Friday, October 21, 2005

When two wars aren't enough
Bush and Rice are banging the war drums over Syria.
President George W. Bush on Friday called on the United Nations to convene a session as soon as possible to deal with a U.N. investigative report implicating Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

"The report strongly suggests that the politically motivated assassination could not have taken place without Syrian involvement," Bush said after helping dedicate a new pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Southern California.

The U.N. investigative report, which Bush called "deeply disturbing," established a link between high-ranking Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in Hariri's murder Feb. 14 in Beirut.

Earlier Friday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was deeply troubled by the U.N. report. She said the international community must find a way to hold Syrian authorities accountable.

Just to be clear, I thought the Syrian government under the senior Assad was completely reprehensible. Under the junior Assad it seems to be a bit quieter, but I have no reason to believe it is significantly better. I thought the Syrians should have been booted out of Lebanon years before they actually were. I would have been surprised if the Syrians were not involved in Hariri's assassination. And I would never, never suggest that Bush might gin up a foreign crisis just to distract from his problems at home. That would be un-presidential and wrong.

BUT, for once, could we not act the owners of the entire world demanding everyone else jump to action on our word. The UN is dealing with this at its own pace. Our making lots of noise and shoving into the leadership position is not going to help, and might hurt. If the UN acts now, they run the danger of looking like Bush's lapdog. There would have been plenty of time later to nudge them along if they had appeared to drop the matter.

No comments: