Unholy Alliance: How Syria is Bringing Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia Together
Many smart people, in Washington and elsewhere, have long been willing to forgive the Assad family for their many sins, going back to the tenure of Bashar’s father, Hafiz al Assad, who ruled from 1971 to 2000. The allure of bringing the Syrian-Israeli state of war to an end and the tantalizing possibility (a fantasy, it turns out) of breaking the Tehran-Damascus axis led observers to believe that Hafiz was capable of making peace and that Bashar was a reformer. Bashar has been tolerated, engaged, even supported in the hopes that the world could entice him, with the prospects of good relations with the West, to change. But there was never any real evidence that Damascus was genuinely interested in peace or reform.
As the world (slowly) comes to grips with the horror of Syria and the Assads, there remains a coalition of nations that appear to be acting under the belief that the Assad regime is better than what might come next. It’s an odd group in the rather strange new world of the Middle East: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey.
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I think it says A LOT when we are finding these 3 countries in a sort of agreement, and over a man so brutal and ruthless. The fact that they can set aside their differences and agree to support this man demonstrates how these uprisings are shaking up the region in more ways than one. These countries are visibly threatened by the waves of protests, otherwise, what other cause could them to even share a headline together that doesn’t involve one nuking the other?
These authoritarian regimes are not sustainable. They are extremely damaging, with nothing but short-term policies of accruing wealth and maintaining hegemony at all costs as the main interests driving these regimes, all at the expense of an exponentially growing population. Each of these regimes represent pressure cookers slowly building up, decade by decade; and one by one, they are exploding. The killing is not sustainable, the injustice is not sustainable, the corruption is not sustainable, and they all know it. These authoritarian regimes come with an expiration date, and the power to enforce that expiration date is at the hands of the people.
Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s compliance in supporting Assad indicate that while their politics represent opposite sides of the spectrum, they have absolutely no interest in a democratic, just, and corrupt-free Middle East.