Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WINEP: "Washington Balances Engagement with Syria with Commitment To Lebanese Allies"

Schenker (always) seems to buy into Washington's empty and recycled commitments to the Cedarites ... Obviously, he has not talked to Walid Jumblatt lately, and most importantly, he seems to be oblivious to the fact that the sloganeering & bravado (Sen . Kerry) in Beirut was not duplicated in Damascus, where the talk was focused & revolved around the fact that "we're all interested in turning a new leaf".... WINEP, here

"...In Lebanon, where March 14's electoral success depends to a great extent on the perception of ongoing U.S. backing, the recent visits by American legislators to Damascus were viewed with great interest. During his public statement following the Hariri meeting, Kerry reassured Beirut and lowered expectations in Damascus (IN BEIRUT!). He reiterated U.S. support for Lebanon and emphasized that the Hariri tribunal was "independent from any issues of discussion between the U.S. and Syria." The purpose of discussions with Syria, Kerry said, was to "test whether or not this is a moment for change. . . . We are looking for actions." ....By all accounts, March 14 officials were pleased with Kerry's message in Beirut.........

The Obama administration's initial approach toward engaging with Syria has been somewhat haphazard, but ultimately cautious, careful both to preserve U.S. equities in Lebanon and to discourage irrational exuberance in Damascus.......On the one hand, Washington does not want to undermine the March 14 coalition as the June Lebanese elections approach. On the other hand, it will prove hard to generate momentum with Syria unless the United States sends an ambassador and/or senior administration officials to Damascus. ......A Hizballah victory in the Lebanese elections would represent a strategic setback for regional moderates at the hands of Iran and Syria. Conversely, if the administration could somehow engineer the strategic realignment of Syria -- away from Iran toward the peace camp -- it would prove a real blow to regional militants. As Washington's engagement with Syria moves forward, balancing should remain an integral element of the strategy...."

1 comment:

Amused Travelling Senior Founding Member of the FLC said...

God bless the Schenkers of this world. If he did'nt exist, he should be invented. What is amazing though, is that his laughable flawed analyses are still being read or listened to. I believe GPC of FLC has a perverse pleasure in showing Schenker's 'bon mots' as a symbol of absolute moronism!
To all intent and purpose, Schenker should realize that neither President Obama, nor Senator Kerry, nor anyone from the US vote in Lebanese elections. I don't know whom does Schenker talk to but even among the staunchest haters of the opposition very little credit is given to the US. The empty promises of the Bush administration, at its height of power and bravura, did not materialize. Certainly not an administration that has to put back its economy on track (which is not obvious by any means), nor that has to disengage itself from the mess it inherited in Iraq and Afghanistan, certainly not this administration is going to be involved in the swamp that is Lebanese domestic politics. The Schenker of this world are still in a state of denial and continue their wishful thinking as a base for an imagined 'reality'.