He’s been walking on water all over the map, but now it seems that He has one consistency: the ability to associate with nutjob preachers.
“Syria,” he told his viewers back home by video, is “a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is to not allow extremism of any kind.” This is a highly original way to describe a regime that is joined at the hip with the Iranian theocracy, that is the patron of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and that is the official and unabashed host of the fugitive Hamas leadership whose military wing directs massacre operations from Damascus itself. (One might also add that the Syrian Baath Party’s veteran defense minister,* Mustafa Tlas, published a book under his own name that accused Jews of using the blood of non-Jewish children for the making of those ever-menacing Passover matzos. I suppose it depends how you define extremism.)
And the answer he gets about Gaza isn’t pretty, but it’s something.
Was there anything new in this latest round of endless six-decade fighting? Sort of. Hamas was isolated and learned that Arab authoritarians worried more about Iranian influence than Arab solidarity. Suicide bombing did not resurface in successful fashion, perhaps due to both exhaustion and the barrier, and its replacement strategy of rocketeering earned a terrible response that proved unsustainable for Hamas. Tanking oil prices are hurting Iran geopolitically, as its impoverished citizens wonder why they are doing without at home in order to provide scarce cash to go up in smoke in Lebanon and Gaza.
Again, what is Israel’s ultimate goal? To decouple Hamas and Gaza from Arab solidarity, to strengthen in comparison the PA, to discredit somewhat the value of being an Iranian proxy, to reestablish credibility in the IDF and to curb (though unfortunately not end entirely) rocket barrages into Israel, and to establish a future paradigm of overwhelming response to Hamas provocations.
What next? I think just as suicide bombing gave way to rockets, so too rockets will be followed by back-to-the-drawing board reappraisals. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian surrogates will have to try something newer and deadlier, maybe guided missiles or unconventional weapons. They will continue as they wait for Iran to get the bomb and give its terrorist appendages the sort of cover that Pakistan provides anti-Indian terrorists who are based on its soil.
Depressing, but that’s the world we live in — and the world that awaits President Obama.