Monday, October 27, 2008

Yet another botched US raid?

Take a look at this al-Jazeera report about the US raid in Syria:

From the information slowly trickling in it appears that the US SNAFUed this time again. The fact that any footage at all is coming from this village shows that there was nothing of any kind of value there, be it people or infrastructure. Then the accounts by the civilian victims also points to some rather pathetically inept actions by the Americans (shooting at a woman reaching out to her kid? shooting a fishing dude?!). Then the size of the striking force - 2 or 4 helicopters and 8+ men - is really too small for any serious kind of operation in a foreign (and mostly hostile) country. The latter even makes me doubt whether this was truly an American action and, if yes, what forces were involved. Lastly, it took a while for the US to "verify" that information. That makes no sense at all. Any operation deliberately aimed at a target inside Syria would have had the direct supervision of the Pentagon brass and White House.

So here is my guess: yes, the Americans did it, but they probably did not realize that they had entered Syrian territory (GPS malfunction?). Sending such a small force into Syria just does not sound credible to me. Unless we hear a dramatically different account of what actually took place I think we can safely dismiss this latest raid as yet another US screw-up in the GWOT.

Finally, you can just imagine how that kind of imperial hubris and arrogance will be received in Iraq which is already up in arms about the SOFA the US is trying to impose. It is just basic common sense to see that if the US does not give a damn about international law, national borders of sovereign countries or the UN Charter (all of which have been grievously violated in the latest raid), it would be naive to the extreme to expect Uncle Shmuel to abide by any SOFA.

I can just about hear the laughter in Tehran...