The Iranian tyrants tremble at the thought of a free Syria, since, as in Iran itself, the odds favor a successor regime that would devote its energies and depleted resources to the care and feeding of its own people rather than to the support of terrorist proxies like Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and al-Qaeda. Moreover, the spectacle of the overthrow of Iran’s closest regional ally might well inspire the Iranian people to take to the streets once again against Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.
This is not geopolitical thumb-sucking; it’s the deep conviction of Assad and the Iranian regime. It should be understood by our policymakers. And there is more, for regime change in Damascus and Tehran means a blow to Iran’s close ally in our own hemisphere, Hugo Chavez.
So the stakes — both strategic and moral — are high indeed. Just a few weeks ago, when a new “Obama doctrine” was announced to justify our half-assed intervention in Libya (we couldn’t stand by and watch a tyrant slaughter his own people), it was said that a troika of “Valkyries” consisting of UN Amb. Susan Rice, Secretary of State Clinton, and national security staffer Samantha Powers had shaped the president’s new vision and firm resolve.
Words, just empty words. Christopher Hitchens understands it well, because he watches Obama’s feet shuffle rather than listen to the jive from his lips:
Meanwhile, the streets and squares of Syria and the committees of the Libyan civic opposition fill up with eager and anxious people who want to know if they have been naive to place their bets—in some cases to wager their lives—on democratic transition, peaceful tactics, the transparent allocation of previously stolen funds for long-overdue reconstruction, and the removal of a parasitic military and police caste. Having long entreated Middle Easterners to phrase their demands in this way, we then go all hesitant when they agree to do so.
A failure of strategic vision, combined with a failure of will, producing a disaster that invites new and greater horrors.