Your Lying Eyes

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29 February 2012

Dealing with Syria and Iran - a Message?

The Times has a couple interesting - for the Times, anyway - articles on Syria and Iran. On Syria, it's the first account I've seen in the mainstream press attempting to provide a balanced look at the situation there. The article describes the sectarian nature of the insurrection and contrasts nicely with Tom Friedman's bizarre twisting of the story yesterday ("the opposition in Syria began as a largely peaceful, grass-roots, pan-Syrian movement for democratic change...[President Bashar al-Assad] wanted to make the conflict about his Alawite minority versus the country’s Sunni Muslim majority as a way of discrediting the opposition and holding his base").

On Iran, the article discusses American analysts assessment of the outcome of an Israeli strike on Iran. While hardly dire, the outcome looks to be quite a mess for the U.S. I would expect such analysis to go completely unheeded by the administration.

Except that perhaps the Times is trying to get word to the White House - back off from Syria, and keep the pressure on Israel to hold off on any strikes. I can't see Obama as the kind of guy who wants to deal with wars and international turmoil - he seems much more comfortable worrying about whether black students get suspended too much from school and how to increase Pell grants to urban students. But he is apparently easily intimidated into taking action based on "human rights" concerns. So maybe the Times is trying to tell him something none of his advisers ever would.

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