Thursday, February 17, 2005

Stab in the Back?

I'm speculating here so stay with me.

I've long believed that Syria was not worthy of elevating to the Axis of Evil. An odious state, yes, but they are not nuclear-bound and are not Islamist nutty. They are a run-of-the-mill fascist state that seems pragmatic enough to cooperate with us to save their necks. Their support of the Iraqi Baathists seemed totally stupid given that we will win there. Besides, with other tasks ahead of us, why take on Syria when the Turks and Israelis are capable of crushing the Syrian if it comes to a fight? Nothwithstanding Iraq, we have more excess combat capability than Syria does.

I speculated that the deal with Iran and the arms deal with Russia signal a decision to oppose us, though the insistence by Syria that the Iran aspect is not aimed at America seemed odd.

But what if the Iran alliance and the arms deal are related to a stab in the back aimed at the Iraqi Baathists? What if, after the successful Iraq elections, the Syrians do understand that we will win in Iraq? How then could the two deals be interpreted?

Well, what if the Syrians are about to confiscate all the Iraqi Baathist money hidden in Syria and Lebanon and turn on their Baathist brothers from Iraq and the jihadis?

Things make sense if this is what is happening. Why would Russia cancel a huge chunk of Syrian debt and turn around and sell arms to Syria if Syria is so clearly broke and can't pay? Are the Russians really ready to just bankroll somebody that will annoy us? Well, if Syria was about to take away the bank accounts of Saddam's boys, Syria could cut a check to Russia right away.

And what if the alliance with Iran is a means to get friends to fight the Iraqi Baathists once the stab is done and the Iraqi Baathists fight back? And could the Iran alliance be meant to keep Syria's street cred with the Islamists out there after cutting off the jihadis? Then, the public claim that the alliance is not meant to be aimed against America makes some sense, too. Syria doesn't want to provoke us into nailing Damascus right before Damascus turns on the Saddam thugs and the jihadis transiting Syria for Iraq.

Plus, Syria has to know that taking on the US military even with some new Russian weapons isn't going to change the outcome at all. Syria could make nice with us by turning on the insurgents in Iraq and get some new weapons to keep Syria in the Middle East game for another decade or so. Or at least long enough to negotiate something on the Golan Heights.

Sheer idle speculation, I know. But an updated Nazi-Soviet Pact with the Iraqi Baathists and Zarqawi's thugs as the Poland and Baltic States of 2005 could make sense. It sure makes more sense than Syria thinking it can beat us when we are very serious about winning. Still, one can't underestimate the power of delusions. And I think I'm talking about theirs and not mine.