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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 30-May-2013
30-May-13 World View -- U.S. State Department demands that Hezbollah leave Syria

Web Log - May, 2013

30-May-13 World View -- U.S. State Department demands that Hezbollah leave Syria

Russia establishes military bases in captured Georgian territory

This morning's key headlines from

Russia establishes military bases in captured Georgian territory

Georgia, highlighting Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Georgia, highlighting Abkhazia and South Ossetia

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, it took control of two Georgian provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has discussed the possibility of either absorbing them into Russia or recognizing them as independent nations. The Georgian leadership has said that relations with Russia will not be normalized unless Abkhazia and South Ossetia are returned to Georgia, something that is not going to happen. To the contrary, Russia has greatly strengthened its military presence in both provinces, with about 5,000 military personnel in Abkhazia and 3,500 more in South Ossetia. The military occupation of these formerly Georgian territories sends a clear and aggressive signal to Georgia and the rest of the world that Russia is here to stay. Jamestown

Arabs criticize President Obama on Syria

American public opinion is split on the question of Western military intervention in Syria. Most Americans don't have a clue what's going on, and would not be able to distinguish between "Syria" and "cereal". Among those who are aware of what's going on, both Democrats and Republicans are split on whether or not to militarily intervene. Europe is also split, with Britain and France favoring intervention, and other countries, led by Austria, strongly opposing it.

Public opinion in the Arab world is also split, sharply along Sunni versus Shia lines. The Shia terrorist group Hezbollah, supported by Iran and Russia, are warning the West to stay out, even as they continue to supply weapons to the regime of Syria's psychopathic president Bashar al-Assad.

Sunni Arab public opinion is highly critical of the West for allowing tens of thousands of innocent Arabs to be slaughtered and hundreds of thousands to be driven from their homes, and much of the criticism is highly personal, directed at President Barack Obama.

In particular, many Arabs see the agreement between the U.S. and Russia to hold another international conference as just one more sign of American weakness, giving in to Russia's demands and giving al-Assad more time to kill innocent Arab women and children in their beds. According to one Saudi Arabian columnist Mashari Al-Zaydi:

"The problem of U.S. President Barack Obama can be summed up in a single word: hesitation. The man is short-sighted, confused and diffident. It seems that the gist of his policy is disagreeing with every position of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and that is quarrelsomeness, not policy.

This assessment of Obama's policy is not voiced only by his Republican rivals in the U.S., or by those who hate some [aspects] of his global [foreign] policy, but also by some proponents of his own school of thought, like the well-known American author David Ignatius, who recently wrote a critique of the Obama administration's policy that was not confined to foreign [policy] affairs... Summarizing the problematic aspects of Obama's conduct, he said that the public is more afraid of a weak administration than a strong one!

We are not talking [only] about harsh critics of this administration, inside or outside the U.S. This is apparent from a recent article by Lebanese-American writer Fuad 'Ajami, who slammed Obama for his feebleness, his lack of leadership, and his inability to take bold decisions under difficult circumstances, especially when it comes to his position on the Syrian catastrophe. Nor is it only Republicans who attack [Obama]. [Criticism is also voiced] by people who were overjoyed by the arrival [in the White House] of a black Harvard graduate with African and Islamic roots, the son of Hussein Obama. [They expected him] to have a better understanding of the Islamic and Arab societies and their nature. But eventually, as the helplessness of the international community [to address the situation] in Syria increased due to the [conduct of] the U.S. and Obama, it became apparent that this man is unable to lead and that he hides his failure and ignorance behind a lot of hypothetical talk about red, green and purple lines..."

I agree with those who claim that American and Western intervention two years ago had a good chance of bringing the horrific battle to an early end. But we have to recognize that the same Saudi writers who were critical of America's intervention in Iraq are now critical of America for NOT intervening in Syria. America's role as policemen of the world is not an easy one. Memri

U.S. State Department demands that Hezbollah leave Syria

According to a statement by the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday:

"[W]e condemn in the strongest terms Hassan Nasrallah’s recent declarations confirming Hezbollah’s militants – Hezbollah militants’ active role in the fighting in Qusair and other parts of Syria. This is an unacceptable and extremely dangerous escalation. We demand that Hezbollah withdraw its fighters from Syria immediately. We remain deeply concerned about reports of multiple cross-border security incidents in recent days. We also condemn yesterday’s outrageous attack on a Lebanese army checkpoint near Arsal which killed three soldiers. These and other incidents are stark reminders that the conflict in Syria poses an incredibly dangerous threat to Lebanon’s stability, the people of Lebanon and security. We call on all parties to do their part to act with restraint and respect Lebanon’s stability and security."

I don't know if anyone in the State Dept. has a sense of humor, but this statement will definitely be treated as a joke by Russia, Iran and everyone in the Mideast, particularly by Hezbollah itself. This is just one more example of an empty pseudo-threat by the Obama administration that, like the various empty "red line" threats, only illustrates the chaos and utter confusion in Washington Mideast policy. U.S. Department of State

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 30-May-13 World View -- U.S. State Department demands that Hezbollah leave Syria thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (30-May-2013) Permanent Link
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