"...Fearful of the consequences of permitting Washington to lead from behind, Saudis and Qataris are pushing Washington from behind — to support their sectarian agenda or to stay out of the way. As a consequence, from the first days of Syria's troubles, they have been ahead of the policy curve. The “half men” of the Gulf reject any compromise with Assad and have reserved money and arms in support of the sole option — a brutal end to the Assad regime, if not its Sunni leadership — leaders such as Manaf Tlass and former Prime Minister Riad Hijab, who not too long ago formed its backbone. Failing that, it is enough to see Syria under Assad descend into the kind of chaotic penury that increasingly defines life in the country — and that at the very least will exact increasing opportunity costs upon Assad's friends in Baghdad and Tehran, and embolden their friends in Anbar and elsewhere. The latest statements by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal that an Assad role in a negotiated transition is “inconceivable” should be seen in this context.For those looking to tip the scales against Baghdad, victory in Syria need not be complete — the regime need not fall — in order for the policy to redeem itself. The current situation, unbearable to many as it is, also signifies an achievement: weakening Damascus also weakens Baghdad. ..."
Monday, January 28, 2013
"For those looking to tip the scales against Baghdad, victory in Syria need not be complete ..."
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 11:21 AM