John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, August 03, 2006
  Syria wants "excreting efforts" in Lebanon
DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Syria and Spain emphasized on Thursday the necessity of excreting efforts to realize a cease-fire in Lebanon. (see link for original press release)

This is perhaps a good example of the difficulties of communication. I have tried to find out what they mean by "excreting efforts". My Arabic is very bad and it takes me ages to read any text let alone try to translate it. I can cope with reading some Urdu (which is a very similar script), but only by recognising words such as "Birmingham". I think "making" is probably right from the contextual analysis.

Syria is very important from the viewpoint of the situation in Lebanon. If the dispute were to spread anywhere it would spread to Syria first.

Syria is still run by the Socialist Arab Renaissance Party (aka Ba'th party that used to run Iraq as Saddam Hussain inc.) Many of the Arab tribes that are influential in Syria spread into Iraq. There is a teeny weeny bit of Badinani territory (a type of Kurd) in Northern Syria. However, the government have a strong Alawite influence which is closer to Shi'a than Sunni.

The real tension, therefore, lies between the developing civil strife in Iraq and that in Lebanon. They work in different directions, however. The main strife in Iraq is between three main ethnic factions who of which are Sunni and one Shi'a. The Sunni Kurds, however, basically want Kurdistan on their own (with one government for the Badinani and one for the Sorani). That causes problems in Turkey, of course, and to some extent in Iran. The Fayli Kurds a Shi'a Kurd group have substantially been the victims of genocide.

Syria has had a tendency towards good links with Iran. Whether there would be any direct involvement of Syria in the current conflict, however, is not clear. If it continues over a longer period then that is more likely.

When I get a bit of time I shall read more of the SANA website. It appears to be a government agency and it appears that the French version is materially different to the English Version.

Edit: The French version is more up to date. There are releases dated today referring to the Lebanese Resistance (one presumes they mean Hizbollah).
 
Comments:
Well, of course they could just be taking GWB at his word.

Didn't he tell "Yo, Blair" in that overheard conversation that the solution was to stop Syria doing this "shit" and it would all be resolved?
 
Not much love lost between the Syrian Ba'athists and the Iraqi Ba'athists.
 
Jock, if Syria had resfused to help Iran supply Hizbollah with weapons I strongly suspect that the current conflict would not have been as bad as it is today, had it happened at all that is. So, whatever the language, on this particular issue I suspect that he might actually be right. Just because you dislike someone's politics or style does not mean that from time to time they are not correct.

There are plenty of reasons for disliking the politics of George W. Bush - I have always thought, however, that sneering at his use of langauge was to be superior, but more to the point ran the distinct risk of underestimating the man.
 
The real stress comes from the unresolved dispute as to whether a state named Israel has a right to exist whatever the borders might be.

Syria (as far as I can tell from translating the french press stories) publicly takes a position that Israel should not exist.

The solution of the "Right Wing" Israelis is to use any excuse to hit people who take that view as hard as they can until they accept that they cannot win. The consequence of this is greater hatred and less of a chance of solving the problem.

More immediately, then, there is the issue of the perspective of the other Arab nations.

It becomes a combination of military activity and a massive exercise of brinkmanship. The Jerusalem Post carried a story over the weekend indicating that the US would not mind Israel attacking Syria.
 
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