The Murdered Fathers Club: Washington's Allies in Beirut Are Now Bowing to Damascus

(Weekly Standard) David Schenker - Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt, the leaders of the Cedar Revolution, whose fathers were all but certainly killed by Syria, are paying homage to Damascus. Perhaps the leading factor in the March 14 leadership's decision to return to Damascus appears to be Saudi Arabia's equivocating. To mitigate the threat posed by Tehran, Saudi Arabia is attempting to pry Syria away from its 30-year strategic ally, and the first Saudi down-payment in this ill-advised gambit has been its Lebanese allies. At least in part, this dramatic change in policy is related to the perceived U.S. weakness on Iran. Absent Saudi confidence that Washington will prevent a nuclear Iran, Riyadh is hedging. The writer is director of the Program in Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2009-12-25 08:20:50

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