Across the Bay

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Syria's Modus Operandi

To follow up on Michael's piece which I posted below, this report is rather telling:

Syria warned Thursday that peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be impossible within the current split between the mainstream Palestinian Fatah faction and the more militant Hamas group.

Now you'll recall what I wrote around the time of the Mecca Agreement, and why I made fun of the Syrian regime's propaganda that it was instrumental in making it succeed, after it failed in brokering a deal on its own, one that would have favored Hamas and positioned Syria as the arbiter.

Commenting on this AP report, Barry Rubin wrote the following:

Note the parallels between Syria-Iran's Palestinian and Lebanese policy.

Step 1: promote a client group with funding, weapons and training. Urge it to violence.

Step 2: provoke a split between your client group and the others.

Step 3: negotiate a deal in which your clients have about half the power.

Step 4: use the deal to get stronger, then break it and take over completely.

Compare that last line with Michael Young's piece, and Syria's and Hezbollah's demand for veto power in a "national unity government."