The reports out of Damascus this morning about an attack on the US embassy there are most interesting.
Syria is a proper police state, as it has to be to keep Bashar al-Assad and his minority Alawite government in power. The Syrian police organizations, in particular the Political Security Directorate (Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi) are supposed to keep tabs on all organized political activity -- which certainly covers terrorism. If the Syrian chekists are up to their job: there should be no political or social formulation in the country not penetrated by police spies and informants -- if there is, Boy Assad needs to purge his police, yesterday, because they are the only thing keeping him in the Presidential Palace, and out of a ditch someplace.
So the embassy attack raises some interesting questions. Did the Syrian authorities know of the attack in advance ? Of course they did -- if the police are on top of their jobs. . .which tells us that Boy Assad either has a death wish, or is certain that we will not respond.
If the Syrian government did not know of the attack before it happened -- then it tells is that the secret police is inept, or co-opted by persons who are not loyal to the regime.
US intelligence is probably even now pouring over the communications intelligence out of Damascus: which should indicate if Boy Assad is the villain here, or soon to be cashing in his burial policy.
UPDATE: Reports that the Syrian police fought off the attack make the incompetence possibility look stronger. A Chinese diplomat was wounded, which makes the business look even worse from the government's perspective. China is generally friendly to the Syrian regime. Police states shouldn't be in the position of relying on last lines of defense like the diplomatic quarter guards and the paramilitary police. Underground groups should be infiltrated and stopped beforehand. Why wasn't this bunch ?