Saturday, September 24, 2005

"The Case for Border Co-operation" by James Denselow

James Denselow has contributed an important article below. He recently returned from a conference held in Jordan on Iraq's borders. It was attended by high security officials from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, the UK and US. Syria and Iran were excluded. Syria was eager to send a high level committee to the conference, but was excluded by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld himself. This leads James to ask how many US soldiers and Iraqi citizens will be killed as a result of the West's policy of isolating Syria.

The Case for Border Co-Operation
by James Denselow, King's College, London, and Researcher at Chatham House
September 24, 2005
Written for "Syria Comment."

Flint Leverett described the mechanisms of a US policy of regime change on the cheap in Syria; its cornerstone is the twisting of indirect pressure points to further isolate and weaken the regime. Such pressure points include WMD proliferation and the support of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Lebanese Hizbullah (what the US administration describe as the ‘A’ team of terrorism). However today the greatest threats to the Syrian regime come from accusations of direct involvement in the assassination of Hariri (initial verdict out on the 25th of October) and US accusations of ‘allowing forces’ to cross the border into Iraq to fuel the continued insurgency that plagues the country.

Several commentaries have argued (includes this blogs much featured Michael Young) that Syria’s ephemeral control of its border with Iraq represents its last remaining ‘card’ before an ‘insignificance ensuing from absolute concession’. It is this argument that US policy makers are seemingly pursuing too. Its faith lies in the effectiveness of pressure; as far as the administration sees it, further isolation leads to further pressure which is the only form of politics that will succeed in forcing the Syrians to take increased action on its border and stop ‘bleeding’ the US in Iraq. At its most simple, this policy ignores the fact that the heart of the insurgency is Iraqi, the Centre for Strategic International Studies estimating that the foreign elements of the insurgency as ‘vastly overblown’, and that there are only 550 Syrian fighters in an insurgency over 30,000 strong.

Yet the heat that the Syrians are feeling over the border issue has been steadily increasing since the 2003 invasion. Syria has found itself at the epicenter of the 'Iraqi blame game'. In 2003, in line with both Syria's public opinion and geo-strategic interests at the time, President Assad was the regions biggest critic of the US invasion. This lack of support led to the country being labeled a junior member of the axis of evil and having direct links to support of the Iraqi insurgency. In December 2004 President Bush urged Syria to 'stop the flow' of jihaid's across the border. In January 2005 the then Iraqi Minister of National Security accused Iran and Syria of being 'two naughty boy's' in being directly involved in assisting fighters transit into Iraq. The 2005 February 14th assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri simply turned up the heat of these accusations.

In Condoleezza Rice's June tour of the region this year, she accused Syria of 'directly supporting groups committed to violence in Iraq'; while a state department official warned that Syria 'was in the worlds crosshairs'. Meanwhile President Assad has consistently argued that it is impossible to completely control its border. Assad has also emphasized Syria's potential role as being 'key to the solution of Iraq's problems', saying that the country has done 'everything within their capacity which could preserve the stability of Iraq'.

Despite Secretary Rice's persistent accusations of Syria being 'out of step' with where the region is going, it has been cleared of a number of accusations. In April this year the Iraqi Survey group cleared Syria of possessing Iraqi WMD and in May the spokesman for Iraqi PM al-Jaafari admitted that Iraq 'doesn't think that Syria actively supports the transit of fighters', but instead is 'not doing enough to make sure there is effective control there'. This theme is now used regularly against the Syrians, as Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in late May: "there are responsibilities of the Syrian government to hamper and prevent the flow of terrorists from coming across".

So this is the situation we come to today. The Syrian regime has gone from allowing the border to stay open in 2003, as reports in Damascus emerged of large numbers of fighters being transferred from the Iraqi consulate, to reacting to seal the border under relentless US pressure. The timing of the actual shift can be traced to the June 10th Ba'ath Party conference, where it is believed there was a change in personnel responsible for the Iraq file and that while official rhetoric would continue to highlight the legitimacy of resistance to an occupation, all possible measures were taken to fundamentally alter the identity of the borderland, to change it from a line in the sand to a manifestation of actual sovereignty. Yet time is running out, this month US Ambassador to Iraq Khalilzad threatened that ‘US patience is running out and that ‘all options are on the table’.

