SYRIA AND AL-QAEDA….Dan Drezner has a post up today outlining the possible ties between Syria and al-Qaeda and wonders what others think of this.
My reaction is pretty simple: doesn’t practically every country in the Middle East have ties to al-Qaeda? Iran and Saudi Arabia do for sure, Pakistan probably still harbors al-Qaeda members, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if both Yemen and Syria had ties too. In fact, one of the things that struck me about Iraq was not that they might have had some ties to al-Qaeda, but the fact that their ties were quite obviously tenuous at best. They actually showed remarkable restraint in this regard considering that they were smack in the middle of a region in which sympathy for al-Qaeda is practically part of the air you breathe.
The Middle East is a seething cauldron of terrorism. We surely need to do something about this, but if we’re planning to take military action or even impose diplomatic and economic sanctions against every Mideast country that harbors terrorists ? well, then we might as well just set up an empire and call it a day.
UPDATE: Todd Mormon of Monkey Media Report points out that Syria has actually been quite helpful in our fight against al-Qaeda and that the Syrian government is generally hostile to al-Qaeda. Syria does, of course, support the odious Hezbollah terrorist group, but that’s another matter entirely.