The Middle East, at the Beginning of 2014

The Egypt-Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas conflicts, the Syrian civil war, the conflict between the Shi’a and Sunni blocs (the latter including Saudi Arabia), and Turkish-Arab friction are all signs of this. If the West is willing to keep Assad as dictator of Syria, the Sunni rebels will never accept this, and the Syrian civil war will only be intensified in the coming year.

Ammar Abdulhamid, a respected analyst on Syria, has pointed out that “re-legitimating the Assad regime today, after all it had done, will green light genocidal ventures elsewhere in the world.” Of course, if the United States helped to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, there would also be a risk of genocide against the Alawites and the Christians (who make up about 30% of the population).

I hate to say it, but it is almost as if the Obama administration simply wants to keep the supposed “deal” alive until after the 2016 elections, so it can boast a great diplomatic triumph in the Middle East by resolving all problems -- only to then let the deal collapse.

This could explain why President Obama said there was only a 50-50% chance that the deal would go through. Usually, the president and secretary of State do not talk about the certainty of deals before they are much closer to being completed.