Saturday, February 18, 2006

Setting Up Priorities!

It is not clear to me yet whether all this grandstanding by the US and Israel vis-à-vis Hamas will actually amount to a full-fledged boycott. I hope not. Because moving against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran at the same time is simply untenable. The US has to prioritize, and has to prioritize right.

Hamas and Hezbollah (and Muqtada al-Sadr too, for he represents a part of the extremists' alliance) can be neutralized through developments in the internal affairs of their countries, so that the focus should remain on Syria and, more importantly, Iran.

But in order for this to happen, the US has to adopt the right policy in each case. Isolating Hamas is simply not the right policy. Isolating Hezbollah, on the other hand, by supporting the emerging tripartite alliance between Jumblatt, Hariri and Jaajaa, is. Nasrallah’s confidence needs to be shaken a little. Meanwhile, let’s hope that none of the trio named above should get assassinated anytime soon.

Muqtada can be made busy should trouble be create for his candidate for PM, Jaafari, and through some entanglement with the Kurds.

As for the ever troubling Syria and Iran, well, both should obviously be handled through the UN at this stage. Iran’s nuclear defiance might furnish the grounds for some measure of sanctions against it, which, if framed propoerly, might be endorsed by the Russians and the Chinese. But I doubt that Russia and China will cooperate against Syria, not unless some backroom deal has been struck.

This notwithsanding, it should be clear by now that some movement to further isolate and pressure the Syrian regime is indeed needed. The moment seems ripe for somehow, despite what naysayers might have to say.

I wax more philosophic on this in my recent post on Tharwalizations.