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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Lebanese Orange

NRO has a piece about the uprising in Lebanon, in which Mordechai Nisan explains Lebanese culture and offers a hopeful view of the Lebanese future. Shawn Macomber had offered a similarly optimistic view of the assassination of Hariri (an optimism I did not share although it`s starting to look like I may be wrong!)

The World has let Lebanon down. Lebanon has an unique Christian culture which has been trampled underfoot-first by the Palestinians (whom they charitably allowed entry as refugees) then by Syria. Syria has illegally occupied Lebanon since the `80`s and the World community (including the United States) has stifled a collective yawn.

The Lebanese occupation should have been dealt with long since; Syria is home to every terrorist organization on the planet with the possible exceptions of the Shining Path of Peru and the Irish Republican Army (and I`m not so sure about those) and Syrian domination of Lebanon has had profound ramifications for the security of Israel. Without control of Lebanon it would be far more difficult for Syria to funnel funds and arms to Palestinian terrorists, and the peace process would have a much easier time of it. Syria may well be hiding Saddam`s WMD`s in Lebanon. Finally, the Lebanese deserve the right to maintain their own society free from radical Islamic overlordship.

The United States forced the Israelis to leave Lebanon when they invaded to stop the use of Lebanese soil for terrorist attacks, and then we abandoned Lebanon after the bombing of the Marine barracks. We have paid dearly for our weakness; every terrorist since has pointed to our retreat from Beirut as proof of our cowardice. (Osama Bin-Laden certainly did!) We have a duty to support freedom in Lebanon.

Will we follow through? The President talks a good game, and I believe he means what he says, but he often is prevented by the left in this country and by his own diplomats at Foggy Bottom (aka. the State Department) who fear any kind of motion. (Those guys at State would make great sessile creatures; they move slower than coral. They would form an evolutionary offshoot of humanity, much like H.G. Wells envisioned the Moorlocks and Eloi branching off the human tree. I can see it now; HomoStatis forming colonies where they hmmm hmmm and tut tut while hordes of symbiotes-TreesayHenzKries-bring them food and refill their pipes...)
I fear that the initial outburst against Syria may fade after the campaign of fear and intimidation begins. It will only build if we show we will follow through on our end. The ball is firmly in our court.

We owe them our support.

To see the Nro article click

To read Shawn Macomber`s piece click on Return of the Primitive on the blogroll.

But what should that support entail? I have never advocated an Iraqi style invasion. Syria is home to every terrorist known to man, and an invasion would bring them all out against us. The Iraqi ``insurgency`` would be a minor league game next to a Syrian invasion. Further, we have to worry about the Russians. That is no idol concern. Russia is the land of the paranoid, and they are already nervous about American forces on their southern border. A Syrian military action would upset them, and would upset their middle-eastern policy. We would have a lot of trouble from them.

I have always considered Syria to be like a pimple; squeeze hard enough and it will pop. George Kennan created the policy of containment which we employed against the old Soviet Union, and, although times and circumstances are different, I think the basic principle is applicable here. Syria is ruled by the other Baathist Party, and the crypto-fascists should be as amenable to internal pressure as any fascist/marxist/totalitarian. Tyrants need external enemies to fight. If Lebanon breaks free, Syria will be more isolated than ever. We can keep heavy pressure on them economically, and the Syrians will be looking at unfriendly regimes in Turkey, Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon. How long before the Syrian people become fed up? (Mind you, this trick could never have worked on Iraq; Saddam had too many friendly, or at least neutral, regimes on his borders. Syria will have to stand alone.) Like the old Soviets, Syria will find it more and more difficult to distract an increasingly dissatisfied public. Further, once the money and access is gone the terrorists will see no reason to continue their relationship with Syria. Hopefully by then, we will have a new Jihad for them to fight in Iran (which should itself be fought in the Contra style; U.S. advisors and military aid to ``insurgents`` to bring the Mullahs down while we use airstrikes on the nuclear and other military capabilities.)

The Lebanese uprising is a good start to fixing an enormous problem.



Blogger TJ Willms said...

Could Lebanon be one of the dominoes "Dubya" was hoping would topple after the effort the U.S. expended in Iraq? Most pundits thought that the major effort was to bookend Iran between a free and democratic Afganistan on one side and Iraq on the other. Perhaps our "Cowboy" president had a slighly different vision of the future middle-east. He does appear at the moment, to be having a run of good luck in that regard.

Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards something resembling stability for the first time in 25 years. Should Iraq and Afganistan remain stable democratic nations and Lebanon follow a similar template it would really make life uncomfortable for the newly surrounded regimes in Damascus and Tehran. That would leave only that pesky Arabian peninsula to shake up and the Saudis are already experimenting with elections, can democratic rule be all that far behind? Who does that darn Bush think he is messing up a hundred years of history in just 5 short years.

5:02 PM  

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