Thursday, May 03, 2007

Eyeless in Gaza - Condi Rice meets the Syrians at Sharm el-Sheik

US Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice indulged in some rare face time with her Syrian counterpart , foreign minister Walid al-Moualem, Boy Assad's top representative at the talks.

The main topic of discussion, of course, was Syria's carte blanc allowing of `foreign fighters' to use its territory as a staging ground for operations against our troops and the civilian population in Iraq.

Rice described her half-hour with Syria's Walid Moallem onthe sidelines of the regional conference on Iraq in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheik as "professional" and "businesslike."

"There was an opportunity to talk about the problem of foreign fighters — a major source of the suicide bombings. I thought it was a good opportunity to talk to the foreign minister about it," Rice said after the meeting.

"I didn't lecture him and he didn't lecture me," Rice said.

Chew on that for a minute. Here we have a state President Bush has characterized as a supporter of Islamic terrorism, one involved (at the least) in aiding and abetting acts of war against us...and our secretary of state and the current administration decline to 'lecture' them, let alone anything more forceful.

Rice, of course, got the answer one would expect.

"The Syrians clearly say that stability in Iraq is in their interest, but actions will speak louder than words and we will have to see how this develops," she said.

In other words...what are you bringing to the table, infidel? How much jirzyah are you willing to pay us to leave you in peace and let you slink out of the hole you've gotten yourselves into?

Some things Rice almost certainly did not talk to the Syrian foreign minister about was the illegal re-arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon in violation of UN Resolution 1701 or the vast Syrian military buildup on Israel's northern borders.

The Syrians have amassed a missile arsenal that is capable of reaching every part of Israel, and they have shifted substantial military strength of at least an entire infantry brigade from the Iraqi border to the area abutting the strategic Mt. Hermon - Shabaa Farms area where the Lebanese, Syrian and Israeli borders converge to support the Syrian 14th Commando Division already stationed there.

The conference's ostensible purpose is to bring various nations in the region together to discuss stabilizing Iraq so that we can leave.

Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki was at the conference, at there had been some speculation that Rice and Mottaki would indulge in a little face to face time on the sidelines, but that didn't happen.

It's hardly surprising. I mean, what do we really have to talk about? I'm sure the Iranians have already seen that we will be leaving Iraq shortly,and that Iran will call the shots for the Shiite government we established at so much cost and include them in Iran's Shiite bloc once we're gone, so why waste the time?

According to Rice, her interaction with Mottaki was limited to a simple hello. Which is about what I'd expect.

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