One option that is not on the table is co-operation with the Syrians in securing the border. This raises the question ‘is Syria is being set up to fail?’ and is the price of this set-up Iraqi and US casualties?

The Iraqi-Syrian border is a difficult and harsh environment, 376 miles in length stretching from the Turkish to the Jordanian tripoints. Since the borders creation it has never existed as a zone of separation despite the woeful relations between the two states. As Abdullah Taa’i reported on “Syria Comment”, 97% of residents in Syria’s Eastern provinces have relatives in Iraq. Before the 2003 invasion a black market economy across the border set up a network that’s worth was estimated at $2bn annually. Although today’s illegal trade is a fraction of pre-war times it still keeps afloat a desperately poor local economy, where people earning 10$ a month are easily tempted into smuggling people across into Iraq (CSIS estimated Saudis crossing the border to be willing to pay thousands of dollars). To fundamentally alter the dynamics of such a border requires a long-term policy with a cornerstone of communication between the respective sides.

Such communication is glaring in its absence. At a recent conference in Jordan concerning Iraqi border security, Donald Rumsfeld personally vetoed the attendance of the Syrian delegation. At a tactical level there is a complete absence of communication between the Syrian and US/Iraqi border patrol. Syrians bemoan this fact, as President Assad has asked 'who to cooperate with? If you go to the border there are only Syrian guards on our side. But if you look at the Iraqi side there is nobody'. Certainly the Iraqi's it seems are another one and 1/2 to two years away from total border guard deployment following Paul Bremmers ill-fatted decision to disband the Iraqi armed forces including a 35,000 strong border guard.

A simple incident highlights the absence of communication. When US forces closed al-Qaim crossing last year after taking fire from both sides of the border, they communicated the borders closure by using a catapult to send the message to the Syrian side of the border. What is more, it seems that a decision has made banning local level communication from Syrian border guard until state-to-state relations are improved.

Such an absence of communication has inevitably led to failures of joint-intelligence. The Syrians claim that over 100 incidents have been recorded of US/Iraqi border guards targeting Syrian forces by accident. In such incidents the Syrian report 6 killed and 17 injured, it is difficult to put precise estimates on the deaths caused by foreign fighters in Iraq, but surely the number is enough to warrant a tempering of ideological animosity in favor of technical realism.

If the US hopes to fully stabilize Iraq it needs to isolate the battlefield and cooperate with the country’s neighbors. This means formulating a coherent policy that can prove to the Syrians that all the US is seeking is ‘a change in behavior and not regime’ (C,Rice). The Syrian regime has neither the means nor the know-how to unilaterally secure its border with Iraq. What is required is a systems-approach to border security between Syria and Iraq/US, this encompasses regular meetings, exchanges, technical (night-vision ?) and consultative working groups based on the bedrock of a mutuality of interest. However for such a process to begin both sides must stop catapulting rhetoric at each other and come to recognize the primacy of negotiations.


At 9/24/2005 01:46:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

This man, Joshua jumped to a new topic to make people forget the previous Syrian replies.

I am not surprised that he, Leveritt, Young, Hurst, and others who are there as employees for some organization to get the facts that can help US policy makers do their job of destroying the ME in the best way possible!

It is evident that these people, and Condy Rice have in mind to save the Syrian Regime, and to portray it to its people as the one opposing the US interests, and fighting the advance of the Zionists-US combination. It is evident that the US wants to use Assad the son as it had used his father the Eternal Evil in stabilizing Lebanon (meaning fighting the Palestinian Resistance, and breaking the Left wing movements), for which the Syrian Army was present for 30 years destroying Lebanon and Lebanese, and involved with the CIA in drug trafficking as testified by the Lockerby book that was written years ago uncovering the Assad and CIA roles in that disaster, and how the CIA helped Hizballah kill CIA officers who uncovered drug activities.

