Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Early reading list

Here are the appetizers for your day:

First, Walid Phares says Syria has not played its last card in Lebanon. Its ultimate plan is to provoke Israel to attack Syria, rely on the world's hatred of Israel to result in demonizing Israel when it (rightfully) strikes back at Syria, and work out a standoff:
But don't the Syrians know that if they ignite a conflict with Israel through their proxy, Hezbollah, they will be retaliated against? They do, and actually they would welcome such a retaliatory strike. Their estimate is that the international community won't allow an Israeli invasion in the midst of an Iraq war. Hence Assad's regime would absorb the potential Israeli blows and move forward in Lebanon by mobilizing Hezbollah against the "Zionist enemy." They project a trade-off. If Israel ceases its strikes, Syria will stop Hezbollah's attacks, and the West will suspend its support for the Lebanese opposition. Then Syria, Hezbollah, and their allies will take their time to annihilate the pillars of the opposition in Lebanon. Meanwhile, to placate Paris and Washington they would offer a withdrawal to the Bekaa Valley and other cosmetic concessions. This is the Syrian plan, but will it work? That is the question.

Next, our friend Dale Franks notices that the NY Times has had a revelation: democracy is on the march in the Middle East and the President may have had something to do with that.

Don't miss Christopher Hitchens, a liberal hawk who hasn't lost his mind like his countryman Andrew Sullivan, as Hitch rails about the notion of the "Arab street" -- a concept as devoid of meaning as the "brutal Afghan winter."

And finally, some frivolity: ever wonder who the hottie in the Overstock.com ad is? Here's the scoop.

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