What, already?

In less than a week Bashar al-Assad has managed to piss off both the French President, and Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Lebanon and human rights were the stumbling blocks, it seems. Bashar, unsurprisingly, wants complete freedom to screw everybody he wants to in these two countries, not to mention Iraq and Gaza. Some of us have known that for a long time, but some had to find out on their own, I reckon. But the end result is the same: it is the end of engagement, or at least, this particular foolish phase of it.  Continue reading

Rosy Scenarios & Regional Realities!

The Saudis, led by prince Bandar, seems to be doing a really great job trying to break up the HISH Alliance. They are doing this by engaging both the weakest and strongest links in the Alliance. Indeed, and rather than trying to wean the proven hopeless Assads off of their dependence on Iran and Hezbollah, as the pro-engagement crowd in the US was want to do, the Saudis went straight to the source, to the puppet-masters themselves, and showed them the wisdom of divesting themselves from the pesky and troublemaking Assads. In the meantime, they managed to sponsor an important summit in Mecca in which they sponsored a deal between the warring factions in Gaza, and reestablished their patronage over the weakest link in the Alliance – Hamas. Continue reading

Heretical Nuances!

This is a link to some very interesting interview in Damascus with one of the leaders of the Iraqi Sunni insurgents. It shows very clearly how openly the Assads support the insurgents. Still, I seriously doubt whether this revelation will have much influence over the ongoing debate over engaging the Assads, seeing that pro-engagement groups will point to it as an additional reason for why the US should engage the Assads, while those who stand against engagement will see in it a further evidence of why the Assads should be punished rather than engaged. Continue reading

The Death of Moderation!

What can be said about the current developments in Lebanon except that we might be seeing the prelude to a civil war?What could really be more telling than this?

But yes, I can praise the March 14 forces for showing so much restraint and from refraining to challenge the current show of force by Hezbollah and supporters, the pro-Syria demonstrators, by mounting an equally impressive show of their own. But this will be adding more fuel to the fire, and already several agents provocateurs, some of which reportedly Syrian, have been involved in trying to steer the crowds into doing something stupid such as storming the Serail. The restraint shown by the March 14 forces is indeed wise and commendable. Continue reading

A Tragicomedy of Errors!

Voices are being raised on a daily basis tying progress in resolving the current situation in Iraq and the standoff with Iran to a peaceful conclusion of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The most recent such call came from none other than Graham Fuller writing in the Winter issue of the Washington Quarterly (not available on the Internet). But, and while Fuller makes many excellent arguments with regard to the current dynamics in the region, his perspective, albeit far more nuanced and inclusive than most, is still too narrow. Continue reading

The HISHee Rebellion!

The assassination of Pierre Gemayel is not some haphazard ill-timed event, but a carefully calculated one meant to help push Lebanon further and further along the path of internal implosion. And the HISH (Hezbollah-Iran-Syria-Hamas) Alliance is definitely to blame here, the particular considerations related to their particular decision-making and implantation strategies notwithstanding. Continue reading