the Arab Muslim “civilization” is in the steepest part of its violent decline at this point. The West is so far ahead of this group in all respects, that the only way the Arab Muslims (and their cousins in the Ummah) can level the playing field, as it were, or even overtake the West, is to destroy it and/or its carefully created infrastructure.

    And most Western politicians – if not the people themselves – are working hard to ensure this outcome, because they truly believe that equality of outcome is the only fair way to run the world.

    First the dumbing down of educational and other standards, ensuring a comfortable level of mediocrity (and a vicious elitism governing it… just look at the UK), then paralleling this, the leveling of civilization to its lowest common multiple.

  3. … nothing to gain from negotiations?
    That depends with whom you negotiate about what. It is obvious that the Arabs will not renounce the goals of their Jihad just to get the Golan back. They are looking for something bigger and more rewarding.

    The logic behind Solana’s European conclusion that the Golan rightfully belongs to Syria, should be picked up by the Government of Israel, which should start negotiating the return of Spain, Portugal and the Balkans to the Dar al Islam, in exchange for the Yesha and the Golan. That might have a better chance of success with the Arabs.

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