Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Bloody Border

The Syrian Baathist regime is upset with us after we nabbed an al Qaeda in Iraq thug inside Syria:

Syria threatened Wednesday to cut off security cooperation along the Iraqi border if there are more American raids on Syrian territory, and the U.S. Embassy announced it would close Thursday because of a mass rally called to protest a deadly weekend commando attack.

Reduce security cooperation? That's a threat? What cooperation? Syria is already letting a reduced amount of jihadis cross into Iraq. Are they under the magical number of acceptable murderers allowed to sneak into Iraq to kill and maim? So we should just be friggin' grateful that the Syrians aren't killing more people inside Iraq right now? Maybe instead, Assad should be grateful that we don't match them aircraft sortie for suicide bomber infiltration.

Good God, another Baathist regime needs to have a ruler hanged, I think.

Michael Yon puts it well:

The insurgency in Mosul is the last big thorn left in Iraq’s paw. That we struck targets in Syria does not surprise me and I am not appalled. I am appalled that Syria allows these groups to use its territory as a base and conduit to destabilize Iraq. A Syrian government that allows these groups to penetrate Iraq’s borders and murder Iraqis and Americans doesn’t have much moral standing to complain about an incursion into its territory.

Still, now comes the political posturing. The Iraqi government has condemned the action and is claiming that they didn’t authorize the U.S. attack. Of course Syria is doing the same. That’s okay. This is one way we give the new Iraqi government cover to do what has to be done. We can take the blame; they have to coexist with their neighbors. So we are a convenient public bad guy for both sides. But there is little doubt that Iraqis are taking some comfort that the “bad guy” is not respecting a border that is violated repeatedly by Syria. Syria has played a dangerous game, with few consequences until yesterday. If Syria wants its border to be respected, it will have to respect the border with Iraq.

Heck, who are we fooling? In three months the Syrians will have a higher level of acceptable bad behavior and there probably won't be any threat of American military action at all--or even any threat of consequences, period. That is appalling.