Regions / Syria
The U.S. has long considered Syria the most intractable of Israels front-line neighbors due to its autocratic government, links to terrorists, and virulent anti-Israel posture.
In the run-up to the June 6 Baath Party Congress, Syrian President Bashar al-Asad is torn by competing forces.
But from all the attention it has received as the fighting in Iraq has diminished, one has the impression that Syria is a major threat to the United States.
The Bush administration claims against Syria's involvement in Iraq are off-base.
The desire to maintain a course independent of overbearing Western influence, the insistence on having the Golan returned and a desire to maintain greater social equality than found elsewhere in the Arab world goes far beyond the late president.
There is little hope for real progress in the Israeli-Syrian peace talks unless the Clinton Administration is willing to uphold human rights and international law.