New Iranian-Syrian Pact is both Dangerous and an Insult

Posted in Broader Middle East | 01-Jun-08 | Author: W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Iran and Syria continue to slap the West in the face: And they are doing so in the face of the recent unchallenged terrorist attacks by – and subsequent over-the-top concessions granted to – Lebanon-based Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy army supported by Syria.

Fact is, Iran and Syria have achieved a near inextricable foothold in Lebanon (read our previous commentary) over the past few weeks.

Now, the two nations have reinforced — and even expanded — their reciprocal pledge of strategic military support to one another.

According to Naharnet:

“Iran and its close ally Syria have signed a new defence cooperation pact, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, just a week after news broke that Israel had begun indirect peace talks with Damascus.

“’The two countries pledge their mutual support regarding territorial independence and integrity in terms of international and regional authorities,’ the state-run IRNA news agency reported.”

This pact comes on the heels of not only the failure of the Lebanese government and the army (as well as the Western nations allied to Lebanon) to thwart this month’s terrorist attacks and political gains achieved by Hezbollah; but it comes during a series of so-called peace talks between Israel and Syria, in which Syria is now negotiating from a position of new-found strategic strength (Hezbollah’s recent success against the Lebanese state and Israel’s bloody nose from the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war, brings Syria to the table blustering and thumping its chest.).

Israel has been demanding that Syria break “its three-decade alliance with Iran and end support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups as a condition for progress in the talks.”

And the U.S. was hoping in a pipe dream that an ongoing peace-process developing between Israel and Syria might isolate Iran.

Fat chance for either.

Fact is, these two state sponsors of Jihadist terrorism and their terrorist proxies, continue playing solid hands, continue threatening to wipe nations off the globe, continue deliberately targeting and murdering civilians, continue to build their armies, continue their quests to become nuclear powers, continue to feint and deceive, continue to infiltrate Western media, continue to extend their global reach, and continue to buy time.

Meanwhile, our response is to continue to support impotent UN forces in the region, station a U.S. Navy strike group in the region (but only permit that force to observe), and one of the American presidential candidates proposing change wants to talk with the bad guys.

I don’t pretend to have the answers: I’m a reporter and an analyst, not a planner. But I do know a little something about confronting and combatting terrorists – conventionally, unconventionally, assymetrically – and building alliances with friends and potential friends who can depend on us to always do exactly what we say we are going to.

I also know, if we – meaning the U.S. and the West – continue on this same trek of effortless “hope”: doing nothing more than observing, issuing hollowless declarations of support, and hoping we might hold peace talks with thugs like Ahmadinejad, Assad, Nasrallah, or anyone else calling for our “deaths,” we will continue to be slapped in the face. And it’s only going to get worse … much, much worse.