The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­cent diplo­matic car­rots, there­fore, sug­gest a fun­da­men­tal re­vi­sion of Syria pol­icy may be in the off­ing. All this will un­doubt­edly af­fect how Europe does busi­ness with the regime in Da­m­as­cus. France, for ex­am­ple, has al­ready s

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

fore, sug­gest a fun­da­men­tal re­vi­sion of Syria pol­icy may be in the off­ing. All this will un­doubt­edly af­fect how Europe does busi­ness with the regime in Da­m­as­cus. France, for ex­am­ple, has al­ready sig­nif­i­cantly soft­ened its ap­proach to Syria. Un­der Pres­i­dent Jac­ques Chirac, the French gov­ern­ment worked with the United States to iso­late Syria af­ter the 2005 as­sas­si­na­tion of Le­banese politi- iso­la­tion, Da­m­as­cus has be­gun to drift back into po­lite so­ci­ety. When the heads of the Mediter­ranean states met in Paris in July 2008, Mr. As­sad was a highly vis­i­ble fix­ture — and a much-sought party guest.

And the gains have not been sim­ply po­lit­i­cal. In the wake of his suc­cess­ful visit to Paris, the Syr­ian pres­i­dent has opened ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Paris-based Air­bus to pur­chase jet­lin­ers to per­mit­ted Boe­ing to go ahead with a re­quested re­pair of the two Syr­ian jets that were taken out of ser­vice in 2008.

The decades-old pat­tern em­braced by the Syr­ian regime has been to pocket con­ces­sions and re­spond with speeches, dec­la­ra­tions and in­ten­tions — but rarely with pos­i­tive ac­tions. Mr. Sarkozy ef­fec­tively ended Syria’s in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion based on the be­lief that the

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