Anyone even remotely familiar with Near Eastern politics knows that the House of Saud is waging war against Iranian proxies throughout the region. Its a ‘balance of power’ strategy that explains Riyadh and Iranian behavior. They’re realists who understand how power is used to inform and conform the behavior of belligerents.
Let me explain.
Ever since the U.S. backed the Shia in Iraq, the House of Saud has been furious to witness a Shia ‘Crescent’ or ‘power block’ emerge from Lebanon throughout Mesopotamia reaching Pakistan. Ironically, the American’s have tried to peel off peoples culturally sympathetic to Persian entreaties.
Response by Riyadh? Throw tens of millions of petro-dollars to strengthen any Sunni block. Riyadh’s choice in choosing internally weakened and culturally heterogeneous nation states like Sunni Syria was ‘balance of power politics’ at its best.
Iranian response? Back and agitate regimes hostile to Turkey (read Kurds) and America.
How else to put it: American idealism as the Arab Spring, although a response to our liberation of Iraq, is now turning on proxy conflicts between a money soaked Sunni Riyadh and a soon to be nuclear militant Shia in Teheran.
This will be ugly.
Watch Assad purge his officer camp. He will only want those close him that will slaughter innocent civilians. The American administration will drop its illusions of Syria; ironically its been the idealists throughout ‘foggy bottom’ (the U.S. State Department) that have given an imprimatur to Syrian peace entreaties, but after Syria shows its satanic hand at Hama, the idealists will turn on Assad. We just might develop a strong political hand and close down Syrian oil, gas, shipping and banks, strangling Assad’s regime. Washington would do well to foster contact with informal groups throughout the regime as well as quiet diplomatic channels to Turkey, Saudi Arabia.
Washington should forever drop the use of Naji al-Atri, Buthania Shaadban and Walid al-Mualim, for all these idealist egg-heads don’t threaten Syria. They were used by Nancy Pelosi as feelers that sanctioned the lies of the Assad regime.
Fostering Assad’s diplomatic isolation provides American leadership with the opportunities to lead international efforts to shape the Arab Spring.
Finally, at last an American strategic policy for the region!