Welcome to Regional War!

The defiant declarationof the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem, which he made during his brief visit to Beirut, especially the “welcome with regional war” part should begin to raise certain eyebrows in Tel Aviv, in Washington, in Paris, and all across the world. People really need to ask themselves now whether we are not indeed heading towards such a war. For even if Israel and the US are not exactly interested in having things go that far,the possibility remains that the more trouble Israel has in Lebanon and the US in Iraq, and the more beatable the two powers appear, the more tempting the push for war will be by the other side of the equation, namely the alliance that was formed not too long ago, by Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the radical wing in Hamas, among other Palestinian groups.

Indeed, when one observes the current war preparation in Syria, the calling of the reserves, the spreading of army units across the borders with Lebanon and the digging of trenches around the country, and when one observes how the Syrian public opinion is being prepared for the possibility, nay, the inevitability of war, through constant reminders of the Friday sermons, and the various statements and declarations issued by nationalist and communist groups, one is tempted to think that an actual decision to get involved in war might actually be formulating in the minds of the Assads and the Mullahs, especially if they convinced themselves that this could prove to be a war of attrition and that the more patient side, the side that will not care much for the human and a material costs involved is bound to emerge as the victor.

For in the final analysis, what better way for troubled regimes to consolidate their hold on power than to have the relevant societies destroyed by proxy, but still manage to produce victory at the end of the day – victory in the form of an actual recapture of the occupied land or of reaching an agreement that is signed under fire? And let’s not forget here that we are dealing with military regimes. We are dealing with the people whose heads and hearts are still stuck in the eighties. We are dealing with people always susceptible to wishful thinking, always thirsty for glory, always hungry to prove themselves worthy and good, albeit they are not and they will never be.

Psychologically speaking then, we do have all the necessary ingredients for disaster, and slowly but surely we seem to be developing the necessary political ingredients as well.

Are we passed the point of no return?

38 thoughts on “Welcome to Regional War!

  1. YES. way passed. pick up the phone. call an average syrian (not your enlightened intellectual friends). they are way passed the point of no return…..mentally anyway….

  2. http://www.jihadwatch.org/http://www.jihadwatch.org/What does the Arabic word jihad mean?One answer came last week, when Saddam Hussein had his Islamic leaders appeal to Muslims worldwide to join his jihad to defeat the “wicked Americans” should they attack Iraq; then he himself threatened the United States with jihad. As this suggests, jihad is “holy war.” Or, more precisely: It means the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims. The purpose of jihad, in other words, is not directly to spread the Islamic faith but to extend sovereign Muslim power (faith, of course, often follows the flag). Jihad is thus unabashedly offensive in nature, with the eventual goal of achieving Muslim dominion over the entire globe. Jihad did have two variant meanings through the centuries, one more radical, one less so. The first holds that Muslims who interpret their faith differently are infidels and therefore legitimate targets of jihad. (This is why Algerians, Egyptians and Afghans have found themselves, like Americans and Israelis, so often the victims of jihadist aggression.) The second meaning, associated with mystics, rejects the legal definition of jihad as armed conflict and tells Muslims to withdraw from the worldly concerns to achieve spiritual depth. Jihad in the sense of territorial expansion has always been a central aspect of Muslim life. That’s how Muslims came to rule much of the Arabian Peninsula by the time of the Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632. It’s how, a century later, Muslims had conquered a region from Afghanistan to Spain. Subsequently, jihad spurred and justified Muslim conquests of such territories as India, Sudan, Anatolia, and the Balkans. Today, jihad is the world’s foremost source of terrorism, inspiring a worldwide campaign of violence by self-proclaimed jihadist groups: The International Islamic Front for the Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: Osama bin Laden’s organization; Laskar Jihad: responsible for the murder of more than 10,000 Christians in Indonesia; Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami: a leading cause of violence in Kashmir; Palestinian Islamic Jihad: the most vicious anti-Israel terrorist group of them all; Egyptian Islamic Jihad: killed Anwar El-Sadat in 1981, many others since, and Yemeni Islamic Jihad: killed three American missionaries on Monday. But jihad’s most ghastly present reality is in Sudan, where until recently the ruling party bore the slogan “Jihad, Victory and Martyrdom.” For two decades, under government auspices, jihadists there have physically attacked non-Muslims, looted their belongings and killed their males. Jihadists then enslaved tens of thousands of females and children, forced them to convert to Islam, sent them on forced marches, beat them and set them to hard labor. The women and older girls also suffered ritual gang-rape, genital mutilation and a life of sexual servitude. Sudan’s state-sponsored jihad has caused about 2 million deaths and the displacement of another 4 million – making it the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our era.

