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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Obama's hopeless approach to Syria

The Wall Street Journal gives several reasons why the Obama administration should drop its attempts to bring Syria in from the cold, but perhaps the most important reason is that Syria has nothing to offer in return.
As for Syria and Iran, their strategic separation makes sense in geopolitical concept. But in practice their ties won’t easily be severed. Mr. Assad’s sectarian Allawite regime fears its own Sunni people and massacred them by the thousands in the 1980s. Maintaining close ties to Shiite Hezbollah and Shiite Iran are key elements to Mr. Assad’s strategy of political survival. Unlike Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, Mr. Assad has given no signs of wanting to engage Israel on equal terms and still shelters the leader of Hamas in Damascus. We wonder what the Obama Administration can offer that would change that fundamental calculus.

The self-styled “realists” who now run U.S. foreign policy say there’s no harm in trying, but there could be if this latest American courtship turns into pressure on Israel for concessions. And conferring U.S. prestige on Mr. Assad is no incentive for him to behave less brutally at home. Mr. Obama believes his Presidency represents a fresh start for America in the world, but as nice as it would be to think so, Middle East history didn’t begin on January 20.
For the Obama administration, 'engagement' seems to be an end in and of itself. Obama is willing to 'engage' Syria even if Syria continues its ties to Iran, and continues to shelter terrorists, and even if the cost of 'engaging' Syria is forcing Israel down from the Golan Heights for nothing in return.

What could go wrong?


At 3:11 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

None other than Avigdor Lieberman said Israel should remain on the Golan Heights. There's nothing Syria can offer Israel that makes sacrificing the high ground practicable.


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