Monday, October 27, 2008

U.S. Quickie in Syria

It seems that the rumors are true: The U.S. appears to have staged an attack on Syrian territory late yesterday.

The attack took place in the border town of al-Sukariyah near Iraq. According to eye-witnesses, two American helicopters landed on Syrian territory and 8 U.S. commandoes disembarked, killing at least 9 people and injuring 14 others, all of whom were civilian builders at their jobs. The American troops then boarded the helicopters and left.

Okay, this is completely bizarre. What is going on? How can American troops just enter Syria, kill a bunch of civilians and leave? Even if the attack was close to the Iraqi border. And no matter what stories come out about terrorist bases or whatnot on the Iraqi side of the border (which they already have), this does not excuse an attack on civilians, not to mention a U.S. act of aggression in a sovereign state.

Imagine this had been an attack by a foreign state on Americans near Mexico, with the excuse of trying to root out the drug trade on the border. If just one person had been killed, the U.S. government would have gone wild over another state killing its civilians and violating its sovereignty.

But never mind. These are just 9 nameless Syrian villagers. And Syrian sovereignty rights? What rights? Syria's just another one of those Middle Eastern countries that are always messy anyways.

We have a serious problem here. If the U.S. wants to be at all respected in the Middle East, which is necessary for peace in the region (and around the world), then it has got to stop randomly entering and attacking other states at its every whim. And an attempt at shaking up the elections doesn't make for a good excuse to do that either.

Here's a really good post at the LA Times' Middle Eastern blog, Babylon & Beyond that asks:

Syria: What's behind the U.S. raid?

I'll put up any updates if and when they come along.

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