Across the Bay

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Syria Hallucinations"

Zalman Shoval sums it up perfectly:

Damascus' objectives are varied yet clear: Shatter the circle of isolation it faces, undermine America's status in the whole region and particularly in Iraq, fragment the Western front against it and its ally Iran, drive a wedge between Israel and the US, thwart Saudi, Jordanian and Egyptian initiatives to form an alliance against the Shiite threat, regain its status as Lebanon's ruler-in-practice – and if possible, regain the Golan Heights.

Readers may wonder, isn't regaining the Golan Syria's main objective? Not necessarily, as this issue is not vital to the regime's survival.

Shoval rightly dismisses the most ridiculous notion that pops up when discussing this matter -- "prying Syria away from Iran" -- which I have covered repeatedly on this blog:

One of the arguments used by Israelis and others who believe that we should accept the public Syrian calls is that it could allow us to disengage Damascus from Teheran. This argument is baseless, as the Shiite Iran serves as an "insurance policy" for the Alawite's regime in face of its internal and external enemies. (By doing this, Iran replaced the Soviet Union, which played this role in the past.)

Moreover: Can anyone imagine that Syria would accept the demand to end its support for Hizbullah when the organization is the main tool used to advance Syria's plans in Lebanon?

Read the whole thing. It's a good summary of the ridiculous fever that has taken over some people as a result of Syrian propaganda. It also echoes somewhat the comments of the Israeli Foreign Minister:

Livni said Syria's immediate motivation was fear of the international tribunal investigating of the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. She said Damascus was worried the tribunal would implicate top Syrian officials and endanger the its regime. She added that Syria had no intention of abdicating its power over Lebanon.

Livni rightly noted that Assad is interested in the process and its dividends, but not in an actual fruition. "We have to ask ourselves what we would get at the end of a diplomatic process," she said. The answer is, nothing.

Read also Dore Gold's piece on the dishonest hysterics about how Israel is really "stymied" by the Bush administration. Gold lays out how talks with Syria, "from an Israeli viewpoint ... would be akin to shooting ourselves in the foot."

Also, in case you haven't seen it yet, make sure to read Ammar Abdulhamid's piece about the delusion of a dialogue with Syria, especially the "prying Syria away from Iran" joke. Ammar writes, "Assad cannot turn his back on all of this [his alliance with Iran]. No deal would be sweet enough, even if it included the return of the Golan Heights. For Assad and his supporters, survival is more important than sovereignty."

Never mind the propaganda and the hysterics.