Tuesday, 20 May 2008

No Plan B

M K Bhadrakumar of the Asia Times gives some insights into US failures in the Middle East:

Unsurprisingly, there is much anger and bitterness among Lebanese warlords that they were let down by the Bush administration. Prime Minister Fuad al-Siniora wanted to resign and the Saudis had to dissuade him from doing so. The result is plain to see.

The political balance has shifted in favor of the Hezbollah and the pro-West militias have been humiliated. Most important, an improbable alliance formed between the Hezbollah and the Lebanese army (which the Bush administration assisted to the tune of $400 million in the past two-year period).

The regional implications are equally significant. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are backing Arab League mediation efforts, distancing themselves from the US denunciations of Iran and Syria.

The two Arab heavyweights would be uneasy about the lengthening shadows of Iranian influence on Lebanon, but they realize at the same time that Iran is a regional power with which they need to come to terms.

In sum, the Bush administration has no Plan B on Lebanon.

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