web counter Media Lies: Is Syria....

Monday, January 10, 2005

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Is Syria....

....next? Wretchard seems to be hinting as much, and recent activity and comments by both US and Iraqi leaders seem to hint at the same.
Day after day, and despite a general ban on allowing Syrian men to enter Iraq, the Marines face a constant flow of people trying to cross the border, Syrians and those claiming to be Syrian, a steady stream of the inscrutable. The Marines' job is to stop them--an assignment not nearly so simple as it might seem--and to turn them away. "You get a lot of them who insist they are going to visit their dying mothers in Iraq," said Sgt. Steven Miller of suburban Kansas City, Mo. "Everyone seems to have a dying mother."

Iraqi officials allege, more angrily of late, that the Syrian government is enabling Iraq's roiling insurgency. They say they have growing proof, from documents, informants and interrogations, that Iraqis operating openly in Syria are behind a flow of money, weapons, reinforcements and orders to the guerrillas.

American officials are more cautious. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage left a weekend visit to Damascus praising the Syrians for tightening their border with Iraq. But he also warned that the United States was displeased with what it sees as, at least, Syrian coddling of insurgents. ... On Thursday, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) arrived in Syria to discuss some of the same issues. Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi issued a vague warning last week, though he did not mention Syria by name.
Wretchard points out some interesting information about the upcoming elections.
Ayatollah Sistani issued a religious edict, a fatwa, saying that it is an obligation for people to vote, men and women. Everyone that we are talking to from the Shi'a community is telling us that that edict is having a significant impact on people's thinking. And I expect to see a very heavy turnout among Iraq's Shi'a. In the northern part of the country, in the Kurdish areas, of course they have already been having elections since they set up the regional government there several years ago... So I think you're going to have very heavy turnout in the Kurdish areas, very heavy turnout in Shi'a areas. Those two parts of Iraq alone by themselves probably comprise 75 to 80 percent of Iraq's overall population. ...

In Sunni areas I think it's going to vary from location to location. Some places, obviously Ramadi (and Fallujah ?), are going to be less high than in Shi'a or Kurdish areas. There are some parts of the Sunni Triangle where the security right now, frankly, is not that bad. In parts of Diyala Province, some parts of Salahuddin Province, some parts of Nineveh Province, is not all blood and fire and destruction in all places every day. Some places obviously do have problems, but many places do not.
I've stated on previous occasions that the Sunnis have a lot more to lose by not participating in the election than they do by participating.

Oddly enough, Sam at Hammorabi seems to think Lebanon should be the next target.