SYRIA UPDATE….The Guardian seems to specialize in running long, authoritative sounding, but completely unsourced stories about American diplomacy and politics. I never really know whether I should put any stock in them, but I’d sure like to believe this one:
Bush vetoes Syria war plan
In the past few weeks, the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad.
….However, President George Bush, who faces re-election next year with two perilous nation-building projects, in Afghanistan and Iraq, on his hands, is said to have cut off discussion among his advisers about the possibility of taking the “war on terror” to Syria.
“The talk about Syria didn’t go anywhere. Basically, the White House shut down the discussion,” an intelligence source in Washington told the Guardian.
I hope this is true, but if it is then the highly public blustering about Syria for the past few days doesn’t make much sense. If you really didn’t want war, you’d do your best to calm things down and send your warnings through quiet diplomatic channels. A public relations campaign is usually only necessary if you’re trying to get the public on your side and ready for the next step.
Still, I’ll take any good news I can get on this front.