It’s a little on the early end of the news cycle, but Sky News reports that Syria has offered to be an intermediary (yawn, this is the old playbook) but has also offered to reveal al-Quaeda strongholds in Lebanon.
Which, of course, gives the US carte blance to dispatch troops from CENTCOM. If true, this is the “selling Hizballah down the river” move that I predicted last week.
(Which still leaves one to wonder about the rhetoric vis-a-vis Israel, and the Bekaa Vallley).
But, why not? Syria’s regime has one overarching thing going for it: they can honestly say that all their viable alternatives are worse. Sell out HA, and use a US-to-Ghaddafi-style arrangement to guarantee regime survival while Iran plays the brinksmanship game?
Again, why not? Assad isn’t an ideologue: if this is the play with the best returns, this is the card he’ll throw.
UPDATE: Walid Jumblatt, interviewed in Saturday’s WSJ, says that this is a backhanded threat on Lebanese civilians, not an offer. I’m inclined to believe this. Jumblatt’s cred for seeing Syrian minds speaks for itself.