Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters has some pithy thoughts on the recent Israeli raid on the Syrian nuclear station, or whatever it was:
Between July and September, weeks of high-level talks took place [between the U.S. and Israel]. The Israelis wanted to destroy the facility immediately, and had some support from the American intelligence community that had managed to miss this development. However, Condoleezza Rice and others did not. They wanted to "confront" the Syrians first -- as the Jerusalem Post puts it, to scold Assad publicly for operating a nuclear facility.
Yes, I'm sure that would have been effective. Publicly scolding them over the Hariri assassination only resulted in five more car-bomb assassinations of anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon since then. Fingerwagging has done so much to curtail their material support for Hezbollah, too.
The Israelis, who actually originated the "Bush doctrine" decades ago, appear to be the only nation still using it. They probably have concluded that they cannot rely on American will to protect them from Syria and Iran any longer, especially after this episode. The US opposed the raid up to the moment it occurred, afraid of destabilizing the region. Israel, more worried about the consequences of a nuclear Syria -- something that should worry us as well -- simply ignored Washington after weeks of argument and acted in its own self-interest.
If Morrissey is correct what he writes demonstrates the futility of trying to talk people out of doing what they're determined to do. In this case our State Department talkers no doubt told Syria that if they don't give up their plans to finish this facility they would lose it and Syria no doubt thought they could stop any attack with their new Russian air defense system (which proved totally useless). But here's the point, nothing deters these people except the credible threat of annihilation. There are things we could do short of war - sanctions, blockades, etc. - but all of these ultimately lead to war. Not Iraq under Saddam, not Syria under Assad, not Iran under the mullahs and A'Jad could be, or will be, deterred from their determination to establish radical Islamic hegemony throughout the entire Middle East and eventually the world apart from war or credible threat of war.
The tragic truth appears to be that we either accept a nuclear armed Syria and Iran or be prepared to go to war with them to prevent them from having nuclear weapons. Both options are fraught with danger and calamity, but in the end the Islamists seem determined to leave us no middle ground.RLC