Monday, November 06, 2006
In the English language version of The Hayat newspaper, Raghida Dergham gives an interesting analysis of the potential for a shift in Washington-Tehran-Damascus relations. Dergham argues that signs from the US that they are prepared to bring in Iran and Syria from the cold to help them in Iraq may not signal the end of isolationism. Syria still has a major black mark against it as the Hariri enquiry continues to call witnesses. Despite heavy Russian arm twisting at the UN, it seems likely that an International Tribunal will be established and the Syrian regime will have to face it. This fact in itself, regardless of the verdict reached, would prevent the US from being seen to cut deals with a regime accused of political assassination. Moreover, it is far from clear that with Bush at the helm, considerations of realpolitik - ie making up to Syria and Iran in the hope of regional stability - would be allowed to divert him from his professed idealistic course of bringing democracy to the Middle East.