Sunday, November 26, 2006

Learning from the Dodo

Dum as a Dodo.

This is an unfair characterization

Dodos were very smart animals within the context of their own island, in a predator-free environment. Dodos tended to walk towards humans, pushed by their curiosity; not only would they easily get killed, they kept coming back.

Humans being the apex predator, the Dodos were slaughtered to extinction by mariners. They did not have time to adapt.

Nations too, Adapt Poorly

The Syrian regime is very smart. Through brute force and sheer ferocity, the Assad clan has not only managed to control Syria, but also to extend its power over Lebanon. This was easy achieved in the context of the cold war, and the aftermath of the 1967 Arab defeat. Two things helped;

The first was a combination of the Levantine intrigues of Lebanese politicians, and the never ending Byzantine squabbles of a bickering populace.

The second was the United States need for regional stability, even at the price of Lebanese freedom. After all, to paraphrase dear Henry; if you want to call Lebanon, which phone number do you dial?

Today, the Environment Changed:

Two important events have taken place since the fall of the Berlin wall.

First, the Cold war is over, leaving the United States as the apex power in the world.

Second, oil demand is growing, and supply is decreasing. Yes, there is less oil than before; only high prices have rendered cost-effective previously un-exploitable sources. In this context, Middle East reserves are ever more vital. For a country that holds to the Monroe Doctrine of “Eminent Domain”, this means control over the Middle East.

So, you may assassinate all you want, you cannot anymore shoot a Gemayel like you shot a Delamarre, and you cannot anymore blow up a Hariri like you blew up the Marine Barracks.

Demonstrate all you want, you cannot illegitimately remove Siniora in 2006/2007 like you illegally removed Aoun in 1990/1991.

At least, until you do as Uncle Sam says.

Luckily for Lebanon, you have not YET adapted to the new environment. Instead, you seem to hope that the environment will change.

If you think the Democrats will change US policy, think again.

Think Fast. Think FASTER.

But I hope you don’t.

Otherwise, that light at the end of the tunnel might well be a train coming our way…

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