Is there a person anywhere in the world who still thinks there is an ounce
of sanity in the Bush administration? If so, let that person read John Bolton's
orders to Syria in the Jan. 24 online edition of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.
Bolton is Bush's unconfirmed ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton, a neoconservative
warmonger, has managed to get the UN Security Council on Jan. 23 to instruct
Syria to disband and disarm the Lebanese militias. Bolton says, "I hope
in Damascus they read it very carefully and then comply."
How is Syria to meet this demand?
Last year, Syria complied with U.S. demands to withdraw its troops from Lebanon.
As Syria has no military presence in Lebanon, it could not disarm a local police
force, much less the Shia militias that defeated the Israeli army, drove it
out of Lebanon, and have representatives in the Lebanese parliament.
After three years and unimaginable expense, the superpower American
military has proved that it cannot disarm the recently formed Iraqi militias.
Yet the idiot Bolton thinks puny Syria can disarm the Lebanese militias that
defeated the brutal Israeli army!
Syria was never in Lebanon as a conqueror or invader, as the U.S. is in Iraq
and Israel is in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Syria was invited into Lebanon
by the Lebanese government for peacekeeping purposes, adding the weight of its
military to indigenous militias in order to create stability where U.S., Palestinian,
and Israeli bungling had brought disorder and massive bloodshed.
Until they were withdrawn, the Syrian troops were a counterweight to the Shia
militias. Now that the Shia crescent is spreading from Iran through Iraq to
Lebanon, the stupid neoconservatives are confronted with the error of their
ways. The Bush administration was trying to set Syria up for U.S. attack by
demanding that they withdraw from Lebanon. The neocons thought Syria would refuse
and thereby become a target for demonization and invasion.
Alas, the Syrians departed. And now the problem is how to turn back the Shia
advance, which is increasing in power inside Lebanon as well through the Hezbollah
and Amal movements. Bolton's solution is a ridiculous attempt to turn Syria
into a neocon proxy and to set it at war with the militias. Otherwise, Bolton
intends to damn Syria for "noncompliance" and again threaten them
with U.S. invasion.
It will be interesting to see who Syria fears most, the militias that triumphed
over Israeli military might or the U.S. forces that have been defeated in Iraq.