The Obami’s engagement of Syria – like its engagement of Iran, its bow-and-scrape routine with China, and its quietude on human rights atrocities — really hasn’t panned out. To the contrary, it is earning the contempt of the Syrian regime, which senses that no behavior, no public statement, and no human rights abuses are too egregious to put it on the wrong side of its overeager suitors in Washington. The latest:
Syria and Libya teamed up Sunday to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to quit peace talks with Israel and return to violence, delegates to an Arab leadership summit said.
In the wake of that call, Arab leaders gathered at their summit Sirte, Libya on Sunday failed to reach a consensus on whether the Palestinians should resume stalled talks with Israel. …
Syrian President Bashar Assad urged Abbas to withdraw from a U.S.-supported peace strategy and resume armed resistance to Israel, according to two delegates who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
They said Assad also urged Arab countries to halt any contacts with Israel, though only Cairo and Amman have peace deals with Israel.
“The price of resistance is not higher than the price of peace,” one delegate quoted Assad as telling Abbas.
This follows Obama’s decision – without any sign of cooperation or behavior modification by Assad — to return our ambassador to Damascus. This has earned us a joint press conference featuring Assad and Ahmadinejad bashing the U.S. and turning up the genocidal language, a refusal by Assad to acknowledge let alone curb arms transfers to Hezbollah, and now a blast aimed at disrupting the peace process. Does any of this earn a “condemnation” by the Obama government? No, that sort of thing is reserved for our democratic ally Israel. Does it cause us to rethink the merits of unilateral gestures toward Assad? No sign of that yet.
The Obami seem blissfully unaware that suck-uppery to the Muslim World is earning us no credit and quite a bit of contempt. That one deluded gambit (Syrian engagement) collides with another (proximity talks with Palestinians unwilling even to meet directly with Israel) seems not to matter. They are driven by an ideological fervor immune to reason and impervious to facts. It seems there is nothing the objects of their affection could do to cause the Obami to reconsider — and as the despots realize this, they are encouraged to engage in even more aggressive and outlandish behavior. There is nothing remotely “smart” about the Obama’s Middle East policy.