Sunday, September 07, 2008

On the Way to Cannae...

La politique, c'est comme l'amour, il faut des grands sentiments et des petites intentions.

Bashar appears to understand this well, and all his grand talk about peace in the Middle East and fighting terror only hides a very pedestrian goal; to return to Lebanon.

An Odd Delusion

However, it appears many others choose to ignore this simple truth. This is an odd delusion. No wonder some suspect the devious intentions of those who insist on “prying Syria away from Iran”. And they would be right; some of those guys have ulterior motives, hoping that Bashar would grant what the Palestinians could never cede.

However, when it comes to the French and even Hezb, I prefer to reserve judgment; with Baku-Ceyhan back under Russian control (again), the core interests of an oil-obsessed West cannot accept continued Iranian alignment with Syria. It is odd that le Petit Nicolas did not hear this délicieuse petite phrase; not only was he nearby when Michele Barzach uttered it, but his Italian wife must surely have shared with him the disappointments of her compatriots

Is he rushing things?

Or is it just Manoeuvring?

Improving his hand for when the Americans come back?

It is also odd that Hezb is increasingly undermining the state. Yes, strategically, the party remains the antithesis of Lebanon; as the country’s being slowly gutted, this primus inter pares among our national sectarian groups will ultimately destroy it. However, tactically, they have an growing list of immediate concerns, so why add to them by attacking the Army, and vigorously defending Bashar?

Or is it just Hubris?

Do the leaders really believe their newspeak?

What Gives?

Those behaviours are odd.

From Hezb’s side, it is odd that their experienced military leadership is expanding the “line of contact”, and negating their advantages. Yes, the region’s political establishment is all but bankrupt, and would be easy target were they not propped by hype and easy oil money… But tactically, it would make sense to focus on the limited goal of consolidating their “home front”.

From the French side, most of their foreign policy has a mercantile bent, and there is little "hard" interest there; while the Lybian deals may be falling through, but Syria cannot afford enough Airbus planes to really matter. The French policies may owe more to a post-Bush mindset than to a genuine concern about Syria, a country whom most of those so-called analysts could not have placed on a map till Bashar’s assassination of Hariri.

You mean the tooth fairy didn’t do it?...

However, while George Bush will (deservedly) go down in history as the “worst president ever”, the criticism against him owes more to his incompetence in Iraq than to his invasion.

And yes, Bush is still right on Syria.

Random chance?...

Even Gebran “Kélém” Bassil appears to understand the need to keep a distance from the (not so) tired dictator.

...


1 comment:

Gus said...

Towards the end of yet another excellent analysis you make a very interesting point about US politics that evades most US citizens.

The paradox is that most deride the Bush administration for the Iraq war and so are demanding an end to this adventure. Yet most of the same who are opposed to the war are the ones who lent their support for the war when it was initially declared. Their change in position is not due to the fact that the war was waged on wrong premises but simply they cannot accept the cost in lives, money and materiel especially because they think that the "occupation" has been bungled.
Yes you are right Jeha, what appears to be a movement against the Iraq war is in essense a movement by those who object to what happened after the occupation. Had the US managed to pacify Iraq then very few would be demanding an end to a war of choice.