A short Labor Day weekend musing. The Arab League has now moved toward asking for a UNSC backed intervention in Syria. The announcement is sufficiently vaguely worded that it’s not likely to actually amount to a whole hill of beans in any event.
It’s interesting to note that almost all Near Eastern states (notable exception is probably Iran) are struggling with balancing the need to appear sufficiently “concerned” about Assad while also avoiding looking like being beholden to the US to actually back up any threats. We’ve seen that in some sense with Erdogan’s statements from Turkey, where the language ranges from bellicose to mild depending on how close the US appears to be to striking.
We also see this in how the state news agencies in the Arab world are reacting to Obama’s recent speech. They range from outraged at the lack of intervention to claiming that the US is simply trying another imperial war on behalf of Israel. They currently get to have the best of both worlds: the distraction of Assad’s atrocities and channeling reflexive anti-US sentiment to make themselves appear good. Time will tell what comes of this.