What you sow, you may reap. Keep that in mind. The government of Hafez Assad, which for years has made just about everybody's all-world list of terrorist nations, has raked in $1 billion so far from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oil states for climbing aboard the anti-Iraq bandwagon. But, as Times Washington correspondent Jim Mann's recent report made clear, the Syrians appear not to be spending the money for schools, clinics or culture.
What they've been shopping for is more in the way of weapons that could be used to intimidate or attack their neighbors, primarily Israel.
On Assad's shopping list are more MIG-29 and SU-24 fighter planes from the Soviet Union, and maybe columns of new tanks from Eastern Europe's cash-hungry former Communist states, at least some of which aren't likely to run an extensive morals check on the buyer.
Assad is also in the market for surface-to-surface missiles. Israel is said to believe that Syria is now the proud owner of Soviet-made Scud-C missiles--courtesy of the obliging North Koreans. It's possible that a Scud-C could hit western Iraq, but with a range of 300 miles, it could certainly land almost anywhere in Israel.