By Simon Fischler
It is now or never for the Obama administration to carry out a one hundred and eighty degree turn and save American Foreign policy.
The best place to do this? The Middle-East of course.
America and Israel would both love to see Syria break free from her relationship with Iran and Hezbollah. The chance for America to achieve this and win Syria over has finally appeared.
Syrian President Basher al-Assad did not take it lightly when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that Southern Lebanon was Iran’s border with Israel.
Syria has always viewed Lebanon as nothing more than a breakaway province, much like how China views Taiwan.
There is no doubt that Iran and her president overstepped the boundaries of what is acceptable for the Syrian regime when they declared Lebanon essentially Iranian!
Hezbollah has also crossed the line in the eyes of the Syrian regime.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah raised the ire of the Syrian regime when he put all of his cards down with Iran. He simply disregarded the fact that he could not survive without the arms transported and given to him by Assad’s regime.
Now the Americans have an opportunity finally to bring Syria over to the West’s camp.
The question is: has President Obama learned that appeasement does not work in Middle-Eastern diplomacy?
President Obama needs to give Syria a carrot while still brandishing a big stick over her head -- it’s the only way things get done here in the Middle-East.
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is both a carrot and BIG stick for America to use with Syria, since it is now obvious that Hezbollah orchestrated and executed the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri.
Hezbollah is sweating right now. Nashrallah and company are doing everything they can to try and foil the UN’s completion of the Tribunal; even threatening civil war, something that scares all Lebanese.
When the UN indicts leading Hezbollah personal, it will be proven that Hezbollah does not have Lebanon’s interest at heart and is nothing more than Iranian agent. For an organization that constantly claims to be defending Lebanon, being responsible for assassinating the Lebanese Prime Minister will destroy all vestiges of their credibility.
Syria obviously gave Hezbollah the okay for the assassination, but that makes no difference now. America needs to guarantee President Assad that Syria will not be made responsible for the execution of Prime Minister Hariri.
America should also recognize Syria’s role as protectorate of Lebanon and not make her move to the American camp conditional on reforms inside Syria.
Syria must in turn do what is both necessary and beneficial to her: divorcing Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, while toning down her rhetoric directed at Israel.
This is it for the Obama administration. If they fail here, their foreign policy will be doomed. It is now or never for the US administration to take the initiative and make this work.