Powered by WebAds

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How Obama doomed Lebanon

Jonathan Spyer explains how President Obumbler left Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri no choice but to reconcile with Syria.
The Hizbullah-led opposition conditioned their agreeing to join the coalition on the Hariri visit. But this condition was originally agreed to, according to reports, by Saudi King Abdullah, during his visit to Damascus in October. This visit was a gesture of rapprochement by the Saudis to the Syrians. The main backer of Hariri and March 14 appears at that point to have signaled Saudi willingness to concede its clients to the pro-Syrian interest in Lebanon.


Why should the Saudis choose to begin to engage with Iran's main Arab allies - the Syrians - against the US-aligned Iraqis? Riyadh's own patron, after all, is the United States.

Here one arrives at the crux of the matter. Although the Obama administration has hesitated before rushing headlong into renewing relations with Damascus, it has undertaken a series of gestures that have demonstrated that any real policy of isolation is over. This goes hand in hand with the broader regional stance of the administration of attempting "engagement" with the Iranian regime.

Far from signaling to Middle Eastern powers that a new world of cooperation is about to commence, what this US stance conveys to friends and foes in the region is that Washington no longer has the stomach for holding fast against the bid by Iran and its allies for regional hegemony.

The clients, and the clients of the clients, therefore move to make their accommodation with the changed reality. Unlike the Obama administration, they understand that the dominion of force is not going to end any time soon in the Middle East. The only question is - whose force will it be?

So if the small dominoes like Hariri are falling, it is because the larger ones are pushing them. Reversing this process, meanwhile, would require a general re-think of the current assumptions guiding western policy in the Middle East.
Read the whole thing. Obama's attempts to 'engage' Syria and Iran have told the countries of this region that they are on their own. The only country in this region that is not attempting to cozy up to Syria or Iran is Israel. For us, cozying up to Syria or Iran would literally be suicidal. But everyone else in this region is leaving the American sphere of influence, which no longer provides any protection, and going over to the Syrian/Iranian camp.

What could go wrong?


At 7:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

They're going over to the stronger horse. And they know the West would betray them, too. After all they see the West making deals with Iran and Syria. Why should they remain political virgins to make the West look good at their own expense?



Post a Comment

<< Home