Middle East

Viewpoints

Israel's Air Strike on Syria

Paris Le Figaro (conservative), Oct. 10: The whole world may be concerned about the spread of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but George W. Bush is not about to criticize Ariel Sharon for his “preventive war” against the Islamic Jihad. On the contrary, the American administration has not given up the idea of acting against Damascus just because it is otherwise occupied in Baghdad.
—Pierre Rousselin

London The Daily Telegraph (conservative), Oct. 6: Syria has a long history of complicity with terrorism....The Sharon government is, therefore, perfectly justified in striking a neighbor that sponsors groups wishing to drive the Israelis into the sea.

Bogotá El Tiempo (centrist), Oct. 6: It’s obvious that Washington will not move a finger to stop Israel which, as Bush has repeatedly claimed, “has a right to self-defense.” The chances are even lower considering that the “Bush doctrine,” which authorizes pre-emptive strikes, is in full force at the moment.

Beirut The Daily Star (independent, English-language), Oct. 10: So what can [Syria’s President Bashar] al-Assad do?...He can escalate the conflict...; he can fall back on more familiar forms of retaliation, with all their shortcomings; or he can simply do nothing. And for a young president who must still prove himself domestically, that may be the most harmful alternative of all.
—Michael Young

Tel Aviv Ha’aretz (liberal), Oct. 7: In attacking the camp in Syria, Israel took into account that all of Washington’s diplomatic efforts of the past few months to convince Damascus to withdraw its support from terror organizations had come to nothing.
—Zeev Schiff

Karachi Dawn (centrist), Oct. 7: Frustrated by its failure to crush the Palestinian freedom movement, Israel now seems to be looking for a pretext to provoke the Arabs into a regional war.

Athens Ta Nea (liberal), Oct. 6: The Israeli attack on Syria is a serious warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to force him to cooperate with Israel and the United States and to put down the uprisings in the Palestinian territory and Iraq.....The government in Washington is going to make efforts to see that the tension between the two countries does not increase.
—Kitty Xenaki

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