  3. Perhaps we have. Perhaps its also time to fight and make a decisive stand against those that threaten the free world. Backing down now will only make them stronger. There is no more room for misplaced pacifism. The free world should make a stand NOW, before it’s too late.

  4. The current Syrian leadership has no choice but to take a few defensive measures so that if the developments warrant, wnd war spills over it will not be taken by surprise. It will be unforgivable negligence if they do not do so. But to conclude that these minor measures that are meant for domestic consumption amount to preparations for offensive measures is a gross misreading of these measures.Bashar, might be a fool, but he is not an imbecile. He knows that Syrian regular forces will be slaughtered in a regular war and he cannot play the game of asymetrical warfare without running the risk of weakening the control of the Baath on domestic affairs. He will continue his game of encouraging HA to foment trouble on his and Irans’ behalf. Ironically, HA has won by losing. They have created so much havoc death and destruction but are still standing. Israel will get its partial protection through a buffer zone and Lebanon will morph into Hizbollahland. Paradoxically a strong and powerful HA might become a real threat for pacifict Bashar.

  5. Zenobia”Syrians are way passed the point of no return, mentally anyway”.What point is that? Because of the suffering of there brother Lebanese? I have don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that one. Maybe the Syria government is suffering because they have lost their ability to rape Lebanon.This make no sense to me at all. What does Syria have to do with any of this besides helping to instigate the whole mess. Now they are going to play savior/hero? Or will it be victim? What a sick joke on the “average Syrian” who will be the one to die while Bahsie vacations again in Europe and acts offended at meetings.

  6. I was not offering anything by way of explanation, justification, or anything other than an observation at this moment. this is only what I hear in a number of voices…..If there was any rationality to begin with,,, it is gone at this point. People are just freaked out and scared, and they feel that, in essense, THEY are next. Fight mode takes over.I believe this IS as a result of what they see going on next door, you know, on top of all the prior context. Young people are always cannon fodder, yes.I know a young man, only 23 or so, who is supposed to go off to England to go to University anyday now – the opportunity of his lifetime thus far. And he said to me, “but Zenobia, War is knocking on our door…… and if the door must be answered, then I will stay here and fight for my country. I don’t care about anything else. “Apparently, Syria is not a country of draft doggers or those seeking school exemptions. Far from it.

  7. Zenobia, “My country right or wrong is on the same moral level as My mother drunk or sober” George Orwell

  8. Zenobia-Unfortunately…I do understand much of what you say in your last comment on that..you and I pretty much agree. I truly hope this settles long before there is any more young “cannon fodder”…I deeply deeply hope that.

  9. yes, i fear we are way passed the point of return.. those who are stuck in the 80s & the history have played their cards extremely well. they are taking us all down. Sorry, the nights in beirut these days are only about doom & gloom. Ur posts amarji are sounds of a distant voice of reason in this madness, very few are listening or hearing. its too noisy!

  10. I totally agree with Ghassan Karam’s analysis of the Syrian position. A regional war seems highly unlikely, but there is always a breaking point. If Lebanese civilian casualties rise dramatically through continued carpet bombing, Syria might find it expedient to adopt a more aggressive posture towards Israel, issuing direct threats, firing some warning shots, flying a couple of combat aircraft over the border with Lebanon..etc. This would certainly go down very well with the Arab masses. Arab governments would have no option but to rally behind Syria, at least verbally, and forget all about the Hariri fiasco.

