Ironic, isn't it? That now Obama had to tighten, instead of easing, sanctions imposed on Syria purportedly to penalize it for exporting or supporting international terrorism. The irony was just when the overture by the administration to Syria was to create a wedge in the Iran-Syria relationship started to show some, albeit minor result (President Bashar Al-Assad, while not a friend of Israel, had seen fit to show restrain, if not goodwill, in the relationship between the two country, even after Israel bombed its budding nuclear bomb-making plant and by extension, its nuclear ambition, to smithereens), this had to happen. Syria which wisely decided not to burn the bridges with the West, was now forced into a corner. To partly join Iran and partly to stay independent would be ideal, and had so far served its interests well, but may not be sustainable, not now anyway.
With protesters motivated by the ease with which their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt had earlier disposed of their long time dictators, President Bashar Assad needed to emulate his late father to decisively crush the uprising once and for all, or else...Now more than ever, he'd need Iran's help, Hezbollah's help, and Hamas' help, beside his own army's, to survive. Even Israeli leaders opined that the only way Bashar was going to survive was not through giving concessions (no protesters having won concessions and smelling of victory could ever be satisfied), but through decisive suppression.
And President Bashar looked good to continue to helm Syria like his father.
Although Bashar and his counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt and to a lesser extent, Bahrain and Oman, were victims of contagion effect of pro-democracy and universal human rights awakening started by the then newly elected president of the United States, Barrack Hussein Obama, during his famous
Of course, this last sentence was heard loud and clear throughout the Arab world.
Although they hadn't been in constant consultations, and some may be even not on speaking term, these autocrats had something in common. They had Obama to thank for their predicament.
Any leader whose followers are prone to shout out Allah u Akbar! Allah u Akbar was not and will never be Obama's cup of tea. Leaders like President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and Afghanistan's president Hamid Khazai
So, it all boiled down, as far as Obama's concerned, to whether you're strong or dangerous or not; doable or not. If you have nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood, or protected by them, expect trouble from Obama. Col. Qaddafi's mistake was to openly condemn Islamic fighters sponsored by AlQaeda or Muslim Brotherhood for helping the Benghazi rebels to fight him, letting the cat out of the bag. It was all Obama needed to hear. Obama was dithering at the beginning of the uprising in Libya not because he'd any sympathy for Qaddafi, but because he's not sure whom he's taking on. He may be accused of being a weak president, that doesn't mean he's totally helpless. As commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the world's only superpower, what's more, with the unique capabilities he said, he could defeat anyone -- except the Muslim Brotherhood.
Whether or not President Obama intervenes in Syria will be his decision alone. If he decides to stop dithering and acts to prevent the premature death of (after all) his pet doctrine to promote democracy, he however wades into unknown water. There's no doubt President Bashar Al-Assad intended to stay in power and would do anything to achieve that. As proven against Israeli army in Lebanon, Syrian army will not be a push-over. It has leverage over and loyalty of Hezbollah to count on, among others. If President Obama could be henpecked by Susan Rice, Samantha Powers and Hillary Clinton again into action in Syria, the American people will likely wake up to another Afghanistan; only for this one Iran will not clandestinely fight America through sabotage like in Iraq, but fight Uncle Sam eyeballs to eyeballs.The stakes are high. If Syria (I mean the Bashar government) goes down, so does Iran's influence in the Middle East. Lebanon could be next, followed by Hezbollah and Its leader Hassan Nasrallah.
This will be wishful thinking in futility, Iran was and is a proud nation, it has never been stronger, even one million deaths during the war with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, it was never vanquished. Whatever Saddam threw at them -- mustard gas or other chemical weapons -- Iran stood firm, and it, in the end, prevailed.
The Syrian quagmire, if it ever becomes that, for America it could be its undoing. The billions that would have to be spent, the thousands of men and women in uniforms who'll have to meet an early death, will bring this nation to its knees and its great economy ruined like never before. The end of the American dream, if you will.
That's another wishful thinking. President Obama can be persuaded by many people, including even women who call him boss, to do many things he would normally not do, but for them to try to advise or push him to do anything that in any way jeopardizes his reelection to another four-year term, would be futile.
The increasing clamor for action in Syria, coupled with genuine argument that if in Libya, why not in Syria, could be quite persuasive, "tempting, but No! Someone please call Alejandro instead. I have fund raising to do, campaign forays to plan, and John McCain and Kerry to meet to thank them for their unflinching support, especially the former for his forays into Libya on my behalf. Well done, Senator John McCain, well done."
What a wishful thinking!