View Full Version : Who Wants the U.S. Intervening in Syria?

03-04-05, 06:57 AM

Who Wants the U.S. Intervening in Syria?

By Michael S. Woodson

Maybe the insiders can tell us who wants us in Syria. That’s the question raised by the bombing assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, just one day after the world press reported Iraqi election results in favor of the Shi’a and the Kurds.

Analyzing these events without unhindered access to the bombing investigation is calculated guesswork. Everyone seems to have a motive, accusation, and denial.

Al Qaeda’s gainfully unemployed might have sniffed the wind in Iraq after the elections and decided they needed a new smoldering home. Like the Biblical story of the demons, they roam around looking or a cleaned up place, Beirut, and return to it with seven times the terrorists.

Or did Iran create a diversion to get the United States off of its back and onto Syria’s with Russian help? The Russians were upset at their exclusion from Iraqi reconstruction contracts, and now the U.S. rattles sabers over Iranian nuclear development, threatening yet another Russian contract with a country that can actually pay it back.

Of course, most Russians believe America is in Iraq for oil and that the humanitarian restructuring is window dressing. Considering the razing of Chechnya and interference in Georgia, the Kremlin’s house is of broken glass.

As it sometimes happens with individuals, America and Russia may have started mercenary adventures in Iraq and Siberia, for example, but American troops and public opinion forced our juggernaut to transform itself into a humane democratizing force defined by the goodness of our citizen troops. Can Russia say the same? It is the overwhelming good will earned by the plurality of American troops and aid personnel that fanned the spark of democracy in Iraq.

Many blame Syrian intelligence for involvement in Hariri’s murder on grounds that they had to be involved because they are the occupiers. Yet Syria’s Assad regime would have to be on a hashish binge to order a Lebanese assassination the day after Iraqis got out the vote. Maybe they were. Or, did someone else in the Syrian or Lebanese pecking order want Assad out, baiting the Americans and Israelis to do the work while there is momentum?

Or did Syria work it out with Iranian agents and Hezbollah to bomb Hariri, agreeing secretly to issue plausible mutual denials? The news that Iran and Syria “aligned” themselves following the Bush administration’s saber rattling early in February lends credence to this view, but is not enough for a prima facie case.

Now Syria is doing good deeds for us, turning in Saddam’s half-brother, and Iran is reaching out to the Russians, who insist their fuel supply will actually control nuclear proliferation, not stoke it. Both countries now try to show the U.N. some compliance in areas of former intransigence in exchange for delay and protection. Eager to rebuild European ties to check increasing Chinese, Russian and North Korean military activity, President Bush is listening to European advice on how to handle Iran and Syria.

Then there is the Secret Neocon War theory: the Pentagon, with its secret espionage operations branch (Strategic Support Branch) uses its last bit of unsupervised time before outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte and National Security Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden are confirmed as National Director and Deputy Director of Intelligence, giving a hard push to the Neocon’s Middle East reverse domino theory strategy. Will Negroponte look into the Pentagon’s past, or say live and let live, as diplomats do?

By their overt writings on the need for ruthless empire, the Pentagon advisors and analysts behind the Iraq invasion have opened the door to this sort of interpretation.

Our government has done some odd things that enable me to believe its politicians may repeat their Iraqi performance. And some who were in power when weird things were done in the American peoples’ name before are still on the payroll.

I thought it was crazy a long time ago when Robert McFarlane, Ronald Reagan’s former National Security Advisor, unsuccessfully tried to kill himself after he was discovered to have launched a clandestine sales pitch to the Iranians at a time when the Reagan administration was disavowing negotiation with terrorists. And yet it happened.

Fortunately, our troops normalize and defuse some politicians’ elitist obsessions by being just good, ordinary American people doing extraordinary things as the real points of contact with the Iraqi people.

Divining foreign policy is hard work when you are not divine. Sometimes there is a glint of redemption in the smoke of human conflict to give us hope. And sometimes opinion writers like me think too much of our own thoughts, just like politicians do. That caveat said, we need some hard evidence about who bombed Hariri. By this we can better know our enemies, friends and ourselves to increase chances at success in the terror war, protect our own troops from similar bombings, and know which bombs warrant our military response and which do not in the nation’s defense.

Michael Woodson is a Contributing Editor of DefenseWatch. He can be reached at singingmountains@yahoo.com. Please send Feedback responses to dwfeedback@yahoo.com.