A meeting between Mubarak of Egypt, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and Assad of Syria will take place shortly in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. This is the first time Assad steps on Egyptian soil in almost five years.
From all accounts, the meeting is being held to discuss the fears Assad has from a new war that could erupt between Syria and Israel. In the last few months, Israel has threatened Assad, for the first time in its 62-year existence and on several occasions, directly and publicly with regime change. Knowing well he cannot withstand a hit, Assad is running to hide behind the skirts of Mubarak and Abdullah.
If history is a lesson to learn from, the chances are extremely high that Assad will make the necessary promises to relieve his regime from the international pressure being exerted upon him today. One that erupted as a result of his transfer of SCUD missiles to Hezbollah.
I anticipate he will promise Mubarak what Mubarak asks for and he will promise Abdullah what Abdullah asks for, in return of course, for their influence with Washington and Israel to allow him the room to extricate himself from his past behavior. It is my expectation, as well, that Assad will fly back to Damascus with a grin on his face.
Mubarak and Abdullah must press him for more than conciliatory empty words. Like the IAEA inspects for nuclear weapons, Mubarak and Abdullah must cement, during this meeting, a framework of inspection by which Assad is held accountable for his promises.
There is no more wiggle room for any additional risks to be taken, including one that involves Assad’s support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and for his outrageous behavior in Iraq and Lebanon. He is just a kid in a candy store gone haywire from all the sugar he ate. If the international community cannot control a wild kid, how are we expected to reign-in the Mullahs in Iran?
Do not believe Assad and do not trust him. Tighten the rope around his neck and do not release until he feeds from the palm of your hands.