The cartoon crisis shifted course ever so slightly as the White House held Syria responsible for the burning of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus. The Washington Post quoted presidential press secretary Scott McClellan as he read a statement from Crawford:"We will hold Syria responsible for such violent demonstrations since they do not take place in that country without government knowledge and support ... The government of Syria's failure to provide protection to diplomatic premises, in the face of warnings that violence was planned, is inexcusable."
[...]But embassy burnings in Syria provided the opportunity for the White House to re-secularize what was rapidly becoming a religious and cultural conflict. The White House seized the chance to point out these arsons were not religious outpourings but deliberate acts of a State -- the Assad regime to be exact -- a State with bitter enemies throughout the Islamic world, thereby harnessing the charged climate of public opinion to advance its strategic agenda.
And the cartoon crisis may also be causing Europe to wake up (ever so painfully slowly) to the lethal serpent in its midst; hence the sudden collapse of opposition to sending Iran to the Security Council.
I do hope we aim to misbehave. Especially in our dealings with Syria and Iran.
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