Syria Will Not Abandon Its Alliance with Iran

(Commentary) Michael J. Totten - Syria has been cunningly outwitting Americans and Europeans for decades. Syria will not abandon its alliance with Iran, nor will it cease and desist its support for terrorist groups, until at least one of the two governments has been replaced. The alliance works for both parties. Syria's and Iran's lists of enemies - Sunni Arabs, Israel, and the U.S. - are identical. Syria is no more likely to join the de facto American coalition than the U.S. is likely to defect to the Syrian-Iranian-Hizbullah axis. It's as if the U.S. were trying to pry East Germany out of the Communist bloc during the Cold War. No basket of carrots Barack Obama or anyone else can offer will change Assad's calculation of his own strategic interests. Obama's charm, sincerity, and inherent reasonableness count for little in a hard region where leaders almost everywhere rule at the point of a gun, and where the docile and the weak are bullied or destroyed by the ruthless.

2010-03-01 08:49:14

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