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The Corner

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The Next Choice



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After war the Bush administration has to decide how to treat Iraq’s neighbors, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia: as partners in stabilizing Iraq, or as part of the region’s problem. There will be pressure from the State Department and the “international community” to consider them as partners, yes imperfect, yes dictatorial, yes terrorist-tainted but necessary. If we don’t work with them, the argument will go, we’ll have Syrian and Iranian-supported suicide bombers targeting our troops. But this approach would be short-sighted, and mean lending a kind of support to the last remnants of the Arab status quo. Instead, the administration should work to change the nature of the surrounding regimes, with Syria probably most vulnerable to American pressure–almost everything we’ve said about Iraq applies equally to its Baathist neighbor.



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