Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Welcome news to Bashar al-Assad"

"... American strategists see two wars in Syria today: the highly visible ghastly one between Assad and the opposition, and the less noticed, but potentially consequential one between the extremist and moderate wings of the opposition. For some time now, the view in the Obama administration has been that it is the second war that matters most to American interests, and if the United States is to intervene, it should do so to deny an extremist victory.The Russian position is that if the goal is the rout of extremists, then Assad is best positioned to do the job. Washington is not ready to admit that, but by buying into the same argument in Egypt and standing back for Assad to defeat the opposition, it could signal that it is open to embracing a future for the Middle East in its past. First Egypt, then Syria, will be back in the corner of the containment of Islamism strategy, a destructive and dangerous dance between ruling dictatorships and extremist oppositions. In Egypt last month, the Arab Spring came full circle, and now US Middle East policy is poised to do the same...."

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