Rich Galen

U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner said, "The humanitarian situation there is quite grave. These are quite frankly barbaric measures. And they amount to the collective punishment of innocent civilians."

Yet … no NATO, no UN, no … nothin'.

Why? Because Syria has long been the loading dock for Iran's exports for support of terrorism especially in support of Lebanese extremists.

It's one thing for the United Nations to puff itself up and allow military action against Gaddafi's Libya. He's become isolated.

It is something else again to risk drawing Iran into a shooting war in support of Syria which shares borders with the aforementioned Turkey, as well as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel.

Even for those, like me, who read the Cliff Notes version of 1984, we know that if you are Iran the best way to keep your own population at bay (in addition to tanks) is to get into a war either against a common enemy or to defend a long-time ally.

Beginning a Libya-like offensive against Syria would, at a minimum, give the government of Iran a reason to mobilize against the Western "crusaders" and, at a maximum, launch an all-out attack against Israel on the grounds the Mossad is behind the Syrian unrest -which would be believed by about 137 percent of the Arabs and Persians in the region.

All that is to say, let's don't get drawn into esoteric arguments about Muslim burial techniques while losing focus on the bigger issues which still confront the world in the Middle East and North Africa.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Navy SEALS page, the BBC, the AP, and a map of the Middle East just to refresh your memory.

Also an interesting Mullfoto and a fascinating Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at