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A Different Suggestion--Rifaat al-Assad

Reader comment on item: Hold Damascus Responsible [for Hezbollah Violence in Southern Lebanon]

Submitted by Alex (United States), Aug 5, 2006 at 21:26

I agree in general that going after state-sponsors is a more effective strategy than just hitting terrorists and guerillas, but I do not think that Israel has the same capacity to pressure Syria to end its support for terrorism as did Turkey, because the Assad regime relies for legitimacy on its anti-Israel stand far more than on any tensions with Turkey.

Also, the new Syrian-Iranian defence treaty states that any attack on Syria will be treated as an attack on Iran, a threat made credible by the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the Golan and by other moves that have lately brought the Assad regime under increasing Iranian hegemony.

Israel could hardly afford to absorb an attack from Iran without quickly getting caught up in a war that could easily end up in an exchange of Iranian chemical missiles and Israeli nuclear bombs. If Israel does attack Syria, it should knock out Syria's ballistic missiles and wmd capabilities immediately, and combine this move with a lightning-fast ground takeover of all of Hezbollah pockets in Lebanon (even throughout the Beka'a).

Also, if we want to prevent Iranian air supplies to Hezbollah through Syria, why not have the US army shoot down Iranian weapons shipments while they fly over Iraq?

Lastly, regime change in both Syria and Iran must occur soon. I think Bashar could be removed with little bloodshed, if the US installed his uncle Rifaat, who has support from Saudi, Egypt and some of Syria's military, and who favors abandoning Syria's hostile foreign policy and relationship with Iran's mullahs in order to focus on liberalization and economic issues. If Rifaat were installed (which, I must admit, I do not think will happen), then Israel would have to hold back from hitting Syria at all in order not to delegitimize him. As for Iran, I think that the mullahs would rather martyr themselves than submit, so not even an oil blockade will create enough pressure and space for the Iranian people to overthrow their leadership. War with Iran seems more necessary to me than war with Syria.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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