Now, the US wants Syria to play the same role it had played in Lebanon, in IRAQ.

This is the whole game they are playing, and for which they prepared Young, Josh, etc... to speak and spread lies and misinformations.

The Soul Of Syria

At 9/24/2005 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

They got the Syrian Army out of LEbanon to prepare it some time later to exist in Iraq and play a newer game, the same old game, but in Iraq instead of Lebanon.

At 9/24/2005 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/24/2005 02:20:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"At its most simple, this policy ignores the fact that the heart of the insurgency is Iraqi, the Centre for Strategic International Studies estimating that the foreign elements of the insurgency as ‘vastly overblown’, and that there are only 550 Syrian fighters in an insurgency over 30,000 strong."

Did they send an email poll to the guerilla fighters? :)

The problem is not Syrian fighters, it's fighters coming from Syria. It's not the same thing.

At 9/24/2005 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

You should know that this is about as much crap and misleading information as you can get in this article. from the start, it is loaded and paid for by those who will sell the wife ass for little cash. It starts out with Landis comment (landis is Jewish surname, just like the movie director). King College, one of the lowest ranking U.K. educational institution. Chatham House, another CFR type Petro-Zionist Organization . And to top it all, this other idiot, ex anal-ist and CIA agent named (Flint) is quoted right from the start.

By the way, “Flint” is a nickname used by the Syrian Central Intelligence Agency (SCIA) and the Syrian Secret Service (SSS) for a CIA agent. If you considered the intelligence of the Network Cartoon character Flint, from Flintstone you will have an accurate assessment of the people that works at that Kosher Taco stuffers-cum intelligence-cum torturer organization. Now you know why Americans wanted to scarp the whole place clean and open an amusement water park at Langley.

Doubt few visitors to will waste time reading this new comment post, the title "The Case for Border Co-operation" can be answered very simply without having to read the misinformation, deliberate deceit and running around to make Alawite-Baathist, evil dictator and CIA stooge Assad looks reasonable, cooperative and innocent.

Here is why this paid for tax free cash comment is flawed, cunningly deceptive and deliberately misleading:

1- The illegal and unconstitutional Baathist dictator can start requiring Visa for all those Arabs fighters landing at Damascus airport and customs land-check points. Rather than requesting just an unverified and unauthentic ID to enter Syria.
2- The Murderous regime, that is directly responsible for killing and injuring more than 30,000 American, can request evidences for the visit such as Two way ticket, Business or Personal invitation, Work permit, Hotel reservation Etc.. None is ever needed or requested for an Arab fighter to enter Syria at the point of entry.
3- He can photograph, fingerprint and turn his 300,000 Mukhabrat to watch and follow those Arab youth admitted to Syria, rather than watch the unarmed and beaten, peaceful Syrians Sunni Moslems.
4- He can arrest and surrender to American or Iraqi Authorities all those Iraqi Baathists he is sheltering in Syria.
5- He can cease bank accounts and turn cash belonging to the Saddam regime to Iraqi Government.
6- He can remove corrupt Mukhabrat agents and army officers that are bribed by the fighters.
7- He can control smugglers that are part of his regime Organized Crime Family.

The list can go on and on. This corrupt regime done nothing but KILL AMERICANS AND MAKE IT EASY TO KILL IRAQIS AND AMERICANS.

It is time for the United States to realize that it will not succeed in Iraq unless it covers its back and remove this evil dictator from Syria. Allow Sunni Moslems to form a democratic Government, one that can appeal to the Moslems to stop the attacks in Iraq and implement the type of security measures needed to cut the supply line off as described on the list above.

The failure of removing this evil Alawites-Baathist regime from Damascus will cause the United States an immense loss of strategic, security, economic and prestige that could send America back into a shell and isolationism.

