Efforts to renew talks with Palestinians resume
The Western powers are behaving as though Syria were less important than Libya, when the opposite is true.
The longer the Syrian chaos continues, the more dangerous will be the likely consequences. Commentators have been announcing the demise of the Assad regime for months, but it is not defeated. With the material support of Russia, Iran and Venezuela, and with China cheering on the sidelines and vetoing Security Council resolutions, it could hang on for a long time. The Alawites are terrified of Sunni vengeance; Christian and other minorities that were not molested by the Assads are afraid of a likely Islamist takeover.
Arrayed on the other side are Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, each for its own reasons. Europe and the US limit their intervention to anti-regime rhetoric, as if somehow Syria was less important than Libya, whereas just the reverse is true. Syria, depending on what happens, could destabilize the entire Near East, something Libya could not possibly do.
Assuming the players and their policies do not change, predictable consequences will include:
- Increasing radicalization of the rebel forces.
- Increasing likelihood of the eventual implantation of an fundamentalist Islamist regime, a Sunni equivalent of Iran's mullahcracy.
- Further complication of the situation in Lebanon, with a weakening Hezbollah leaving a power vacuum inviting the intervention of the new Syrian government.
- The likelihood of increasing hostility towards Israel.
The best that can be hoped for is a Turkish-style moderate Islamist regime. The worst is Afghanistan on the Mediterranean.
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC, and a lecturer at The Israeli National Defense College (MABAL), 2011-2012 session.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 26, 2012
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Load more comments
Contacts resume despite Monday's murder by a gunman of Baruch Mizrahi near Hebron.
Aryeh Deri: Shas won't sit in gov't with Lapid
The Shas leader told "Globes" the coalition must change its attitude to the poor.
Combat cameramen disprove Palestinian propaganda
A unit of highly trained combat soldiers uses cameras to document military operations.
Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2014 will be year of change
Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.
Gains and losses for Middle East secularists
Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.
Developing robots for warfare
Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.
Geneva changes Middle East strategic map
As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.
Egypt has no time to lose
Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.
Strange goings on in Turkey
Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.
See you in six months, Rouhani
Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.
China is changing
The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.
French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines
The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.
Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran
Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.
Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs
Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.