mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Sunni Coalition
Turkey & Saudi Arabia Form Pact to Take Down Assad
Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Ellen

    This is the price for Obama’s leading from behind, or to be more accurate, not leading at all. All the media parrots who praised Obama for his cautious thoughtfulness in not reacting too quickly to developments blah, blah, blah are now going to see what price will be paid by Obama and US regional influence by all that caution and thoughtfulness. Not only will the Assad regime fall – that was a foregone conclusion already for years by anyone with a grasp of the relative demographic weights of Alawites and Sunnis in Syria, and their relative ability to persevere through years of war. The militias that emerge triumphant from this war will be the ones least likely to be ProAmerican (ie, Nusra). Nor will the Turks and Saudis be much interested in heeding American advice in the future on any issue of regional security.

    This is the true price of Obama’s serial misjudgments in the Levant and his mindless adoption of Persian imperialism as the antidote to the ongoing collapse of the Arab state system. And we haven’t even discussed what the Israeli right wing thinks of Obama – which is probably very much the same as the Saudis and Turks. Well goodbye Pax Americana in the Middle East.

    • Blackbeard

      All very true except for the part about the media now seeing the price to be paid by Obama’s incompetent leadership. With a few exceptions the media is totally invested in liberal groupthink and, will never see, or admit, how they were so willingly duped. Historians will see it of course and will marvel at our collective stupidity but we’re going to have to wait a while for that.

      • Ellen

        Sadly, you’re probably right. It will be future historians who will wonder how our intellectual elite were so taken with the Obama phenomenon that they didn’t see from the very beginning that he was way out of his depth.

        • fastrackn1

          “his depth”

          Which as we all know is less than that of a jigger….

        • f1b0nacc1

          I have stepped in deeper puddles

    • JR

      i don’t share your pessimism. Yes, mistakes are being made. And yes, they are very costly. But it the longer term, with the fracking technology, North America is, for all intents, energy self-sufficient. Which given the size of our economy, cutting-edge R&D in weaponry (with assist from the JUUUUUIIIICE) and dominant electronic communications intercept capabilities marks USA as still the biggest, baddest kid on the block. People everywhere, but ME above all places, are pragmatists. I’m sure that ruffled feathers will become a lot less ruled when there are large stacks of $100 bills being passed around.

      • Ellen

        It’s not the money alone that made America a great power. The Saudis afterall spread money around like cream cheese on a bagel, pardon the comparison. It has not made them effective in the past 4 years in blocking Iranian expansionism. Just throwing money at things gets you nowhere fast as with the hapless Syrian rebels, until the recent intervention of Turkey in the North and Israel in the south. The money disappears into private pockets and bank accounts in Europe, or funds massacres of civilians that does nothing to achieve the war aims of the rebels, which is decapitating the Alawite dictatorship and driving Iran out of the Levant. The PLO has been receiving billions of dollars every year for 22 years and has accomplished exactly what? Nothing, except enriching a small corrupt cadre of people around Abbas, and elevating support for Hamas.

        The rebels are winning now because of the intervention of powers that know how to organize military movements, run a government, and provide a sense of positive purpose to disparate actors who otherwise are inclined to slaughter non- Sunni people with no productive end goal. It’s the soft power, the sense of purpose, and managerial competence that gave America its stature in the Mideast, plus of course – great technology and skilled people who know how to use it.
        Obama has no sense of purpose other than diminishing American power, he is a befuddled professor brainwashed by political correctness who can’t see the world as it really is, but rather how it was described to him by his radical white mentors and Reverend Wright. What a pathetic representative of American leadership on the world stage. In the MidEast, American influence is mostly gone and will not come back. It still survives in Europe only because the Europeans are even more pathetic than the Obamoids.

  • JR

    The problem is not that Obama is leading from behind. The problem is that Obama Administration is the most pro-Iran entity that is based outside of Iran. Take out obvious Iranian proxies, who is more pro-Iran? We are seeing old enemies become friends again. 🙂 Is large scale conventional war in the ME really such a bad idea? Iran/Iraq found in 80’s for close to entire decade and it was a’ight.

    • Ellen

      Large scale and long-term warfare in the MidEast will be the most visible foreign policy legacy of Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Somebody should have the courage and decency to ask him to give the damn prize back. Of all the hypocrisies of Western liberalism, that has to be at the top. By supporting Iran’s quest for empire under the guise of nuclear negotiations, he will bring incalculable destruction to the Levant. And who will benefit the most? The 2 parties he most despises – the Jews and the Kurds. Good. He had it coming.

    • bannedforselfcensorship

      Iran and Iraq both sought WMDs from that conflict.

      • JR

        In ME, there are no perfect solutions. Everything comes with a big BUT attached to it. India and Pakistan are mortal enemies and yet them having nuclear weapons hasn’t resulted in nuclear war. Time will tell. But there is a growing sense that Iranians might have overplayed their hand. Which makes sense since Sunni outnumber Shia like 9:1. My larger point is that I don’t think government in the ME see a large scale conventional proxy war as a bad thing. Lots of surplus people get killed off. Better it be done via states than via purely religious factions.

  • gabrielsyme

    I’m going out on a limb to suggest that allies aiding al-Qaeda ought to be a line in the sand. Afghanistan was invaded for basically that very reason.

    • dawnsblood

      They probably felt they had no choice. They waited for Washington to do something constructive for years now. Bombing is something I suppose but it wasn’t hurting Assad at all. The Saudis and the Turks really hate him. They want him gone. So they decided to do it their way.

      • gabrielsyme

        I’ve noticed a current of eliminationist sentiment among many Sunni Arabs (and Pakistanis & Afghanis) towards the Shia. Assad has been vicious, but certainly not genocidal in any degree, whereas the rhetoric of the Syrian rebels has been of a final victory over the enemies of Islam, etcetera. ISIS isn’t the only group eager to exact vengeance on the real and perceived supporters of Assad, and we could easily see massacres on a grand scale if the Syrian government forces collapse.

        • dawnsblood

          It seems we have seen massacres on a grand scale in Homs along with other places I am sure. The Syrian armed forces have played a role (at least in Homs). To the best of my knowledge only the Syrians have and have used chemical weapons in the civil war thus far.

          If memory serves the Saudis and Turks are not the first outside powers to choose a side here. Assad already has the backing of the Iranians and the Russians (though I think the Russians are really just delivering arms bought by Iran). So they are just piling in on the other side. Reminds me of lots of other civil wars through history, the Saudis and the Turks just picked the other. Neither the government or the ‘rebels’ strike me as a good horse to bet on.

          But since Washington did not fix it our two erstwhile allies feel the need to do something. With no good choices, they chose the one that seems least bad in their eyes. I’d have prefered everyone stay out and let Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dumber duke it out but I think that time has passed.

          Now what should the US do? I have no clue to be honest. I guess bombing ISIS while letting everyone else kill each other is a ‘can’t hurt’ choice. I do not have access to zillions of dollars worth of intelligence like the government does to make a better choice. But I doubt I’d choose to claim to help the ‘good’ rebels while in reality doing practically nothing on that front (the US’s choice).

  • bannedforselfcensorship

    Anyone else getting the vibe that the Sunnis want to finish up on the Western Front because they want to send those troops to the Eastern Front?

  • http://www.librarything.com/profile/Bretzky1 Brett Champion

    This only matters to the US because we have stuck our noses into things that didn’t concern us in the past. Staying out is the best thing we could do for the American people.

  • Kathrina Dimacale

    Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank saudi arabia form to fill out?

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service