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April 1, 2005
The New Axis of Evil

Voices on both the left and right have criticized the Bush administration for failing to progress in the so-called War on Terror. Now that one player from the original Iraq-nK-Iran Axis of Evil has been taken out, where do we go from here? Does war require striking terrorists everywhere? Probably. Does eliminating Iraq mean we have to focus on North Korea or Iran next?

Charles Krauthammer thinks not. In today's column for the WaPo, he proposes Syria as the logical replacement in a "New Axis of Evil." Citing the recent bombings in Lebanon and trysts in Iran, he concludes:

All this regional mischief-making is critical because we are at the dawn of an Arab Spring -- the first bloom of democracy in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and throughout the greater Middle East -- and its emerging mortal enemy is a new axis of evil whose fulcrum is Syria. The axis stretches from Iran, the other remaining terror state in the region, to Syria to the local terror groups -- Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- that are bent on destabilizing Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and destroying both Lebanese independence and the current Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement.

Iran is the senior partner of this axis of evil. Syria is the crucial middle party allowing a non-Arab state to reach into the heart of the Middle East.

Krauthammer believes defeating Syria (through political pressure)would be a strategic victory:

Syria is the prize. It is vulnerable and critical, the geographic center of the axis, the transshipment point for weapons, and the territorial haven for Iranian and regional terrorists.

If Syria can be flipped, the axis is broken. Iran will not be able to communicate directly with the local terrorists. They will be further weakened by the loss of their Syrian sponsor and protector. Prospects for true Lebanese independence and Arab-Israeli peace will improve dramatically.

I think all of us from the left to the right can agree that Syria=terrorism and driving its military and secret police from Lebanon is a worthy pursuit. Certainly, the president has declared this goal loudly and clearly, though I did not hear (but may have just missed) an equation of a Syria-free Lebanon with the GWOT. Of course, should President Bush articulate Krauthammers approach, Im sure those voices on the left will suddenly find Syrias terrorist ploys quite defensible and surely a Euro-weenie Hans Blixish character will chime in. I find both of these excellent to support an aparently sound strategy.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Whiskey at April 1, 2005 11:56 AM

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» So Many Enemies, So Little Time from Kobayashi Maru
Given the other options: do nothing, (we tried that, see: "Clinton, Bill"), attack Iran (no firm support and a much tougher nut to crack than Iraq, from what I read), or attack North Korea ("Holy crap! Don't push that button, that's Armageddon!"), nu... [Read More]

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