November 23, 2006


Professor Cutler is one of the most interesting bloggers on the net: as he suggests the recent assassination of a Lebanese Christian doesn't make much sense for Syria in the light of the smoke signals coming out of Washington and London about reingaging with Bashar. Professor Cutler suggests that there might be rogue elements of the Syrian regime attempting to sabotage a dialogue with the West- another idea that just flashed across my mind is that the real gainer from Syrian continued estrangement from the US- is Iran. Maybe the assassination was ordered by a pro-Iranian part of the Syrian establishment or maybe by a pro-Iranian part of Hezbollah. I have no evidence and we'd have to wait for an enquiry but I just throw out the suggestion in reply to Professor Cutler.


El Dave. said...

Had the west made constructive engagement with Syria since 9-11, we might be in a very different position. As in any organisations, there are factions and shades of opinion; certainly, some within Syria will be looking to Iran and some, I suspect, fancy a military dictatorship.

We could have strengthened the position of the democratic elements and perhaps have had greater influence with them to restrict Hizbollah during the recent conflict in Lebanon and would be in a position of strength approaching these negotiations rather than one of weakness - they know, as does everyone else, that Iraq is a mess and 'we' need 'their' help.


Gracchi said...

I agree with you about constructive engagement- also the fact that Blair et al abandoned the foreign office view and used private envoys and got burnt by Bashar Assad- I think the public burning that Assad gave Blair is really at issue there. There is an interesting column on it in PRivate Eye this week- unfortuantely last I looked it isn't online.