Tuesday, October 18, 2005

By Whatever Means Necessary

I think we need to end state sponsorship of terrorism and terrorists. Our push for democracy in the Moslem world is justified to achieve this end. The old methods clearly failed and 9-11 was our wake up call that the status quo is unacceptable. I'm still enough of an old-fashioned realist, however, to accept tactical success such as Libya's turning (as I called for well before the actual event). Justice for the crimes of Khadaffi can wait if we take an enemy piece off the board.

So when I read that Syria is being offered a chance to survive if it behaves (I think via Real Clear Politics), I don't feel we are betraying our war effort:

The Bush Administration has offered Syria’s beleaguered President a “Gaddafi deal” to end his regime’s isolation if Damascus agrees to a long list of painful concessions, a senior American official told The Times.

According to the report, the U.S. will present four demands from Syria: Syria would have to fully cooperate with the U.N. team investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Secondly, if members of the Syrian regime are named as suspects they would have to be questioned and could stand trial under foreign jurisdiction.

The Syrians would also have to stop any interference in Lebanon, where they have been blamed for a series of bomb attacks against their critics, most recently May Chidiac, a television presenter who was badly injured last month when a device exploded under her car.

Washington also wants Syria to halt the recruiting, funding and training of volunteers for the Iraqi insurgency, which they claim are openly operating in Syria with the connivance of the regime.

Yes, I'd be happier to have justice but we have lots of threats and sometimes we have to hold our noses, accept that a state can stop supporting terror and survive (for now) and focus on the objective: ending Islamo-fascist terrorism.

So let Syria in from the cold. Such a deal will not save the regime. If this helps us in our efforts to stabilize and democratize the Middle East, this will only put off the day when Syria's regime will crumble.

But by all means, insist they abide by all of our terms. Syria is guilty of killing American soldiers and Marines.

And keep in mind that a final reckoning should eventually be made with this beastly regime.