April 15, 2012

WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN THE END OF HISTORY?:

Rogue nations on the ropes (National Post Editorial Board,  Apr 13, 2012)

For years, North Korea has been pursuing nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver them, as a means to shore up domestic legitimacy and intimidate other powers. The approach has succeeded to the extent it has helped North Korea extort Western food aid, thereby preventing total regime collapse. In the fullness of time, this week's events may be remembered as the beginning of the end of this extortionate strategy.

The Korean peninsula is not the only place where rogue power has suffered a setback. In Syria, the government of Bashar Assad has cleared away the most threatening pockets of rebel fighters. But in the process, he has turned himself into a regional pariah: In recent days, Syria has fired ordinance across both the Lebanese and Turkish borders, further alienating formerly sympathetic (or at least neutral) elements in both nations. Hamas, which once was headquartered in Damascus, has effectively taken sides with Syria's rebels. Even Hezbollah, a Shiite group that has worked closely with Syrian interests for many years, is under pressure to distance itself from Mr. Assad.

The Assad dynasty may totter on for months or even years. But it will survive in a climate of disgrace and bloodshed, having butchered thousands of Syrian citizens. All of the slogans emitted by Syria about the allegedly murderous perfidy of the hated Zionists now have redounded back against Mr. Assad's own government. As a regional actor, he is paralyzed -- and has dragged Hezbollah down with him. For the first time in historical memory, the attention of international human-rights groups in the Levant does not primarily involve Jews or Israelis in any way.

Iran's continuing effort to prop up Mr. Assad has guaranteed that Tehran, too, will be smeared with Syrian blood. Even before the Syrian uprising began last year, many Arabs feared Iranian hegemony. Now, that fear has turned into loathing. A few years ago, it was easy to predict that the "Arab street" would rise up in frenzied protest if the United States bombed Iran's nukes. These days, we suspect, a good many Arabs would openly welcome such an attack.

Just a few years ago, none of this was foreseeable.

Yeah, communist dictatorship and Arab dictatorships seemed to be working so well just a few years ago....
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Posted by at April 15, 2012 8:01 AM
  

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