Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rumors of a deal, again...

As usual whenever a possible US-Syrian rapprochement looms over the horizon, Hezbullah mouthpieces start clamoring that a deal, between the two, is in the making and it will be on the expense of Lebanon.

Unfortunately, these conspiracy theorists are first of all biased, trying to project their twisted wishes on reality. For in the post September 11 world it is against the interests of the US to strike any deal that will strengthen Syria's (or any other Middle Eastern country) regional clout and influence. The days of sub contracting regional stability to a few power hubs are long gone.

Second, Lebanon is the US last beacon of democracy in the Middle East, allowing the Syrians to spread their control, once more, on the tiny country will be too high a price even for separating Syria from Iran. No the deal, if any, will be a lessening of Syria's isolation, increasing aid and investment in its economy, and a reinvigorated peace process that will return the Golan heights to Syria.

However, I believe that Syria will not break its alliance with Iran. Bashar is too weak and the Iranian have too much at stakes and invested in the Allawites regime to let him slip out of their hands.

Third, there are too many UNSC resolutions and vested interests in the current Lebanese democratic coalition to simply let it be, once more, overwhelmed by Syria or its allies' despotic and oppressive regime.

Finally, we are passing through a waiting period, where all parties, national and regional, are waiting for further developments before committing to a defined policy or alliance. And the 14 of March initiative to propsoe General Suleiman as a presidential candidate was extremely smart, as he is a candidate that the opposition cannot refuse. The initiative cornered Bashar Assad, as the Syrians and their allies were hoping for an extended void and all the clashes that it will engender, to increase their bargaining chips in the upcoming months. This move robbed them of a very important card and will allow the Lebanese to inch forward to strong and stable political system.
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