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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama about to dump Syria

Based on a Kuwaiti newspaper report, Michael Totten reports that President Obama may be done appeasing Syria. He is considering not sending the promised US ambassador to Syria because Syria has not held up its end of the bargain. The Syrians have continued to interfere in Lebanon and Iraq and to support terror throughout the region. Totten argues that an end to the US rapprochement with Syria is a good thing, because the Syrians never intended to hold up their end of the bargain anyway. It's against their nature.
Indeed, Assad and his father have made Syria an indispensable nation in the Middle East, despite its utter dearth of economic and military power, by exporting terrorism and suicide murder to neighboring countries. Henry Kissinger’s famous formulation, “No war without Egypt, no peace without Syria,” would be negated at once if Assad ceased and desisted his support for Palestinian, Lebanese, and Iraqi terrorist groups. Syria would become just another failed Soviet-style state with no more geopolitical power than Yemen.

The Obama administration has been a bit more accommodating of Assad than it should have been, but the same can be said for every American administration in recent decades. Barry Rubin warned about this possibility long before Barack Obama was even elected. “The next U.S. president might try to engage Syria and spend a year or so finding out that it doesn’t work,” he told me in 2007.

Bashar Assad does not play well with others, and he never has. Neither did his father. The Syrians, according to a U.S. official quoted by Abdul-Hussain, “don’t know the difference between normalizing relations and behaving like they’ve defeated the US in a world war.”

President Obama’s conciliatory nature meant a temporary rapprochement with Syria was likely, if not inevitable. Assad’s nature all but ensures it won’t last.
Two questions here: Why didn't Obama's foreign policy advisers predict that 'engaging' with Syria wouldn't work? It was obvious to everyone from the outset.

And how long will it take President Obumbler to figure out that 'engagement' with Iran won't work either?

Read the whole thing.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think it was a reaction to the Bush-era policy of treating enemies as enemies and Obama thought if you are nice to them they will reach out their hands too and reciprocate your niceness. The truth is America's enemies take her conciliatory efforts not as a sign of America's good nature but as a sign of weakness. When the good guy does not police the world, the bad guys end up filling the vacuum. Its good to see Obama waking up on Syria and we can only pray he will wake up on Iran before its too late,


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