Monday, January 29, 2007


Rice's Strategic Reset

By David Ignatius
Friday, January 26, 2007; Page A21
Washington Post

What's America's strategy in the Middle East? Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week sketched a new framework based on what she calls the "realignment" of states that want to contain Iran and its radical Muslim proxies...

For explanation go to Missing Links

The events in Lebanon last week were an early implementation of the new Rice strategy
Joseph Samaha comments on where Lebanon fits in Condoleeza Rice's new "realignment" strategy, outlined in a WaPo column by David Ignatius yesterday.

  1. There are the "moderates" (non-democratic) - Saudi Arabia (GCC), Egypt, Jordan, etc.
  2. There are "extremists" - Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas,
  3. In the middle are "target administrations" the Iraqis, Palestinians and Lebanese, democracies that need to be helped and supported by the (non-democratic) "moderates" to resist the "extremists",
but these target administrations are also required to take aggressive actions themselves
  • Maliki to support the occupation
  • Abbas is supposed to topple the elected Hamas government with US arms and funding;
  • Lebanon to escalate the general strike into a sectarian confrontation with Hizbullah.
Aid from the "moderates" to encourage the target populations to confront the "extremists." This is the "realignment".

This new policy is the result of the failures of the US in Iraq and of Israel in Lebanon.
  • Baker-Hamilton or Kagan (American Enterprise Institute)
Bush chose escalation. It's important to realize how wide-ranging and all-encommpassing this escalation is.
  • More battleships to the Gulf;
  • deployment of Patriot missiles in the region;
  • invasion of Somalia;
  • provoking Iran;
  • cutting off any chance of talks with Syria;
  • sharpening the Hamas-Fatah split;
  • more troops to Iraq.

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