After Sponsoring Terrorism Against Its Neighbors, Syria Plays the Victim When Its Own Border Is Breached

[Washington Post] Editorial - The Syrian regime's most notable activities of the past few years have been the serial assassination of senior Lebanese politicians, including former prime minister Rafik Hariri; the continuous and illegal supplying of weapons to the Hizbullah militia for use against Israel and Lebanon's democratic government; the harboring in Damascus of senior leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups; and - most relevant - the sheltering of an al-Qaeda network that dispatches 90% of the foreign fighters who wage war against U.S. troops and the Iraqi government. The logic of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad seems to be that his regime can sponsor murders, arms trafficking, infiltrations and suicide bombings in neighboring countries while expecting to be shielded from any retaliation in kind by the diplomatic scruples of democracies. If Sunday's raid, which targeted a senior al-Qaeda operative, serves only to put Assad on notice that the U.S. is no longer prepared to respect the sovereignty of a criminal regime, it will have been worthwhile. Damascus should not be allowed to reap the diplomatic and economic rewards of a rapprochement while continuing to plant car bombs, transport illegal weapons and harbor terrorists. Israel has let Assad know that it is prepared to respond to his terrorism with strikes against legitimate military targets. Now that the U.S. has sent the same message, maybe the dictator at last will rethink his strategy.

2008-10-28 01:00:00

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