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Showing posts from February 20, 2007

Is Washington being sidelined on the Middle East?

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The Right Web which is affiliated with the International Relations Center has just published my analysis Is Washington being sidelined on the Middel East? Among other things I suggest that: Now that the cost of the U.S. drive for power in the region is producing countervailing pressures at home and abroad, U.S. capacity and determination to advance the Arab-Israeli peace process has been weakened and has created a diplomatic vacuum in the Middle East that is gradually being filled by regional— and outside—players. The diplomatic role that Saudi Arabia has played in mediating the intra-Palestinian conflict parallels its discussions with Iran to stabilize Lebanon, its move to co-opt Syria into the Arab-Sunni camp, and its support for the Arab-Sunnis in Iraq.

Similarly, U.S. failures in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine have created disincentives for Washington to engage Iran and Syria, a step that it fears could be perceived as a sign of weakness. But both Syria and Israel share common inter…