Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Syria's border -- a red herring.

I read a post from one soldier who was livid and ready for yet another war after listening to some nutty neocon talking head. The soldier got it into his head that a Syrian politician told us "If the US lifts the economic sanctions on our country, we will pull our terrorists out of Iraq."

Truth is, there is no recent statement in the world's press that is anything like this, as far as I can tell.

I have read Syrian statements saying that they are unable to police the entire 360 mile border with Iraq. Frankly, I believe them. Not only are they bass-ackward and technologically ill-suited to secure their border, but they're not a wealthy country, and they're under the guns of U.S. sanctions.

Nor, for that matter, should the Syrians have to police 360 miles of f*cking desert. Major roads, sure... but tell me, are the Saudis -- who, unlike Syria, are stinking rich -- policing their 475-mile long border with Iraq to the point that you can't cross it? No. Why? Because it's a fucking desert, that's why. Hell, their culture allows the Bedouin to cross wherever and whenever they want to, because, well, that's what the Bedouin do. Got camel, will travel.

So, just how porous and unguarded are the borders in Iraq? Well, remember when Saddam snuck across the border in Gulf War I and attacked a small outpost town in Saudi Arabia? The U.S. military, in command of 275,000 troops on the Iraqi border, had some rangers in that town who were surprised and temporarily cut off by the attack. 275,000 troops and the Iraqis just rolled in... that's one porous border. And did the Iraqis do any better seeing that big-ass flanking manouver coming at them through the desert? No they didn't. We were halfway to Baghdad and cutting off their armies before they got a clue.

How can we expect the Syrians to be capable of policing their border, when we spend $9 Billion a year on patroling the Mexican border, and Mexicans *STILL* walk across the border just miles from San Diego? The 360-mile border that Syria has with Iraq is nearly twice the distance of the California border with Mexico, and we spend about $2 Billion a year ineffectively guarding that section of our border.

Do we expect Syria, which is a poor country, to police that much territory with no financial assistance and *STILL* be economically boycotted? Their entire government only brings in $4 billion a year in taxes, and we want them to spend a huge chunk of it on guarding sand... and *STILL* be boycotted? It's ludicrous. It's insane. It's unrealistic.

"Syria, we want you to stop donating to any Arab institutions that somehow, directly or indirectly, support terrorism... and we want you to hire a bunch of secret police to spy on and arrest your own people so they don't support terrorism... and we want you to spend more than you do on your schools and your old people's health in order to watch a patch of desert in 140 degree temperatures... oh, and we'll still boycott you and threaten you and blame you when terrorists inevitably slip across the border anyway, and we won't be there for you when your people rise up and start trying to kill you."

What would be the logical, non-political reply to that question?

"Fuck you, Bush. You have the billions of dollars, the high-tech search helicopters, the motion detectors, and the millions of unemployed Iraqis. Do it yourf*ckingself. We'll put guards on the major roads, but after that, you're on your own."

Sure, the Syrian government isn't the nicest or the freest by any stretch of the imagination. They support Hezbollah, for instance, supporting Arabs in their effort to kill Israelis. We, on the other hand, support the Israelis in their effort to ethnically cleanse / kill the Arabs... U.N. resolutions and international law be damned. Our way or the highway.

But why should Syria listen when our government asks for stupid things -- like trying (and failing) to guard the whole Iraqi border for them, free of charge. Syria *SHOULD* call the Bush administration on this issue, frankly, because the Bush administration is being completely loony. They know they are, however, so it's alright. It's merely a political ploy designed to make Americans dislike the Syrians because the Syrians can't do an impossible task...

(Sorta like asking a country to get rid of WMDs that they don't have, for instance.)

After all, you're supposed to hate the Syrians, right?!

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