Saturday, February 27, 2010
If this isn't the Axis of Dirtbags, I don't know what would be.
The head of the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has made a rare public appearance in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Sheikh Nasrallah attended a dinner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...
After bilateral talks on Thursday, President Assad said Syria and Iran were working together to confront "Israeli terrorism".
Both leaders dismissed US calls for Syria to distance itself from Iran, emphasising their "deep and brotherly" ties.
The meeting came a week after the US signalled an attempt to improve ties with Syria, sending a senior official to Damascus for talks and nominating a new ambassador after the withdrawal of his predecessor five years ago.
I respectfully suggest that this very public breaking of the bread is an intentional signal that the Obama administration's risible "strategy" (for which liberal editorialists have fallen hook, line, and sinker) of prising Syria from Iran is, indeed, a waste of time (the link is worth your time). Unfortunately, when Hope is a strategy, nobody notices little inconvenient truths. Our administration seemingly fears "violence" or, Allah forfend, war -- even somebody else's war -- more than any other consequence, so it falls back on wishful thinking. If there is an inviolate core of Carterism, that is it.
Separately, this meeting captures Hezbollah's status as both a proxy and a client of the Islamic Republic, neither beyond influence nor entirely under control. The most instructive anecdote occurred shortly after September 11, when then-president Mohammad Khatami (the once and future "reformer") summoned the leaders of Hezbollah to Tehran to quiz them about possible involvement in the attack.
If this remarkable anecdote is true -- and Ansari is a very credible scholar, so the odds are in favor of it being true -- we have learned three fairly obvious things about Hezbollah and Iran. First, if the president of Iran -- even a lame duck "moderate" president such as Mohammad Khatami -- "summons" Hezbollah leaders to Tehran, they come when called. In this sense, at least, Iran controls Hezbollah. Second, five years ago the president of Iran believed that Hezbollah might have had both the will and the means to pull off the attacks of September 11. If the president of Iran had to satisfy himself that Hezbollah might have attacked the United States directly, then it is safe to say that Iran believes Hezbollah is capable of a lot of violence. Third, Khatami believed that they might have launched those attacks without consulting Tehran in advance. That belief implies that the relationship is hardly master-servant.
Syria is, of course, an essential component in that relationship because of geography and its own ambitions within Lebanon. That explains why the Obama administration would like to break apart the triple alliance, and why it will not be able to do so short of war.
Gee...I thought the "real" war was in Afganistan. I'm shocked!!
I guess, sooner or later, they would have to get together to discuss what to do with all of Saddam's WMD's that were moved into Syria whilst the UN went thru 10 "last warnings" over several years.
I'm sure Obama is all ears 9pun intended).
Remind me again why encouraging the Israelis to nuke Damascus would be a bad idea...that's right, less than 150 miles between Tel Aviv and Damascus, I almost forgot.
Why exactly would it be a good idea for Israel to give the Golan Heights back to Syria again?