U.S. Tilt to Iran Is Upsetting Allies and Disrupting the Middle East

(Wall Street Journal) Fouad Ajami - The ground burns in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Militant Islamists have all but overwhelmed secular authorities. Yet America's chief diplomat, Secretary of State John Kerry, was this week on an expedition to Israel and the Palestinian territories for the 10th time. There was no sudden urgency to the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians, nor had an opening presented itself for serious negotiations. Israel's attention was focused, as it had to be, on the large menace of Iran and its nuclear drive, and the Palestinians remained mired in their own squabbles. It is the struggle for Syria, and the Iranian bid for primacy in the Fertile Crescent, that engage the Arabs. This "shuttle diplomacy" of our secretary of state, if anything, is evidence of the retreat of American power. Washington is keen to conciliate Iran. Secretary Kerry has proposed a role for the Iranians in negotiations over Syria - even as Iranian forces and proxies are busy battering what is left of that country. A cautionary note: The weight of Islam is in the Sunni states. If we opt for an alliance with Iran and its satraps, we should do so in the full knowledge that our choice places us at odds with the vast majority of the Islamic world. The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution.

2014-01-10 00:00:00

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