Thursday, December 07, 2006

Diplomatic shorthand

A Russian trouble-maker is murdered by the most exotic means available in the middle of London. Pierre Gemayel is gunned down on a street in Beirut. Take comfort. This is just diplomacy without the duplicity. It is proof evident that some things never change.

Those who complain that there is a lack of communication between the Bush administration and the Assad regime are not paying attention. By local rules, a well-timed murder such as the gunning down of Pierre Gemayel in Beirut last week is more effective in sending a message than a diplomatic demarche.

This translation of Syrian actions quickly made its way through the Middle East: "You want help in Iraq? It will cost you Lebanon. For starters." That is realpolitik and real communication, Assad-style.
If we sold Lebanon for the sake of a Syrian hand in Iraq (as if there weren't enough Syrian hands in Iraq), then the worst that al-Queda could say about us would be richly deserved.

2 comments:

wodge said...

Al Qaeda is an extremist Sunni/Wahabbi sect. Hezbollah on the other hand is a Shi’a organization.

And if you genuinely don’t get the difference, then let me explain it in rather more familar terms - the idea of Al Qaeda running Hezbollah would be the equivalent of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness being appointed the joint-leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party.

NoolaBeulah said...

The point is the huge propaganda coup it would be for all Islamist groups, especially those with a world-wide appeal. The Hezbollah is Shi'a is irrelevant to that.

However, the fact that Hezbollah is Shi'a is very pertinent to another development: the Sunni powers, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt are getting very worried by the spread of Iranian influence. For them, a Syrian/Hezbollah victory in Lebanon would be almost as grave as it would be for us. They do not want that to happen. The option of splitting Syria off from the Iranians seems to be out of contention at the moment, but they are the only ones that don't fit into the religious schemata because the ruling family is Allawi and so, theoretically, inimical to both Sunnis and Shi'ites.