America has taken a hard line on the Syrians just yesterday, ''The United States recalled its ambassador to Syria on Tuesday, expressing ''profound outrage'' amid growing suspicion that Damascus was involved in a massive bombing in Lebanon that killed Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.'' (from: U.S. recalls ambassador from Syria) Also from the same article: '''The Syrian problem is a serious problem,' she said. 'Our problems with the Syrian government are not new.' Among the problems, Rice said, were support for terrorism and for insurgents in Iraq.''
Well, that sounds pretty grim and like we mean business. But what REALLY would send a message to Syria is if we cut them out of the torture subcontracting loop. Whenever talk of America sending people out of the country for torture, Syria's name always comes up. ''Since 11 September 2001, the CIA has been systematically seizing suspects and sending them, without legal process, not only to Guantanamo Bay but to authorities in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Human rights campaigners say the system, officially known as ''extraordinary rendition'' is a system of torture by proxy.'' From: Britain accused over CIA's secret torture flights or ''According to federal records, Bayard Foreign Marketing is the newest owner of a U.S.-registered Gulfstream V executive jet reportedly used since Sept. 11, 2001, to transport suspected Al Qaeda operatives to countries such as Egypt and Syria, where some of them claim to have later been tortured.
The Central Intelligence Agency has declined to discuss the plane. But one retired CIA officer said that he understood the Gulfstream had been operated by the Joint Special Operations Command, an interagency unit that organizes counterterrorist operations in conjunction with the CIA and military special forces.'' From: Mysterious jet tied to torture flights.
So Syria appears to be one of our nations soul mates when it comes to torturing people who MIGHT be terrorists. You have to assume that real money is changing hands to finance this contract torture in America's name and this loss of income could be a REAL blow to Syria, much more than some symbolic pulling of an Ambassador.
So we will know things are serious between Syria and the U.S. when Condi comes out with a statement like, ''Syria has been removed from our list of preferred torture providers until further notice, or at least until nobody is paying attention''.