In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 9, 2005 / 28 Adar I, 5765

‘Pyromaniac fireman’

By Caroline B. Glick

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Today the US is on a collision course with Syria. Monday, tipping its hat to international pressure, Syria began a redeployment of its military forces in Lebanon to the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

The Bush administration reacted to the announced redeployment plan by bluntly stating that it is insufficient. In so doing the US held to what has been its remarkably consistent policy since the current Lebanese crisis was instigated with the February 14th assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri: Syria must remove not only its entire force of 14,000 troops, but also all its non-uniformed intelligence personnel from Lebanon before the Lebanese elections scheduled for May.

When attempting to analyze the possible and likely course this Syrian-US showdown will take in the immediate and intermediate term, it is necessary to understand what is at stake for both the Ba'athist regime in Damascus and for Washington.

Today, after 29 years of Syrian interference in Lebanon and 15 years of Syrian control of the country, Lebanon is at an advanced stage of Syrian colonization. According to New York based Lebanon expert Gary Gambill, today the Syrian economy and hence the Ba'athist regime is dependent on its control of Lebanon. "The remittances that Syria receives from the 1.4 million Syrian workers in Lebanon; the profits from Syrian agricultural exports to Lebanon; and the money that Syrian intelligence officials extort from Lebanese are more important to the Syrian economy than oil sales," he says.

So from Assad's perspective, Washington's demand that Syria end its occupation of Lebanon is tantamount to an American demand that the Ba'athists give up their power in Damascus. Syria's latest moves must be seen as attempts to maneuver itself out of the corner it has been put in by the US and France.

To this end, Syria has been operating on three levels simultaneously. First the Syrians have been using violence and the threat of violence. Exiled Lebanese president Michel Aoun has been known to quip that that Syria is a "pyromaniac fireman" because Syria achieved and maintained its control over Lebanon by abetting violence which it then quelled. In this manner Syria has secured for itself the reputation of being the only force capable of bringing stability to the country.

Since Saturday, according to the Nagy Najjar the director of the Lebanese Foundation for Peace — a consortium of anti-Syrian Lebanese exiles with close connections to the Lebanese opposition operating within the country — the Syrians and their Lebanese allies have orchestrated increasingly violent attacks against anti-Syrian activists throughout the country. On Saturday night, pro-Syrian militiamen backed by Syrian intelligence operatives attacked residential buildings in an anti-Syrian neighborhood in Tripoli. Late Saturday night, in the Ashrafiyah neighborhood in Beirut, pro-Syrian gunmen shot and wounded people sitting on their balconies. In the southern suburbs of Beirut and in Nabatiyeh in south Lebanon, Hizbullah members held pro-Syrian demonstrations accompanied by automatic rifle fire.

Hizbullah's demonstration yesterday afternoon in Beirut in an area directly adjacent to Martyrs' Square where the anti-Syrian demonstrators are located, like Syria's recently signed defense pact with Teheran and its expanded relations with Russia are all meant to demonstrate and increase Syria's strength. Taken both separately and together, there can be little doubt that Syria has the power to destroy any chance for stability in Lebanon and a proven track record in initiating chaos in order to entrench its own control.

Aside from flaunting its capability and willingness to destabilize Lebanon, Syria is also trying to find the proper combination of concessions it can offer the US to get Washington to relent in its demands. Last week's Syrian handover of Saddam Hussein's half brother Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan to the Iraqi government is one such concession. The symbolic but ultimately insignificant troop redeployment is another such concession.

Finally, Assad is following the traditional Arab pattern of trying to deflect criticism of his own misdeeds by linking his bad behavior to his country's conflict with Israel. Over the past several months, each time the US has increased its pressure on Syria to end its support for the insurgency in Iraq, Assad has responded by offering to begin diplomatic negotiations with Israel. The hope is that the US State Department and CIA will see his interest in negotiating with Israel as a justification for standing down in the current crisis.

For its part, the US is checking Syria's every move. Clearly implementing one of the central lessons from Iraq, the US is not limiting its demands to the removal of Syria's uniformed military forces from Lebanon. What Iraq has taught the Americans is that for Arab governments, the military is only one means of control. Saddam sacrificed his military and continued to fight with his intelligence agents and terror allies seeded among civilians.

As for Bashar's transfer of Iraqi fugitives and insurgency commanders to the Iraqi government, the moves are viewed as too little too late. The US has over the past two years provided Syria with countless opportunities to end its support of the terror war in Iraq. Syria has ignored them all. Saturday Assad demonstrated that he remains committed to abetting the Iraqi insurgency when he claimed again that Syria is incapable of sealing its border with Iraq.

The US did not initiate the current crisis in Lebanon. It simply seized the opportunity presented by Hariri's assassination. And this opportunity is important to the US in waging the global war on terrorism. Lebanon as a vassal state to Syria is used as a base of operations by Iranian-backed Hizbullah, and has a growing al-Qaida presence in the Palestinian camps. If the US can peel Lebanon away from its Syrian and Iranian overlords and terror masters, it can weaken Hizbullah, prevent al Qaida from re-seeding in Lebanon and further isolate and weaken Syria and Iran — already diminished by the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns.

If the US stands down in Lebanon, it will be effectively throwing away any increase in its regional deterrence that it gained from its takeover of Iraq, something that will hold serious consequences for its ability to adequately respond to Iran's nuclear program.

Both the US and the Syrians are making clear that they understand that Lebanon is a zero sum game. With so much at stake, we can only hope that the US stays the course it has wisely chosen.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in uplifting articles. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Caroline B. Glick