  11. Micha-Don’t forget…Haifa and Kiryat Shomnah sound somewhat similar. Innocents are dying everyday.I hope and pray there is the unselfish clear thinking and strength out there someplace to make this not only stop…but be settled.

  12. The Assads have been playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship ever since they rose to power in Syria. Indeed, this seems to have become an addiction of sorts, and I fear the possibilities of a miscalculation or of losing control over the game are increasing by the minute. A regional war may not develop as a result of a conscious decision in this regard, but more as a result of a series of small decisions slowly spiraling out of control.

  13. Ammar, I think you are exagerating a bit on this post. Assad is not a fighter nor is Najjad, they are just barking dogs. Even Nasrallah has been hiding somewhere in Damascus and His only fight is with the TV camera. I agree with Ghassan and Philip with their assesment of regime strategy for this conflict.Syria is safe and the war will continue sadly only in Lebanon Israel, a Peace Loving Nation???

  14. Syria should not be draged into a war not ready for no matter what the reasons are ,If Syria decides to go to war for the Golan after it decides that peacfull means are not helplfull then it should talk about it,s peacfull intention and prepare with training and equipments then start a war when ready and prepare not to stop untill the Golan is free no matter how long that takes ,Syria has some advantage that Israel think Syria is weak but from what we see in Lebanon and the damage that four thousands Hizballa fighters can do indicate that Syria can be ready in less than a year.so be patient.

  15. Norman-I don’t think it would quite work that way.To begin with…if you think Israel is using all its might, or even 10% of its might in this conflict…well I have seen this kind of dreaming before in the Arab world. Also…Hizb. has had years to entrench itself into a posture perfect of guerilla warfare and they know Israel won’t decimate each village, which contrary to propaganda, they are not doing. Phillips “carpet bombing” is so far from reality. How is Syria going to entrench themselves in the Golan and then fight a guerilla war. Now they could attack with their airforce…but that did not work very well in 1982 and I don’t think would be too successful this time around.So instead of dreams of grand victory over us hated Jews…why not dream about something orginal…like ah..oh..like how you might try to make peace with us? Hasn’t really been tried very hard…especially from Syria (just ask any Lebanese). Syria might also try to clean up their own filthy kitchen before that start bellowing about their beloved Lebanese brothers, or Palestinian brothers too. Maybe they should learn to treat Syrians a little nicer for starters?

  16. Howie,Many other, larger, arrogant empires disappeared or sharply declined.Just return the Golan and ask for all kinds of security arrangements in return from Syria. Nothing less than returning the golan heights will do.

  17. Alex-“Return the Golan Hts. THEN ask for security arrangements”.You are joking…right? Stabilize Syria, stop supporting terror, extend human rights, stop instigating war against Israel, develop diplomatic relationships, demonstrate a willingness to compromise, provide security arrangements…THEN ask for the Golan.Oh wait…you read Arabic and Hebrew from right to left…so maybe I just got your comment backwards?And which arrogant government were you talking about? Syria I assume?

  18. RancherYou are quite right, it is not carpet bombing. Let’s call it satellite, laser and intelligence-on-the-ground guided targeted bombing. The 8,700 bombing sorties by the Israeli airforce have flattened some areas like South Lebanon and the southern district of Beirut while, in other areas, the devastation is the result of clinical targeting of economic and logistical assets. The end result is probably more devastating than carpet bombing because it ensures that the economy will bleed for years and most people will lose hope (and their sanity)rather than their lives. And let’s not forget the immense damage to the environment and Lebanese tourist industry caused by the oil slick that is now spreading to Syria, Cyprus and Turkey and may even reach Haifa eventually. Norman, I agree with you, Syria should not allow itself to be lured into a battle that it cannot win. So, no war and no peace for 33 years. Good for the rulers while Syrians go backwards. Plus ca change.

  19. “continued carpet bombing”___There has not been any carpet bombing. The bombing is carefully targetted. Yes, sometimes the targets are missed, and there have been terrible casualties – but carpet bombing would have killed tens or hundreds of thousands._____On the other hand, there _is_ carpet rocketing, aimed deliberately at killing as many civilans as possible. What that tells me is that as soon as Iran has a nuclear missile, it will aim it at Tel Aviv.

  20. AlexI’m sorry, I’m not an Israeli nor do I know any Arabs, but my sister is very “learned” in the history of the Palestinians and Israelis. Anyway, isn’t the Golan Heights, one would consider, um, spoils of war? Why should Israel return land they acquired as a result of a defensive war that had to be waged against a “league” of Arab nations that had mobilized against her from all fronts? Imagine if the result of the war had been different. Would the “league” of Arab nations had given back even a parcel of that land after they had conquered it? I mean, c’mon, let’s be honest. Israel, merely the size of, what? New jersey? pushed back those nations and won. The humiliation and hatred stemming from that still burns today in the Arab leadership.The Israelis lost men to a war that did not have to happen. Perhaps they should keep that land, if only to remind rogue Arab leaders what is sacrificed when they instigate conflicts. Besides, all the occupied lands are strategic military and security points for Israel, why should they risk another security threat by returning them? Ok, imagine you’re surrounded by neighbors that hate your guts and want you thrown to the sea, I think Israel’s concern isn’t misplaced, don’t you agree? The six-day war changed the dynamics of the middle-east, there’s no doubt about that. And from an outsider’s view, I’d have to say, the Arab leaders were very, very stupid, not to mention cowardly. I mean even in the streets, when you see 5 thugs going after one guy, that’s just not right. just saying..

  21. Marls and Howie,You can enjoy continuing to show off Israel’s strong army (the killers!) .. enjoy it all the way until you kill many more Arab civilians, or until Israel starts declining.Your selective attention to the wars is not going to help you unerstand anything about Syria. There is a lot of good in both Israel and Syria, but people like you on both sides are the reason we are going through another war these days.As for the security guarantees, these things happen at the same time … in negotiations, just like they did with Egypt. But you can’t remember those things of course, you only notice “terrorists”.

  22. Harming Syria, Dream onI know a lot of you don’t agree with my liberal views but please come and show love, support and solidarity for Syria which is apparently now on the neo-cons radar. YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED.Ammar, Alex, Zenobia please come and show your support for Syria please

  23. Alex”Enjoy showing off Israel’s strong army, the killers”.OK…off to a good start. Ah…when people die, the only one’s I see celebrating and handing out candies have been Arabs. They seem to be the one’s “enjoying” killing.Actually, I despise the fact that Israel’s army has to kill. But talk about selective…Syria attacked Israel in 48, 67, 73 and 82…got beat badly…esp. 67 and 82 (lost an entire airforce) and then folks like you start whining and saying what killers WE are. Truly an amazing, albeit common, response.You know…several folks here read what THEY selectively want to read. So I will be clear about killers…I don’t want to kill anybody.I don’t want the Israel army to have to kill anybody.Don’t want to attack Syria, but I do know Syria has attacked us…if they attack…I unfortunately want to strike back very hard…tragically..I would talk to Syria tomorrow as would most Israelis but nope…B. Assad is a snake I cannot be trusted. I do not believe that Syria is made up of people who are genetically predisposed to hatred, but I bet many people have been trained and brainwashed to hate. Alex..how many Jews or Israel’s have you spent time talking to? I have met and talked to many Arabs and Moslems…most I liked…some were horrible people. Do I want peace. Yes. Do I want to kill Syrians, no….no not at all. I would actually like to visit and meet people there and see the country.But Alex…I think there is terrible leadership in Syria and I don’t know think anytime soon that government will allow its people the freedom to discover the truth about anything…much less about us.

  24. I love the way you repeatedly try to escape being called a “racist” …Howie…by continuously qualifying that whatever nasty attribute you give to arabs…..you aren’t speaking about “genetic” predispositions…..As if this were the only prejudicial and despicable thing…you could be accused of.Unfortunately, you are still speaking in culturally bigoted….narrow terms…to say such things that arabs….collectively are ‘brainwashed’ to hate…..your description implies they are just stupidly blindingly hating….as if this anger and ‘hate’ has no context, no particularity, and no rationality to it at all. They are just haters. Thats it. End of story.OH yeah……and arab are the one’s ….who knows why??/ duh duh….”enjoying” killing… and “handing out candies”….lolthe way you say this…is so repulsive…again……as if there is no recognition of WHAT exactly is being celebrated. you just refuse to contemplate that people are celebrating what they see as a victory over what they view as injustice…to them….from an oppressor. you can debate all you want….that their interpretation of history is wrong and the designation of oppressor is incorrect. but you cannot ignore that this is what is celebrated…and candies are handed out…because they think there is a small victory…IT IS NOT….I REPEAT NOT….TO BE REDUCED….TO a celebration over killing!…..that is ridiculous…and an absurd reduction…..dare I say “albeit common response”….from the likes of you…. trying to erase any rationality or meaning from such behavior other than attributing it to crude, ignorant, violent, brainwashed, hate filled, etc etc etc….attributes.and of course in your eyes …the Israelis…..have no such nasty attributes….the Israeli …”has to kill”…it is literally FORCED upon Israelis…they have no choice! And there is no decision that they made….they just “have” to….they are only defending themselves…defending themselves…defending themselves……ha ha ha…..like this isn’t just as much a particular interpretation….brainwashed into YOU.

  25. Howie, thank you for your history lessons (especially the one where Syria attacked Israel in 1982?!)How dare they .. they should have allowed Israel to invade Lebanon and kill its civilians without “attacking Israel”. For your information, few months after Israel supposedly won that war, the actual winner was … Syria. Hafez Assad in this TIME magazine issue was declared the most powerful man in the Middle East. Read it, you’ll change your mind about your perception that Israel actually won the Lebanon war. YOu only won at the begining, luiek the Arabs won at the begining in the 1973 war… by 1983 Syria was the political winner of the Lebanon war and by 2000, Hizbollah was the military winner of that war.

  26. And since you aer obviously a big fan of history lessons, if you visit the history part of my website, and search the images and information on Jews, you will realize that you are not reading us Syrians too well. Did you ever see photos of these Kurdish jews? or aleppo Jews in 1873?Those who understand history, like our friend Dr. Amy Singer, a historian in Tel Aviv university who signed Syria’s guestbook, know how to communicate with us Syrians. You, my friend, could perhaps one day give it a try … maybe not these tense days, but hopefully later.

  27. Alex,You know I think the more important issue here is who instigates the conflicts. Who wins it is a matter of opinion it seems. Anyway, I don’t think Israel was trying to win any war in Lebanon back in 1982. I believe they were just trying to eliminate the security threat at their borders. I doubt if they derive any pleasure from going into another country when they can live peacefully inside their own borders.There is a lot of good in Israel and Syria. I agree. Peace in the middle east is something I would want to see in my lifetime. Syria just has to decide to take the move to distance herself from Iran.

  28. Marls:”spoils of war”….? hate to break the news….but this is no longer the way of the world….taking lands as spoils of war…is now considered breaking international law.and if you are having at least the pretense of being a modern country ajoined to the international community of nations…..you are not supposed to be acquiring land in this manner and against international law…. security threat or no security threat.and btw…if you have five so called thugs (again…let us pretend that the aggressors…have no legitimate claims at all.. they are just out for random violence…and meaningless unwarrented brutality…) who have only their fists…and they attack a single agent who has an automatic assault weapons aimed at them…..really…i would like to know…who is the most …lethal in the end?and who really IS the thug here….America arms…Israel to the hilt….with enough weaponry to take out anybody and everybody around her…including nuclear…… but somehow…everybody else is the “thug”.The painful reality….Israel must face…is that it really doesn’t matter…if she is only using “10%” of her might…..she could choose to use 50% or 100%….and she will be choosing her political death.if she makes that choice, SHE WILL END UP THE MOST DESPISED NATION ON THE PLANET….in this sense….there is NO such thing…as WINNING militarily.and finally….on the subject of EMPIRES….arrogant empires…our wise friend Alex….is correctall great…and militarized empires…have eventually crumbled….and fell.. and this will inevitably include the United States of America…bless her heart…she will awaken…just a little to late..to this reality…and her parasidic….succulent… Israel….will either crash and burn too…..or learn to swim on her own….by finding another way…… to survive…besides being armed to the hilt and occupying occupying occupying…

  29. Zenobia,”using only their fists?” are you gonna deny that Russia gave assistance to Nasser during the six-day war? and that even Sudanese muslims joined this conflict? WHY was there even a 6-day war? But I won’t argue with you about the previous wars because you will believe what you want to believe and I should respect that. The information is there for everyone to see anyway.My point is that, before talks on the return of occupied lands, Israel should be assured of her security. How does this happen? First there should be recognition of her as a sovereign state by Syria. I believe that’s the first major step. Lastly, If I have been offensive in anyway, I apologize, that was not my intention. I am just trying to see things from your side because honestly, in my country we live under much of the same conditions as most Arab nations (although we don’t have the Arab billionaires that you do). But I only have the government to blame. We have leaders who abuse their people to hold on to power and make themselves filthy rich. They devise ways to manipulate people and conjure up situations where the opposition parties look bad. But I know that this is their way to deflect people from seeing the real issues. I see it in Arab countries too, and it’s sad. See? something in common..

  30. wait wait….did i say Israel is a “succulent”? hmm…no….wrong word!….not a fleshy lush plant…noi meant a SUCCUBUS…..which,,,well…is much more sinister….and …troublesome…the suducer preying on mortal men….after all…

  31. Marls:well….i am an american….so…yes….i do see something in common.and no, i didn’t say you were offensive…did i? i was accusing Howie of being offensive….i believeok…on the subject of armaments….lets just say….everybody is being armed by everybody….and it sucks!! hows that?but….you guys can’t have it both ways….one minute talking about how superior in military might Israel is..and how she shows such restraint…but the next minute…claiming that somehow it is a fair fight!…i mean which is it?to my mind….i criticized your use of the metaphor of thugery….. thats it.I understand that Israel is terrified of what would happen if she did not assert her military power…and display her power in such a way as to hopefully deter any aggression from her neighbors….but…..SECURITY…. will not be achieved in this way….i hate to say….IT WILL NEVER BE ACHIEVED… militarily.nor will safety ever be achieved for the USA either…from the next “terrorist” attack on american soil…(which i think …will one day happen)..through launching preemptive military interventions across the middle east….we achieve nothing in this way.SECURITY WILL ONLY EVER BE found through diplomacy… and just actions…… thats it. Bottom line.and i really don’t think it matters how much one distrusts the other nation or leaders….dictator or not… supportor of militants or not, enemy or not…..the only way….is to speak and negotiate with ones enemy.if Ammar can demand that Syria should have leaders capable of having reasonable relations with America or Israel…then WHY should not America or Israel be expected to treat with respect and to dialogue with any leader that is in those countries.They think they can reject and have disdain for whomever they decide is not worthy of American attention…and diplomatic engagement, but that is simply bullshit.the State Department gets to say…who is “bad” ..and then negate them…. this is their great stategy in the world!

  32. Marls,Thanks for the calmer language.Syria has one thing to offer: normal peaceful relations with Israel, Israel has the golan heights to offer (hopefully) .. neither one should pay in advance … these things are done at the same time, just like the peace treaty with Egypt.Syria will respect its agreements, they don’t negotiate hard if they did not intend to take the agreements they sign seriously. Read Kissinger, Clinton, and Baker’s books.Israel and Syria WILL sign a peace treaty within the next few years. I can’t imagine the two populations will accept this madness for too long.

