Middle East Memo

Amarji, Syrian heretic:
Beyond the usual reaction of regime apologists and diehard Bush-baiters, who continue to dominate Arab and European media and continue to be busy finding excuses for the Syrian regime to work mischief in the region, one thing is clear: the Assads have just revealed to one and all that they are the main instrument that Iran will deploy to blackmail the world. ...

The Israelis, who up until recently have been under the illusion that it is possible to weaken and isolate the Assads regime indefinitely and at no cost to themselves, are finally beginning to see, I think, that the Assads are born inherently starved for attention and cannot accept being isolated and asked to behave and be quiet. This could only mean that things are bound to heat up between the two countries.

But if this could initially serve the interests of the Assads by helping them to rally the people around them, and not only in Syria but across the region as well, on the long run, this confrontational policy is bound to backfire, especially if Israel insisted on targeting Syria and not Lebanon in retaliation for whatever provocation that takes place against it. Why? Because such confrontation will only expose the inability of the Assads to defend the country and the sorry state of Syria’s army, despite the massive expenditures in this regard. ...

Syria's situation, then, is the converse of Israel's: tactical strength but strategic weakness. Amarji's post title may be a reference to this now-famous Cox & Forkum cartoon. Amarji's conclusion: 'Regimes like the Assads with their inability to comprehend the ever-changing global and regional dynamics in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, followed by the collapse of the peace process itself, are helping to facilitate the break up of the region and its ultimate dissolution into ethnic ghettoes whose only role in the global economy will be to fill some very small and particularistic niche both as producers and consumers, regardless of whether there are designs to this effect or not.'

Big Pharaoh: Many Lebanese blame Hezbollah.
I just visited the Free Patriotic Movement forum and I read a lot of angry or at least disapproving comments towards what Hezbollah did.

I will copy and paste some of the comments as they were on the forum

this is totally wrong … HA shouldnt done it . its not the good time , its the tourists season in Lebanon and HA ruined evthg , im sure that Israel will take it to red alert situation .

now the israelees destroyed 3 or 4 bridges. mabrouk. i think that iran should build them for us ...

Read the whole thing, and scroll down for updates.

Sandmonkey: "It has begun." Go to the post for updates. Sandmonkey knows the Israeli blogs better than I do.