From Via Media: ‘Iran And Turkey Rattle Sabers Over Syria’

Full post here.

‘The Iranians know that their regional influence is tied to Assad, and that they must either do damage control or lend even more forward military support to the embattled Syrian regime if they don’t want to see their sphere of influence shrink considerably. Turkey, in addition to having genuine counterterrorism motives, is also beginning to enjoy flexing its muscles as the presumptive new hegemon in the region.’

Meanwhile, Hezbollah, with ties to Iran, is active in the country on the ground, and is blowing things up elsewhere around the world (terrorism is one of the Iranian regime’s primary means of ‘Statecraft’).  The longer this goes on the worse it is.  The U.S. has committed itself under the present administration to a liberal internationalist doctrine which binds it to the U.N. (which has arguably made things worse).  It’s not clear what to do, but doing nothing may mean we have to do worse somethings down the road, as always.

See Also:  Michael Totten’s piece that revisits a Robert Kaplan piece from 1993, which is prescient:  “A Writhing Ghost Of A Would-Be Nation”.  It was always a patchwork of minority tribes, remnants of the Ottoman Empire

I just received a copy of Totten’s book, Where The West Ends, and it’s good reading.

Related On This Site:  Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’

Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Is Manaf Tlass’s Defection a Sign That Assad’s Regime Is Cracking?” From Foreign Affairs-’Former Syrian General Akil Hashem on the Uprising in Syria’From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘Syria’s Regime Not Worth Preserving’

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From Michael Totten: ‘The Syrian War Gets Even Uglier’

Full post here.

Totten notes a NY Times article which highlights how Syria has become a magnet for Saudi Salafis, Al Qaeda, and various others:

‘But the most likely outcome will continue to worsen the longer this lasts. And if Al Qaeda, the Qataris, and the Saudis have the most on-the-ground influence when the dust clears, the odds that Syria will remain a terrorist-sponsoring enemy of the United States even after regime-change are substantial.

Addition:  From Walter Russell Mead’s piece:

‘The larger point here is that anarchy and chaos in Syria is inherently destabilizing and offers many routes to a wider international conflict. Israel can’t allow Hezbollah to inherit Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. Russia has citizens, military assets and significant economic interests in the country. Turkey cannot allow the Kurdish areas to be used as bases against it. Iraq fears (and with very good reason) that a Sunni government in Damascus would start exporting weapons and fighters to Sunnis inside Iraq. With Assad out of power, the delicate political arrangements in Lebanon are completely unbalanced; historically, Lebanese politics are adjudicated through the mechanism of civil wars that, from time to time, draw in outside forces as well’

There’s a lot going on.

Related On This Site:  What are some downsides of liberal internationalism?: Richard Fernandez At PJ Media: ‘The New Middle East’

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Is Manaf Tlass’s Defection a Sign That Assad’s Regime Is Cracking?”  Thursday Quotation: Jeane Kirkpatrick – J.S. MillFrom Foreign Affairs-’Former Syrian General Akil Hashem on the Uprising in Syria’From Slate: ‘In Aleppo, Syria, Mohamed Atta Thought He Could Build The Ideal Islamic City’Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘Syria’s Regime Not Worth Preserving’

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