December 2, 2010

Policy, Not Leaks, Weakens American Power

Michael Young, The National

AP Photo

Take the recent visit to Iran of the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri. Obama administration officials doubtless cringed, particularly when the pro-Iranian Hizbollah may stand accused of involvement in the assassination in 2005 of Rafiq Hariri. But the Lebanese prime minister, whose patron is Saudi Arabia, would respond that because the US is fading in the region, he has no choice but to protect himself by dealing with Iran, Turkey, and any other regional actor that might help stabilise the situation in Lebanon. It is a risk for Mr Hariri to expect to inhibit Hizbollah by improving ties with the party's Iranian sponsors, but the harsh truth is that Washington is absent from the equation.

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TAGGED: United States, Middle East, Saad Hariri, Rafiq Hariri, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon, Hizbollah, Obama administration, Prime Minister

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