Across the Bay

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Assad Repeats Threat to Specter

Regular readers will recall how before, during, and after the summer war, I collected numerous, and consistent, statements by Syrian officials -- from Bashar, to Walid Moallem, to Mohsen Bilal, to Amr Salem -- making barely veiled threats about two things: 1- unleashing al-Qaeda in Lebanon, and 2- attacking and/or undermining the UNIFIL and UNR 1701.

All their policy since has been in this direction, including the recent fiasco over "Fateh Islam" an "offshoot" of the entirely Syrian proxy, Fateh-Intifada, which was uncovered in northern Lebanon, and two of its arrested members confessed that it was tasked by the Syrians to carry out assassinations against Lebanese figures and carry out operations against the UNIFIL (a UN official confirmed this to Le Monde).

So, after telling Sen. Bill Nelson that he doesn't support the Seniora government (as if we needed a "fact finding mission" to know this. These positions have been public.), Assad has seemingly now openly repeated these exact above-mentioned threats to Sen. Arlen Specter.

Assad reportedly told Specter that he's "concerned about the presence of al-Qaeda in northern Lebanon, and the fragility of the ceasefire [in southern Lebanon] in the absence of a political solution."

Translation: I will unleash al-Qaeda and undermine the UNR 1701 and the UNIFIL unless you do exactly what I say.

Again, I'm reminded of what Barry Rubin said: "[Syria] is the closest thing to a sponsor of al-Qaida today."

Assad's consistent threats are a testament to the veracity of this remark. And some people want to appease this regime and kill the international mechanism that would hold it accountable for its crimes in Lebanon!