The Feeling in Syria
Lebanon Profile reports from Syria, after he fled Lebanon. The highlights are mine. Very interesting material. His opinions have now calmed since fleeing and appear more measured.
highlights are mine.
The Feeling in Syria
The Syrian people and government fully support Hezbollah.
In fact, Syrians of every stripe support the campaign against Israel: rich and poor, educated and illiterate, Western educated and Syrian educated, multilingual and monolingual, Christian, Muslim, Druze, Allawi, and Shia. It really is incredible to see uninanimous support that was not government created.
In fact, the Syrian people seem unhappy that their government has not joined the fight. They are calling this, "The Final Battle." It's rather apocalyptic.
There are Hezbollah, Syrian, and Palestinian flags flying all over Damascus. In the old city, there are large Israeli flags taped to the narrow walkways forcing all pedestrians to trample on it. The Syrian people want the destruction of Israel and see now as the time to do it.
One political analyst says the regime is doing everything it can not to go to war. She says, "Bashar is too smart." It seems the United States now believes it has some leverage over the Syrian regime, but also believes that the Syrian regime is in a position to help.
In the battle between Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah, Hezbollah is the weakest link. Lebanese political analysts for months have been arguing that Syria was weakest and connected all of the above named factions to one another. This was the thinking in mid-2005.
The Syrians were smart. They waited it out. They made it impossible for a coup. But the West must still do something.
The relationship between the Israelis and Hamas is long standing. The Palestinians are integrated into the Israeli system. They rely on the Israelis for bare essentials. Israeli troops move freely in Palestinian areas. Hamas is not as easy a problem to do deal with.
Taking out a regime, especially given that the US is engaged in Iraq and is in the middle of a campaign year, is not an option. The case for war against either Syria or Iran would be difficult to put forward. American allies would become further enraged just as President Bush is trying to rebuild international consensus.
Hezbollah stupidly carried out an attack. The Lebanese leadership brought Hezbollah into the government worried that not doing so would start a civil war and continue the campaign of assassinations against Lebanese political leaders.
No one thought that Israel would take this kind of action. Once it began, though, the US saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation.
Why wait for the Brammertz Report to isolate the Syria regime? Why fight tooth and nail with the international community for ineffective sanctions against the Iranian regime that would still leave it capable of building nuclear weapons? Hezbollah provided the international community with an option.
I hate to say this, but Israel has been surprisingly restrained given the leeway they have been given by the international community. Lebanon does not deserve to be destroyed in this way, but the world sees this as an opportunity to isolate Iran and Syria, and Israel has a case for war. This war is ridiculous because it isn't one. Israel is at war. Hezbollah is doing little damage to Israel. Lebanon is being destroyed.
The irony is that the Lebanese people, by and large, support the Western agenda. There is little positive sentiment for the Iranian or Syrian regimes and for Hamas. This is the diametric opposite of the Syrian people who fully support the destruction of Israel.
The Lebanese were trying to get rid of Hezbollah. They were not given the time it takes in this region to get anything done. Sadly, the West does not have time to wait. Iran refuses to cooperate, and Lebanon suffers.