That's the logical outcome of the Obama administration's current policies.
17 March '10
Last week, one of Syria's government news organs riffed on the title of my book The Strong Horse; Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations. "The American president," Al Tharwa wrote, "was betting on the sick horse." Instead of siding with Syria's Hamas allies, Obama was backing the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas. From Damascus' perspective, the description also applies to the United States' other Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms, as well as to Egypt and Jordan. These states are ready to be put out to pasture, while it is Iran's "axis of resistance," including Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Syria itself, that represents the rising power.
OK, maybe the regime in Damascus hasn't actually read my book. I lifted the title from Osama Bin Laden, anyway. "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse," said Bin Laden, "by nature, they will like the strong horse." But the Syrian appraisal confirms my thesis—in the Middle East, political power is the prerogative of those who take it and maintain it by both the appearance and application of force. In this instance, unfortunately, what's good for my book is very bad for U.S. interests and allies—and for American citizens.
Related: Strong Horse Politics
As it turns out, the Syrians have a point. Saudi Arabia has the world's largest known oil reserves, and Egypt is the most populous Arab state, but they are no longer regional powerhouses, at least in the way the Arabic-speaking Middle East has typically registered power over the last 60-plus years—that is, as willingness to fight Israel. Cairo and Amman have peace treaties with Israel, the Palestinian Authority is involved in an on-again-off-again peace process, while Riyadh has opted to remain on the sidelines. This collective weakness is just the way that Washington ordained it four decades ago.
(Read full article)
In Appreciation - Israel (and a bit on BBC)
2 days ago