Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Assad is the puppetmaster? 

The Jerusalem Post reports on some juicy Syrian terrorist gossip being peddled in the region:

On September 10, Syrian president Bashar Assad met with representatives of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Damascus, according to information reportedly passed to Army Radio from senior Palestinian sources.

In the meeting Assad told the Palestinian terror groups they had absolute freedom of action in attacking Israel.

'Syria is under siege. We are under international pressure. They're hounding us because of what's happening in Iraq and the investigation of the assassination of Rafik Hariri in Lebanon. Do what you must in the territories. Draw fire away from us,' Assad was reported as saying.
Exactly what influence does an impoverished, weakened Syrian leader have over Hamas and Islamic Jihad that would lead anyone to expect they will act on his orders? Unless he is supplying them as a middle man for Iran and has the clout to turn off the tap without angering the Iranians, I highly doubt he has much clout. If he indeed has no leverage, then why is it such a big deal that he is giving this order? It would be a big deal if Palestinian terrorist groups actually attacked Israel at his command. But of course Hamas will attack whenever it wishes, or not attack, for whatever reasons it chooses. Now if the next Hamas suicide video includes some supporting commentary, then maybe we could talk. Something like "...and we will continue bombing the Zionist dorks as usual until the US and Lebanon and the rest of the international bullies stops picking on our good friend, and really swell guy, Bashar Assad..."

So while we wait for that video, let's look in another direction, just to pass the time. The other party making choices in this story is the PA, who are responsible for passing this "information" to Israel. One cynically wonders if they could possibly have any motivation for trying to turn Israel's attention away from Palestinian control of terror groups, and toward Syria at this particular moment.

And by the way, yes, I do think the PA has such motivation, at least until all the rockets and missiles stop flying over their heads in both directions -- but I'm a cynic.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: