Friday, July 22, 2005


"Due to loss of self-control..."

Syria has for the first time made public that its border patrols have been fired on by Iraqi and American soldiers. According to Aljazeera, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has told heads of diplomatic missions that—
The border clashes amounted to about 100 armed clashes, some of which were carried out by American soldiers who opened fire arbitrarily at those present behind the dirt rampart due to loss of self control.

Syria is on a tightrope and must be extremely guarded in any statements made concerning the United States. If their troops are being attacked, they need to make it known to the international community. On the other hand they must not provoke le grand provocateur. This is my reading of the Ministry's odd assertion of a motive (or lack thereof) for the attacks.

Or maybe the U.S. forces are just f**king out of control.

As usual officials at the Pentagon know nothing about it.1

Syria has beefed up its border patrols to try to satisfy the incessant demands and accusations by the U.S.

US officials accuse Syria of not doing enough to stop the fighters from crossing into Iraq to fight US and Iraqi forces and often say that they are using Syria as a conduit for the transfer of funds to fuel the armed opposition.

With some half million people coming across the U.S. border illegally each year, the American accusations are indeed remarkable. They are also remarkable in that they fail to make the same accusation of Saudi Arabia, which appears to be contributing far more to the non-Iraqi insurgency than Syria.


1For an interesting account illustrating the veracity of Pentagon officials there's the story about Gen. Tommy Franks related by James Dobbins, director of international programs at the Rand Corporation and first envoy sent by Bush to Afghanistan, as told to Julian Borger—

On the day of President Hamid Karzai's inauguration in Afghanistan, in December 2001, Dobbins met General Tommy Franks, the Centcom commander, at the airport. As they drove to the ceremony, Dobbins informed Franks of press reports that US planes had mistakenly bombed a delegation of tribal leaders and killed perhaps several dozen. "It was the first time he heard about it. When he got out of the car, reporters asked him about it. He denied it happened. And he denied it happened for several days. It was classic deny first, investigate later. It turned out to be true. It was a normal reflex."

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