Syria Comment has as usual a clear eye on matters Middle East. Joshua Landis says the Israeli attacks on Lebanon are an effort to
cut Lebanon off from Syria so that Hizbullah will be isolated and unable to resupply itself. This Israel may be able to do. The majority of its targets so far have been aimed at cutting off Lebanon’s communications with the outside world.
But Israel will take its cue from the U.S.; there won’t be attacks on Syria.
The US is trying to get itself out of the Middle East quagmire, not into it. The US was led down the garden path by Rumsfeld and Cheney once, it will not allow itself to be so easily led by the nose again. This time there is no believing that western bombs will be met by Arabs with flowers or eager democrats. I don’t buy the Defense Department’s bluster.
In the end it is most likely that Israel will seek a cease fire, and there will be negotiations between the west and the real power, Syria.
Bashar [al-Assad, Syrian President] will have sent his message loud and clear: I am here. I demand respect. Cut out all the silliness about isolation and the blind eye doctor. Syria is an important player. Anyone who wants to do business in the region will have to address me politely and be ready to trade in kind. Syria is not a charitable organization.