May 26, 2016

Does the West Have to Be So Weak on Syria … and Everywhere Else?

They’ve been saying it in Arabic, in public, for most of President Barack Obama’s term in office. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood said it in August 2010: he pointed to Obama’s weakness as a reason for launching a revolution. But the American mass media has ignored it all.

Syrian kids analyze Obama’s role and for the 2009-2012 period they are quite accurate; since then less so but still….

Well, now we have some leaked Syrian regime internal documents that make the same point. In talking points for President Bashar al-Assad prepared by his staff and given him on December 31, 2011, Assad is told to warn pro-Arab Western countries:

America has started to leave our region and there will be no ally left to you but your Syrian neighbor.

And Iran, of course, but Assad didn’t want to mention his non-Arab ally.

This is the line from Iran and Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood (including Hamas), and Hizballah. Saudis say it in public now; Israeli leaders say it in private. Opposition activists say it in Lebanon, Iran, and Turkey; opposition fighters say it in Syria.

The Egyptian regime knows that it can indict 16 Americans — including the son of a U.S. cabinet member — on espionage charges, and Obama will still provide its aid. And, in reaching a deal to let them leave the country, $4 million in American ransom.

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About Barry Rubin

Prof. Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)