Springtime for Syria

(Globe and Mail-Canada) Patrick Martin - Long considered an international pariah for its friendship with Iran, its support of radical organizations and its poor human-rights record, Syria under Bashar al-Assad is being brought in from the cold. In recent weeks, the King of Saudi Arabia, the President of France, and the prime ministers of Turkey and Spain all have beaten a path to Assad's door. Of all the overtures, Damascus is especially pleased about the one from Turkey. "Turkey changed," explained Sami Moubayed, editor of Forward Magazine, a Syrian English-language monthly. "They are opening to the Arab world in general and to us in particular." Commenting on the international red carpet that has been rolled out for Damascus, one Western diplomat said: "We want Syria to stop playing with the bad guys and start playing with the good guys." Hearing of this remark, an influential Syrian businessman responded: "Playing with the good guys never got us anywhere."

2009-12-22 08:03:07

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