Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Bashar on thin ice 

Syria's Bashar Assad, speaking to the Telegraph comes very close to admitting his country has WMD. (And gee, where on earth could they have come from?)

Syria is entitled to defend itself by acquiring its own chemical and biological deterrent, President Bashar Assad said last night as he rejected American and British demands for concessions on weapons of mass destruction.

In his first major statement since Libya's decision last month to scrap its nuclear and chemical programmes, he came closer than ever before to admitting that his country possessed stockpiles of WMD.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Assad said that any deal to destroy Syria's chemical and biological capability would come about only if Israel agreed to abandon its undeclared nuclear arsenal.

Nice idea. Only thing is, Israel is the only country in the region surrounded by racist regimes and populations that would like nothing better than to push the Jews into the sea once and for all. And who, by the way, have tried to do just that more than once. I can't blame them for wanting a bit of a deterrent. Without Israel's nuclear deterrent, there is no question that 1973 would not have been the last Arab-Israeli war. I can kind of understand why Syria would want their own deterrent, until I consider that Israel hasn't shown any inclination toward offensive warfare for a long time now. (And even Israel's offensive actions were primarily against Arab armies that just happened to be massed on the border.)

Bashar looked like he was going to be a change of pace from his ruthless, terror-supporting, and all around bad guy father. This kind of thing is not a step in the right direction. Syria has plenty of opportunities to join the ranks of good citizens, if not within its own borders, at least within its neighborhood. Bashar should take those opportunities, or else risk the fate of his Ba'athist neighbor.
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