Across the Bay

Monday, June 11, 2007

Annals of the Absurd

Here's an example of how even good journalists fall in the trap of swallowing the Syrian regime's sinister and twisted line.

Exhibit A, Jay Solomon in the WSJ today.

I won't go into the asinine quote by Daniel Levy, as Solomon is not responsible for its depravity. Nor will I actually discuss the issue of "peace talks" with Israel, which Solomon completely misreads and misunderstands.

However, the following formulation has earned Jay this entry into the annals of the absurd: "The increasingly confrontational stance taken by President Bush and Lebanon toward Syria could have repercussions on Israel."

So, wait. Let's review the lead-up to this astonishingly foolish (and, at the risk of tautology, Moustapha-esque and Landis-esque) statement.

First, Solomon recounts how Syria is implicated in the terrorist assassinations in Lebanon that are being investigated by a UN investigation, which culminated last month in the creation of an international tribunal under Chapter VII that will try the culprits (it went into effect just yesterday).

Second, Solomon notes the serious charges of Syria's involvement in the current clashes in northern Lebanon between the Lebanese Army and a terrorist group deeply penetrated by Syrian intelligence, which had allegedly "splintered" from a Syrian-created proxy, which is little more than an extension of Syrian intelligence. The leader of this group, who had spent most of his life in Syria as part of that proxy, is accused by Jordan of training fighters headed for Iraq (to kill Iraqis and US soldiers) at a training camp in Syria. Other elements of the group were reportedly liaisons between Syrian intelligence and al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Third, Solomon mentions Syria's violation of multiple UNSC resolutions. For example, it's in violation of UNSCR 1701 through its continued smuggling of arms and fighters through its borders with Lebanon. (Not to mention the weapons it smuggled last summer -- and continues to smuggle today -- to Hezbollah.)

Not only is it in violation of a UNSC resolution, but, as Solomon notes, it has threatened that any attempt by the international community to help in the monitoring of that border will be -- get this -- "viewed as a hostile act"! Talk about chutzpah.

Yet it is at precisely this moment in the article that Solomon drops his beauty. After all the above, which amount to an open declaration of war against the US, the international community and Lebanon, Solomon musters his mental faculties to produce the most pathetic of lines, fully swallowing the thuggish regime's propaganda: it is not Syria that is waging a terrorist war. Oh no. It's President Bush and Lebanon who are "increasingly confrontational"!

Naturally! How dare they call for the implementation of UNSC resolutions, demanding that Syria stop killing people in Lebanon, supporting and dispatching terrorists to its neighbors, and for it to be held accountable for its actions!?

This is what happens when you drink from the "stupid tap" of the Syrian regime's sinister propaganda. You come out sounding repugnantly absurd.

Addendum: Just so as not to sound unfair, I must point out that Solomon's last graph is good and should be highlighted, given how much nonsense has been written on this issue:

Many regional analysts express skepticism that any Israeli-Syrian peace talks would bear long-term dividends. For one, Syria is seen as having significantly less influence over Hezbollah and other militant groups fighting Israel than it did before its 2005 withdrawal from Lebanon, when Damascus in essence ran Beirut. Analysts argue also that Mr. Assad is unlikely to jeopardize his military alliance with Iran in a bid to achieve peace with Israel.

I might come back to discuss this specific issue in a later post.