Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oct. 30: What's the Story With Syria?

By Sylvia Gurinsky

While you were out focusing on the presidential campaign, you may have forgotten that there's still an incumbent, and that he's still on his version of the job.

The latest question is how that job involves Syria. Last week, eight people were killed in Syria in an airstrike. One of them is reported to have been an Al Qaeda leader. During the last few days, the U.S. and Syria have engaged in the usual diplomatic playground name-calling that's done in a situation like this.

Some have asked the question: Why attack now? Why indeed, when a new president is about to be elected and Syria has made noises about peace talks with Israel. In fact, increasing diplomacy had recently been part of the George W. Bush playbook as well.

Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has commented publicly. For one of them, this situation is going to be among the many headaches they inherit from Bush. For sure, both of them, and their congressional colleagues, should demand an explanation on the circumstances and the timing from Defense Secretary Robert Gates when Congress comes back after the election.

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