This has been an odd week for the US and Syria. Syria is currently the "head" of the UN Security Council, although it is not of course a permanent member. That has put Syria in a position to condemn the Israeli/Palestine fence, and seek redress against Israel for last week's attack by Israeli warplanes, as well as future threatened attacks.

The US response has come from both her citizens, who have begun to fume over rumored Syrian assistance to our enemies; and also from Congress, which has voted sanctions on Syria. Tony Blair in the UK has added weight by saying that he understood Israel's actions, although the British were not planning a war with Syria just now. Syria, smart enough to recognize that Israel doesn't need the help, has gone on alert.

This morning, Syria announced that it would support the US resolution before the UN on the question of Iraq. At the same time, however, Syria's leader, Assad, gave a speech before the Organization of the Islamic Conference (a meeting of the leaders of Muslim nations and groups) which could escalate problems:

Those fanatics [Bush & his allies] revealed their brutal vision of human society and started to market the principle of force instead of dialogue, oppression instead of justice, and racism instead of tolerance. . . . They even began to create an ugly illusionary enemy which they called 'Islam.'
Is this a Syrian carrot and stick to move the US? If so, it's the same treatment they are getting from us. While the Congress moves to smite them, the President and his State Department must be cutting deals to get this kind of Syrian cooperation on the UN resolution. Altogether an interesting thing to watch.

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