US Fiddles; Syria Burns; Iran’s Key Allies Call White House Bluff
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  • Rob Thiebeau

    I hope they have a chance to interrupt the President between the 9th and 10th hole on Fort Belvoir today… While he’s getting a sammich.

  • jeburke

    Perhaps a prolonged region-wide battle between radical Sunni Islamists and the Assad-Hezbollah-Iran axis would weaken both. In any case, there seems to be precious little the US can do about any of this besides confer and scold if it is (properly and smartly) unwilling to use force.

  • Jim Luebke

    “The one thing President Obama most wants to avoid in the Middle East—a naked choice between accepting a nuclear Iran or taking military action against it—draws inexorably closer as a result of White House choices.”

    So the upshot of all of this is, this administration is inept at using the “soft power” that so enthralls them?

  • Pete

    “As America dithers ..”

    Dithers?

    Earth to Mead. Hello. The U.S. is not the world’s policeman anymore. To dither implies that we have a responsibility to put an end to this Muslim hate-feat. Wrong.

    Yes, Obama has been an unmitigated disaster domestically for America. But give the devil his due. Obama is to be credited for his ‘lead from behind’ foreign policy as it is a transition to an America that cares more or itself and its resources (blood and treasure) than it does for elevating the Arab world into the modern era.

    Can you imagine if we had a warmongering fanatic like John McCain in the White House.

  • BrianFrankie

    >> Israel has already carried out airstrikes in Syria to stop weapons transfers from the Assad government to Hezbollah; with more Hezbollah forces fighting more openly in Syria, the chances of deeper Israeli involvement in the war also rise sharply. <<
    And is not this one of the more intriguing possibilities? I'm sure some bright young Israeli Major is sitting in the IDF planning rooms right now looking at various maps. With more than 2000 Hezbollah troops engaged in Syria, out of a total front line cadre of 5000, an Israeli armored thrust from the Golan into the southern Bekaa, followed by a pivot through the moutains to the coast, would isolate all Hezbollah positions south of Sidon, without the possibility of significant support from Iran and Assad.
    A couple of months work, and the Israelis could probably destroy three quarters or more of the Hezbollah arsenal – a large majority of their short range missiles and anti tank weaponry. With the current state of regional affairs, it would be years, if ever, before Hezbollah could rearm. Certainly, they would be de-fanged for the duration of the resolution of the Iran nuclear issue, which would allow the Israelis a simpler task if they ever decided to pre-emptively strike.
    Unlikely? Yes. High risk? Lord, yes, in uncountable ways. Certainly, it would provoke a huge outcry in international fora. But unthinkable? Not to my mind, and I'm sure the same thought has occured to a number of people. I'd guess that right now a number of Hezbollah commanders are looking at the same maps as that Israeli Major with very worried expressions on their faces.

  • ljgude

    I think that if we see the Syrian conflict as a civil war within the ranks of our totalitarian adversaries we can find a way to act in our self interest. I don’t think the US (either under Bush or Obama) has recognized that Totalitarianism, whether in Iran, China and North Korea, or Russia, or Saudi Arabia or for that matter Venezuela and Cuba is our long term opponent. As was pointed out in a recent post by WRM China is poaching on our turf in Trinidad and Tobago! The Chinese seem to get it.

  • If US actions, or inactions, have served to flush out Hezbollah’s support for the murderous Assad regime, they should be counted as a plus. If Hezbollah wants to fight the salafists to their ends, I am not sure there is anything we should or could do to discourage them.

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