"It's almost too easy to accuse Syria," one Lebanon-watcher told the Journal.Could it be Al Qaeda, trying to raise America's easily raised hackles? It just doesn't seem like it should be the fairly wily Syria. Why tickle Bush's tail when he's already so eager to pounce? The Administration has withdrawn the American ambassador to Syria. Matthew Yglesias neatly summed up why not everyone will be pleased with America trumpetting for aggressive punishment. Only last week The Daily Show inaugurated the Mess O' Persia segment--do they have to make a Mess O'Syria segment now too?
"Don't forget—this comes at a time when Syria desperately tries to engage the U.S. on issues like Iraq, to divert attention from its presence in Lebanon."
A "senior State Department official" told the NY Times it doesn't matter: "We're going to turn up the heat on Syria, that's for sure. Even though there's no evidence to link it to Syria, Syria has, by negligence or design, allowed Lebanon to become destabilized."
Even so, the liberals seem to be gathering a little momentum. Recently, intellectuals from Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia petitioned the United Nations for a tribunal to prosecute both terrorists and the religious figures who incite violence. In Egypt, two new publications, Nahdet Misr and Al Masry Al Youm, fault the region's leaders and clerics alike for keeping Arabs from joining the modern world. The Iraqi election posed a stark challenge to regional autocrats. While Abdulhamid harbors mixed feelings about the United States' decision to invade Iraq, he says he believes that the American presence in the region is vital to the prospects for reform. ''We are an important part of the world,'' he says, ''and our inability to produce change on our own terms invites people in. The world is not going to wait for us.''
Spring 2006: Guest Bloggers!
Rishi | Scott | Emily
Echan | Robert | ToastyKen