Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Boy Assad Is Practically Begging For It

From the looks of recent events, Bashar Assad must have his spider hole all picked out and awaiting only the American attack his clumsy terroristic provocations are all but demanding:

An anti-Syrian politician in Lebanon was killed on Tuesday when a bomb ripped through his car, two days after parliamentary elections brought victory for an alliance opposed to Damascus's role in the country.

George Hawi, a former leader of the Lebanese Communist Party, died instantly in the blast in the Wata Musaitbi neighborhood of Beirut, witnesses and security sources.

"The car kept going and then I saw the driver screaming and he jumped out of the window. We rushed to the car and saw Hawi in the passenger seat with his guts out," Rami Abu Dargham, who owns a sandwich shop nearby, told Reuters.

The bomb was placed under the passenger seat of Hawi's Mercedes and detonated by remote-control, security sources said. The driver apparently escaped serious injuries.

It was the second killing of an anti-Syrian figure in Beirut this month. Newspaper columnist Samir Kassir was killed on June 2 when a similar explosion destroyed his car outside his home.

This latest atrocity takes place in the immediate aftermath of Lebanese elections that brought a broad anti-Syrian coalition to power in Beirut. A result with which Assad, and/or his Hezbollah proxies, quite obviously are not thrilled. Hence the resumption of the "message-sending campaign" that ultimately (and perhaps only outwardly) got Syria chased out of Lebanon to begin with.

As I posted after the Kassir bombing, Lebanon is the trigger for punitive action against Damascus, even though Syrian regulars and irregulars are actively engaged with the Coalition in Iraq. And now, even the ordinarily cautious to a fault (with rare but spectacular exceptions) Ed Morrissey is gradually coming 'round to my way of thinking:

Bashar Assad seems intent on sending messages to the Lebanese people. Perhaps the time has come for the United States to send a message to Assad. He appears to want insurgencies operating within both countries on his borders. We should keep him too busy at home having to deal with one of his own to continue meddling in Iraq and Lebanon. It's time to take a much more active role with democratization within Syria and to open the former opthalmologist's eyes as to the limits of his power. [emphasis added]

Since Vietnam parallels are all the rage again, Syria is Cambodia, and it makes about as much sense to bequeath the enemy a privileged sanctuary in the former as it did in the latter two generations ago.

If we can topple the enemy regimes in Damascus and Tehran without invasion, so much the better. But I'm dubious of the prospects of success for any "insurgency"when its target doesn't have to worry about bad press coverage it'll never receive anyway and won't hesitate to employ as much mass brutality as it takes to squash a rebellion in its infancy.

I think we're going to have to invade. And the sooner, the better.

Until we do, we can count on watching the merry hell continue on both of Boy Assad's borders, one IED at a time.