Saturday, December 02, 2006

Whatever happened to the Popular Front?

Seth Wikas of the Washington Institute has produced a handy short guide to the various opposition groups in Syria that the US government is now apparently talking to. It is not an appetising menu.

The Iraq Study Group, whose report is imminent, is expected to advocate engagement with both the Syrian and Iranian regimes. However, the Bush administration's combined output on these countries - labelling Iran as part of the axis of evil and Syria as an associate member - will make it hard for President Bush to accept this approach without implicitly acknowledging that his foreign policy since 9/11 has been a disaster.

The alternative, then, is engagement with the opposition groups in Syria and the exiled Syrian diaspora. If memories are too short in the US administration to remember the outcome of this approach in Iraq (where they backed Ahmed Chalabi) they might sit down one evening and watch the hilarious People's Front of Judea exchange in the Life of Brian which ends with Francis asking "Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?" Reg: "He's over there." Chorus: "SPLITTER!"

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