Monday, September 30, 2013

"Assad would stay & Iran would not be dismantled but emerge strengthened"

"... After the 2006 Lebanon war, Saudi Arabia took further fright at the mounting popularity of Iran and Hezbollah within its own Sunni streets. Revolutionary Islam seemed to be gaining the upper hand. And – finally, the straw that broke the camel's back for the Gulf states: the outbreak of Arab upheaval of 2011, with its evident disdain for established authority. Gulf states decided to do whatever it takes to halt Iran and the new currents of thinking (such as a rising Muslim Brotherhood). Their very survival, it seemed, hinged on it. Overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad became the explicit cornerstone of this strategy of confronting Iran.But this Gulf containment strategy of igniting a Sunni "intifada" against Shia influence seems to have collapsed, as the Gulf monarchs absorb the significance of Barack Obama's U-turn on Syria, and the opening to Iran. What made it so traumatic was that not just Obama but the US system itself had buckled (public and Congress together). It represented rather a strategic lurch. President Assad would stay, and Iran would not be dismantled but emerge strengthened...."

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