Across the Bay

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cool Relations

According to this report in An-Nahar, Saudi-Syrian relations are quite cool, and, according to an anonymous Saudi official, have been so for a while. But the murder of Hariri added to it as it was considered a "slap," the source said.

This is the genius of Bashar! He went on a campaign of "slapping" people who were willing to reach out to him! He slapped Chirac, Blair, Powell, the Lebanese political elite, and now the Saudis.

The report quotes analysts like Abdallah Hamideddin as saying that part of the reason why the Saudis won't help Syria is because they, and Arab states in general, realize that they cannot face the intense American pressures on Syria regarding its military presence in Lebanon and the accusation of its support for insurgents in Iraq. So Hamideddin said, if Europe cannot ignore the US on this, how can the Arabs ignore it!?

This is what Josh and I and others have said. No one is going to stick their necks out for Syria on this. Besides, Bashar has personally insulted the Saudis and Chirac with his political blunders, alienating anyone who might have said something on his behalf.

Naturally, the Syrian papers have denied all this or that the Saudis exerted pressures on Bashar to withdraw. Instead, they painted a rosy picture of Bashar's "fruitful and constructive" meetings in Saudi Arabia, that took place in "an extremely warm atmosphere."

That, as Josh wrote, is called "whistling past the graveyard."