  33. Zenobia,Oops, you’re American, my bad. I just assumed..I hope I could be more optimistic about the diplomacy option. I mean, of course that is the best, most logical way to achieve understanding and peace. But..what if the two leaders that you are supposed to negotiate with, don’t even believe you should exist? How do you go aout that? In my country, we also have an Islamic separatist group in the southern region. Basically, they want to install an Iranian-style Islamic state by occupying the southern Island. They don’t want to be under the rule of our government and they do not consider themselves as our brothers. This conflict has been going on for years. Our government has tried diplomacy many times, but we are still stuck in the same situation today. Civilians are still being held hostage, beheaded, and terrorized, in that region. This is probably the reason why I have always been uncertain about diplomatic relations with extremists or fundamentalists. I just haven’t seen it happen. They just refuse to assimilate into a culture different from theirs.Alex,The day when I can freely travel in, and around the middle east without worrying about my safety will be a VERY happy one. Here’s hoping!

  34. I love it! Syria was out to protect the Lebanese from Israel in 1982. Protect.Really? Syria loves their Lebanese brothers so much? Of course conquering their country for over 20 years and assinating their leaders are just friendly gestures as well.And let’s not forget about claims of greater Syria.Sorry…Syria has not history as a peacemaker…not in the past 50 years anyhow.

  35. Howie,The Syria I know is much better the Syria you decided to focus on… supporter of “terror”.Syria adopted over 100,000 Armenian refugees when they escaped the slaughter in Turkey in 1915, Syria took the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees after the 48 war, they hosted and helped hundreds of thousands of Lebanese refugees (Christian and other)from the 1976-77 civil war in Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of Kurds escaping Turkish attacks in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 90’s, and then hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and others who escaped the latest Iraq war, and finally 150,000 Lebanese fleeing Israel’s latest “defensive” small operation.You can go on bragging about your killer army and criticizing the non-democratic Syria and its “greater Syria” claims, but the numbers don’t lie … all those sets of hundreds of thousands of refugees who escaped to Syria, and their children are now part of Syria… the protector of miniorites of the middle East.You would like to concentrate on Syria the trouble maker, but remember that when your agressive country is busy creating a million Lebanese refugees, Syria tehse days is hosting them.And by the way, I am not “talking” to you, you are not here to listen or to communicate. I am answering your arguments to whoever is reading these comments.

  36. Alex- And I don’t think you listen either.First of all…numbers do lie and people use numbers in a way they see fit. I like the saying, “there are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics”. You accuse me of focusing on what I want to focus on…I accuse you of exactly the same. But I will address others here since you don’t pay attention to much of what I have to say.Syria started two wars of aggression against Israel and long harrassed Israel from the Golan…often firing on farmers. Do I blame Ahmed the coffee shop owner or Fatima with the clothing store and do I think ALL Syrians thrist for Jewish blood. Absurd and I have said that and you have ignored that. I imagine Syrians fall into the same bell-shaped curve all of mankind does…10% horrible, 10% utterly wonderful and about 80% someplace in between.But no I do NOT trust the likes of the Assads. No…don’t trust them and if there is going to be peace…then I would have to see DEEDS and not promises. This would take a whole lot of time, but short of a regieme change in Syria…I don’t think it will.But I have a question…why the focus on the Golan. If you got the Golan tomorrow, besides restoring some honor I guess, then everything would be all better? What about starting with relationshiops that could improve the lot of the everyday Syrian you talk about? What about demonstrating peaceful intentions where trade could start with the USA and Israel? Would the average Syrian want that? I think he would. Would the Syrian government allow that to start…no. It is a military dictatorship that has demonstrated horrific disrespect for human life, Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian and not I do not trust that government.

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