If the United State bargained with this regime and failed to cease on the lifetime opportunity that is given now, to have a democratic cooperative government in Syria with the help of all the worlds countries, it will result in Assad making all those false promises to Israel and the United States that he neither can fulfill, or the least, act upon. In the mean time, further enrage the Sunni Moslems of Syria to the point that they will violently overthrow the U.S.Backed regime with the help of host of disfranchised interests including the Palestinians radicals, the Arab Moslem radicals, the Iraqi Baathists radicals, the Syrian Moslem Radicals, The Lebanese Christians and Sunni Moslems, the Shia of Lebanon and Syria, including Hizbullah, and strike a deal with Russia and Iran.

The outcome of this kind of coalition is clear. Russia, will gain a strong foothold in the Middle East that will quickly expand to the entire region. Iranian revolutionary guards, including millions of martyrs will be stationed in south of Lebanon and the Golan.
Arab insurgency in Iraq will force the United States to evacuate from Baghdad, Saigon style. Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, for a start, will be controlled by Moslem Parties and forces, Israel will be totally surrounded by hostile forces and the balance of power is shifted to a Musleman-Rusky axis. Whereby the West and the East is more than 85% dependant on this axis for energy resources.

Syrian Republican Strategists forecast that within 3-4 years of the fall of the Western/Saudi/African supported Alawites-Baathists dictatorship regime in Damascus, The west will loose total influence and control over the entire region from Casablanca to Bora Bora. The price of oil barrel will top $300 per barrel, to the benefit of the worlds number one oil exporter, Russia, second exporter the an Arab-Islamic confederacy, and third exporter, Islamic Republic of Iran. The implication for the West is far more reaching economically than strategically as no Western or Asian economy can sustain a nation at these levels of oil prices. Not to mention that most western countries, especially in the United States are heavily in public and private debt with deficits already in the Trillions of Dollars, personal bankruptcies at record levels and mortgage payments consuming large parts of personal income that it will leave little discretionary income to fuel an economy let alone expand it.

World history is filled with names of persons or events that was the catalyst for the big events that shaped this planet fateful history. Mehlis, an obscure German prosecutor may have his name engraved in history in the most fateful event that will guide mankind future history.

The book of Ezekiel, a notable writing in the Jewish Old Testament, spoke of this coming world events, millennia ago. How did a Jewish religious man (prophet) could foretell about events that are far ahead in time?

In the manuscripts of his upcoming book “The Beast” Metaz K.M.Aldendeshe writes about the Architectural of the Universe being in a state of continuous circular motion. He patented a mechanical perpetual electric generator based on this concept. Perpetuality is the norm and not the exception in the Architecture of the Universe. A system that is not in such a state is defective and poorly designed he says. Therefore, it is possible that our history is like a record that is playing over and over. You can not destroy energy he says, you can only convert it, so who knows what happen to the energy that is stored in human brain, it is just like a software program, no matter how many billions of year pass, if you have the right machine, you can open it and use it, or get information from it. Some human mind may be able to tap to those programs of other creatures that existed in the past and relay information that is already known to them. There are no evidence to say that when human die, they take this software program (data in the brain) with them to the grave. Since you can not destroy energy, it may still exist all around us.

Would the United States take this chance of a life time and remove the evil and murderous regime of this Alawites-Baathist dictator Assad out of Syria, bring on a reasonable government that can be of help to the people of Syria and to the goals of George W. Bush of a better Middle East? Would Ezekiel prophecy come true or would the People of the Middle East that people will dwell in houses that have no walls and are at peace with one another living in prosperity.

Poresident Bush can be the savior of Syrians, Middle Easterners and the World, or he can choose to be servant of the devil and set the stage for mankind demise where the book of revelation of the Christian Bible speak of the battle of Armageddon, the demise of new Israel and the desolation of Two thirds of the planet earth. The incarcerations of Amen/Marduk by the Assembly of the Annunaki for one Thousand years.

Only President George W. Bush can make this fateful decision of which the outcome will become clear. No one is more important today to the people of Syria than this man.

(This is unclassified excerpt from the Agha weekly email sermon, it is called sermon because it always includes political and religious content. No republication without reference is permitted.

