James over at OTB makes mention of a Beruit Daily Star article in which the author suggests that …

…this week’s assassination of Lebanese industry minister Pierre Gemayel, most likely at the behest of the government of Syria, would seem to obviate talk about “engaging” that government as part of the solution to problems in the region.

Most realists, myself included, are incredibly skeptical of multilateral diplomacy outside the economic realm. The regime in Syria is going to do what it believes most maximizes its advantage. Given that the US and UK are currently in a position of weakness in the Middle East, it’s incredibly unlikely that Syria is going to be cooperative.

Exactly why electing Democrats here in the US was such a disaster for middle east peace. The position of weakness as you mention, James, was imposed on us by two factors, the larger of which was the Democrats themselves, by insisting on a course of toothless diplomacy.  I do take slight umbrage with your comment about Syria’s advantage. You’re quite right, as far as you go, but ask the question: Advantage toward what? Better economic numbers are all well and good, but let’s not forget the religious and social aspect of all of this. I judge economic issues to be the lesser of their concerns, and pursuit of an Islamic-based, region-wide government, with Syria in the leading role, to be the larger.

And thanks to the Democrats, they have a better chance at success.

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