instant disinfo from stratfor & the nyt

Syria: A Car Bomb in Damascus and the Hezbollah Connection
Stratfor, Sep 27 2008

(Kuwait Times has already copied this farrago of nonsense as if it was unimpeachable inside dope. But, I’m happy to say that at least AP isn’t buying into this childishly transparent attempt to set Hezbollah and Syria at one anothers’ throats – RB)

A car bomb exploded in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Sep 27, killing 17 people and wounding 14 others. The car bomb was reportedly packed with 440 pounds of explosives and was placed near the Sayida Zeinab shrine, an important shrine for Shiite Muslims. Thus far it is unclear whether any individual was specifically targeted in the blast. Car bombs in Syria are extremely rare — the last one occurred in February when Hezbollah’s top commander Imad Mughniyah was killed. Stratfor has reason to believe that assassination was the result of a strategic decision by Damascus to pursue serious negotiations with Israel and prove its commitment to those talks by moving against Hezbollah. Since then, Syria’s relationship with Hezbollah has unraveled, with the latter losing trust in Damascus’s intentions for its former Lebanese ally. As Stratfor discussed, Syria’s current troop buildup on the Lebanese border is likely part of a strategy by the Syrian regime to set the stage for direct military intervention in Lebanon, where it aims to reassert physical control. No Lebanese group was more worried about this prospect than Hezbollah, which has been busy reaching out to its enemies in Lebanon in an attempt to build a coalition against Syria and stave off a Syrian invasion of Lebanon.

Stratfor sources (i.e. his Mossad briefers – RB) have indicated that this latest car bombing in Damascus was a warning by Hezbollah and its patron Iran to the Syrian regime not to move ahead with such a plan. Iran does not wish to lose a strategic partner in the Levant, and Hezbollah does not wish to see its military unit degraded by the Syrians. Intimidation tactics such as the large car bomb that exploded in Damascus on Sep 27 fit quite nicely into the Iranian and Hezbollah modus operandi. But it is not guaranteed that Syria will buckle under pressure from Iran and Hezbollah. Stratfor sources have indicated that despite Israel’s state of political limbo, indirect backchannel talks between the Syrians and Israelis are continuing and progressing. The Syrians can now use this attack to apply pressure on Turkey and France — the two main mediators in the peace talks — to do their part in meeting Syrian demands and moving these negotiations along so Damascus can have the confidence and incentive to more forcefully against Hezbollah in Lebanon. In any case, the Syrians will have to respond, and that response will likely first come Hezbollah’s way.

– and from the NYT:

The bombing comes at a time of intense diplomatic activity for Syria, which has been holding indirect negotiations with Israel on a possible peace deal. Those negotiations are widely believed to have caused tensions between Syria and its ally Iran. They are also said to be causing tensions with Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shiite group that Syria and Iran have helped to arm. Any peace deal with Israel would probably require Syria to break or at least limit its military cooperation with Iran and Hezbollah. After the killing in February of Mr. Mughniyah — one of Israel’s chief targets — there was widespread speculation that Syrian officials may have been involved.

3 Comments

  1. Posted September 27, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    R,

    I thought this might interest you: Putin regime tries to sway prominent Western Marxist to come to conference to lend legitimacy to said regime.

    http://www.chtodelat.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=433

  2. niqnaq
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    well, it’s interesting, I suppose. I find Putin a lot more impressive than Badiou. It’s very nice to see that at least one of my erstwhile New Right acquaintances still follows my blog.

  3. Posted September 29, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I actually had never heard of Baidou ’till a friend of mine sent me the link. Putin’s Russia is certainly more interesting than the ideas of any leftover Marxists, it all seems to be a revival of continental conservatism but with PoMo tendencies as the Soviet era is seen in a favorable light though through a nationalist lens.

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