At 9/24/2005 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...


What are you talking about?

Can someone explain to me who is he?

Something is seriously wrong there.

"Syrian Republican Strategists forecast that within 3-4 years of the fall of the Western/Saudi/African supported Alawites-Baathists dictatorship regime in Damascus, The west will loose total influence and control over the entire region from Casablanca to Bora Bora."

I'm impressed.


At 9/25/2005 01:10:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Smile, you're on campus watch!

I like the neo-cons but campus-watch and the Middle East Forum are less then great. It's not about their ideology (that I share, up to a certain point). It's the fact that they are not objective. They are not the best representants of these ideas.

At 9/25/2005 03:59:00 AM, Blogger Hashem said...

I fully agree with James Denselow, regadless of internal situations in Syria, the US must keep communication open to ensure the security of the region.

SRP: However, it doesn't give me confidence in the SRP with such wild claims:

>King College, one of the lowest ranking U.K. educational institution.

You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

> Chatham House, another CFR type Petro-Zionist Organization .

You clearly don't know what you are talking about.

But thanks for putting a smile on my face :)


At 9/25/2005 06:50:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

So what! If iliterate Asma can graduate from this school, it got to be the lowest ranking.

And When did Chatham House ever sided with the people of Syria?
Just because you come here and side with us, it does not mean the house on our side, take Rime for example, she only sided on the most outragous commnets made in the past article. Overall the house favor continued support for teh Alawites-Baathist regime as so England, Ant Queeen and all.

At 9/25/2005 07:30:00 AM, Blogger Yabroud said...

I gave an answer in the previous thread to some one calling him self engineering bull shit. Please read it.

The only thing I see I benefitted from Joshua's blog, and for which I offer my thanks was introducing the site of Professor As’ad AbuKhalil.

I am grateful to Josh for this great thing, for now I can enjoy As'ad site, and will read his fantastic books on Saudi Arabia.

People like As'ad are genuine human beings who seek the truth, true knowledge, justice, and are not afraid of speaking for the oppressed, unlike pretencious academics who are after their narrow selfish interests. We know examples of them.

At 9/25/2005 08:14:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/25/2005 08:15:00 AM, Blogger Innocent_Criminal said...

Why does this blog attract extremely bizarre, eccentric and kooky individuals? It’s a like a “freak of nature” magnet. And it's making it almost impossible to carry a serious conversation.

At 9/25/2005 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Aba Zayd said...

"bizarre, eccentric and kooky individuals?" Innocent_criminal

Yes, your name says exactly what you have described.

Why? Ask yourself!

At 9/25/2005 01:44:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Tony is right, the Christians are always used as a scapegoat in the Middle-East, they must pay for the Americans infidel behavious the way Jewish used to be in medieval Europe. Why? Because they don't want their country to be obliterated? The biggest possible crime!!

I am fed up of this.

At 9/25/2005 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/25/2005 01:58:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"In the mean time, further enrage the Sunni Moslems of Syria to the point that they will violently overthrow the U.S.Backed regime with the help of host of disfranchised "

America has imposed sanctions on Syria and is pushing for an inquiry that is devastating for the regime and you're talking about a 'Syrian-backed regime'!! Anything that is not invasion for you is American-backing!!!

If the US destabilize an Arab regime, Arabs talk about US imperialism. If the US don't do what the Arab nations should do by themselves, dismantle the regime, you say that they back a dictatorial regime. The Arabs have the right to democracy. But they don't do anything about it!!!

This is the typically irrational way of thinking of the disillusioned Arabists. Whatever the US does, it's wrong. Arabs are brainwashed and it seems that even the elite is irrational. You blame everything on the US like the Angry Arab and Israel.

People who succeed in life, blame themselves before the others. Josh is right, there's something wrong in the educational system. Who brought the regime and this pathetic ideology first? The US??? Evil zionists??? Blame Syria first!

At 3/16/2007 08:38:00 AM, Blogger biometrics said...

fingerprint access control system and fingerprint time attendance system works well


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