« Graph of the Day for April 22, 2010 |
Blog Home Page
| A vexatious question »
April 22, 2010
Business as usual with Syria despite Scud transfers to Hezb'allah
I feel badly for Jeffrey Feltman, our current Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. A couple of years ago, Feltman was helping keep democracy afloat in Lebanon as our ambassador there. Now those hopes are dashed thanks to the Obama administration's idiotic policy toward Syria:
President Barack Obama's outreach to Syria came under fire on Wednesday as a congressional panel questioned the rapprochement amid charges that Damascus has sought to arm Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas with Scud missiles. Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee grilled the Obama administration's top diplomat for the Middle East, saying Syria's threatening behavior threw doubt over efforts to put relations on a better track. "Do we actually have a policy toward Syria, and is it in our best interest? What are we doing?" Democratic Representative Eliot Engel asked, urging a tougher U.S. stance against Syrian President Basher al-Assad over weapons transfers and other issues. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said the United States was seeking answers on the missile charges and took the issue extremely seriously. "All options are going to be on the table looking at this," he said -- while repeating the need to expand diplomatic dialogue with Damascus. Good question, Congressman Engel. The short answer is "sure we do" - we give in to Syrian demands and they screw us over by supplying Hezb'allah with Scud missiles - weapons that are almost certain to start a war with Israel. We back off from supporting democracy in Lebanon unconditionally and Hezb'allah makes a mockery of the last election - that they lost - and bullies the government into giving it veto power over cabinet decisions.
Feltman finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to defend administration policies he may oppose. Regardless, I'm sure the dialogue with Syria will continue - right up to the moment that Scuds start to fall on Tel Aviv.