Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Countries That Shelter and Support Terrorists (Syria, Iran, N. Korea)
Strategy Page ^ | Sept. 5, 2004 | James Dunnigan

Posted on 09/06/2004 12:12:21 AM PDT by FairOpinion

While it is generally thought that terrorist organizations no longer have countries where they can obtain sanctuary, this is not entirely the case. Three countries still offer sanctuary, and other forms of support, to terrorist groups. These are Syria, Iran and North Korea. All do it for political reasons, although Iran sees a religious angle as well. Syria justifies its support for Palestinian, and other, terrorist groups as part of its effort to regain the Golan Heights, lost in 1967 when Syria joined other Arab nations in trying to destroy Israel. Iran is controlled by Islamic radicals who believe it is their duty to support terror against infidels (non-Moslems), particularly the United States. North Korea has given sanctuary to several terrorists in the past, and used terrorism itself. But at the moment North Korea is too preoccupied with economic and political collapse to do much more than sell terrorists weapons, for cash.

Both Syria and Iran have been warned by the United States (especially against Iran) and Israel (especially against Syria), that continued support of terrorists will have consequences. A recent suicide bombing in Israel, that left over a hundred dead or wounded, was blamed partly on Syrian support for the terror group responsible (Hamas). Syria has ignored repeated Israeli warnings about this, and this time the Syrians may have gone too far. Syria is also having trouble in neighboring Lebanon, where Syrian troops have occupied the place since the 1980s, when Syrian troops entered to help halt a civil war that went on from 1975-90. The Lebanese would like to have their country back, but the Syrians won't leave. Part of it is for economic reasons. The Syrians are running several legal, and illegal, enterprises in Syria. To encourage this, Iran provides Syria with economic aid as well.

Iran has continued to support terrorism in Iraq, and elsewhere. Iran has long maintained terrorist training and support camps, but has kept quiet about it. But the camps are not invisible from above, and terrorists are constantly getting caught with evidence linking them to Iran. Both Iran and Syria fear retaliation from the United States and Israel, initially in the form of air raids on their terrorist camps. The terrorists can then be moved to urban areas, although it is feared that American intelligence agencies will discover where the terrorist safe houses are and continue hitting them with smart bombs. This might escalate to an invasion.

So why do Syria and Iran continue with the terrorist support? Partly it is so the secular (in Syria) and religious (in Iran) dictators can stay in power. By supporting terrorism, you have a bunch of deadly and ruthless people available to you to deal with any internal dissent. This is how the Taliban used al Qaeda to help control the Afghan population. Another bonus is that the "threat" of attack from the United States or Israel can be used as nationalist propaganda to divert popular attention from the dislike for the local dictatorship. This is one of the first things you figure out once you become a dictator. Get yourself a foreign enemy to occupy your peoples' attention, otherwise they will come after you.

Syria and Iran are playing a very dangerous game. Being known as the only countries on the planet that support terrorism could turn into a very deadly liability. What if some terrorist group, with a known connection to Iran or Syria, gets a hold of, and uses, a chemical or nuclear weapon. Guess where the retaliation is going to be aimed. The September 11 attacks were promptly traced back to al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan. Within months, there was a change of government in Afghanistan, facilitated by American troops. So far, the prospect of this happening is only causing worry in Syria and Lebanon, not any serious change in policy. But the potential for disaster remains.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: axisofevil; iran; northkorea; syria; terror; terrorism; waronterror
I think the time is coming, that these countries leaders need to decide, whether they want Saddam's fate or Khaddaffi's.
1 posted on 09/06/2004 12:12:22 AM PDT by FairOpinion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: FairOpinion

Saudi Arabia should have been listed. I'm guessing Libya no longer runs any of the terrorist camps they had for so many groups in the 1980's-1990's. Is this the assessment?

2 posted on 09/06/2004 12:20:24 AM PDT by Bobby777
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FairOpinion

Wow, what a great, concise description of what we're facing! Somehow we've got to tell the Muslim world that we do not consider their religion a religion of peace and that until the peaceful ones in their midst step forward and do something to weed out the violent ones they will all be treated equally.

Reminds me the old joke about the scorpion that approached the frog who was sunning by the river and ask for a ride across the river. The frog replied that he could not do that because the scorpion would inflict a fatal. The scorpion promised on an oath that he would not sting the frog and pointed out that both would die if he did. The frog is convinced of the MAD deterrence and agreed. Half way across the river the scorpion stings the frog! As the frog is drawing his last breath he gasps "you promised you wouldn't sting me. Why would you do that, now we're both going to die!" The scorpion just shrugged his shoulders and said "It's my nature." Well, that's how I feel about Muslims, it's their nature!

3 posted on 09/06/2004 12:57:24 AM PDT by jwpjr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FairOpinion; Ragtime Cowgirl; ALOHA RONNIE
Report card on our progress, with countries using my own definition of the Axis of Evil, not President Bush's:
Axis of Evil before 9/11 and after.
Before cuba dprk iran syria iraq afghan. pakistan saudi libya
After cuba dprk iran syria
  1. The Taliban are lucky to grow a few poppies and set off mines here and there. They don't have support from anybody except some rogue ISI types, and Musharraf is expected to work on that problem fast enough to keep his hide.
  2. Saddam: in jail.
  3. Pakistan, which established the Taliban and spread nuclear apple butter all over the world: improving, and Kahn isn't peddling plutoniam pop rocks anymore.
  4. The house of Fadh, which funded the whole wahabbist movement: running scared and cracking down on immams faster than a Turkish reformer.
  5. Libya: their nukes are now in our WMD museum. Next?
Todo: five down and four to go. Fasten your seatbelts! Note: Vietnam and other countries are due for liberation as well, but they aren't exporting the same problems.
4 posted on 09/06/2004 2:16:56 AM PDT by risk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson