The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Palestinian power is growing; Nasrallah’s ill-timed speech; A third way on Syria NOW

Several observations:

1) THREE SYNERGIES for the Palestinians: On a positive note, never before, I believe, have the palestinians had three separate power sources available to their struggle. As it currently stands they have 1) The eu-friendly abbas-fayyad diplomatic path via the UN for statehood in September 2) the military power of the Hamas’s balance of terror, which is growing in QME terms one believes and 3) the palestinian people mobilizing for direct action (which may be violent) a la the border “surges” of late.

I suspect this unique power potential is also behind the fatah-hamas agreement, all the more so in light of other changes (egypt, syria events, and israeli’s hard right tack). I cannot think of another time during the post WWII palestinian struggle – except perhaps in the early days of 1948-49 – when the palestinian movement had these three power centers available AT THE SAME TIME. Even though once could substitute conventional military power at certain points 49-82, you still were missing the third component AND that military power was actually, perhaps, NOT so much more powerful than the balance of terror which Hamas can wield in asymmetric fashion(especially with hizbullah).

This bodes well for the palestinians but could lead israel towards adventuresome, violent actions in advance of september to stunt the existential impact that these three synergies, if properly managed, could represent over time.

2) Nasrallah’s Obama moment: Nasrallah HAS TO GIVE A SPEECH this week to celebrate liberation of the south day. Obama HAD TO GIVE A SPEECH before Netanyahu walked into his capital and addressed congress. Neither actors really SHOULD be giving a speech now since there is so little new to bring to the table PLUS the material contradictions on the ground for both – the gap between rhetoric and reality – is so large. Nas regarding popular movements and contradictions in Syria and Iran and for Obama, the clear gap between the US saying it wants to promote a liberal mideast but actually having long promoted and continuing to promote an ILLIBERAL mideast. I think this time around nasrallah is so boxed in that the speech will come off as lackluster and dissimulatory as obama’s is in the region.

3) Obama gave the wrong 67 borders speech. I have a piece coming out on the subject of syria soon… basically arguing that THERE IS A THIRD WAY on syria policy and that people who care about human rights and freedom NEED TO start expending their brains on thinking of this track. This is especially because the trajectory mapped out now is a slippery slope leading to a syrian implosion (this is the track championed by HRW, Mike Young and his number one reader Elliot Abrams who would like obama and Europe to accelerate the internal contradictions of syria to the point of collapse). Between this and the alternative Obama approach of warning “either reform or die” – which offers NO incentives to take the former road! – there is a third way…. i have some ideas, including that obama should have given the 67 borders speech on syria as but ONE PART OF A DIFFERENT APPROACH… BUT please folks…. if you really want to avoid some version of Iraq II, perhaps worse, if you dont think sacrificing 2-3 million syrias, as one activist said recently, is a good idea, then start developing this track… and fast.


Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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