Syria is better without Assad believes Israeli General

May 23, 2011

Retired General Amos Yadlin (former head of Israel’s military intelligence and one of the pilots who destroyed the Iraqi reactor) and Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute wrote recently about the Devil we don’t know:

The straw man of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood: In a post-Asad world, the ruler of Syria — “the devil we don’t know” — is likely to be Sunni and, in comparison to Asad, more secular and politically moderate. Whatever his political inclinations, chances are unlikely that a Sunni leader would maintain Asad’s close ties with Shiite Iran and Hizballah. Still, even if one assumes, for argument’s sake, that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would dominate a new regime, such a government would still likely be less problematic than Asad’s. The Brotherhood is a relatively weak movement in Syria — many of its members have been killed or locked away in Asad’s prisons, and the remainder is abroad. Furthermore, Syria has a secular majority, and a Muslim Brotherhood government would be constrained by that reality. Even in a worse-case scenario of a powerful and effective Sunni fundamentalist regime in Damascus, one should not forget the influence of a strong deterrent, such as Israel has displayed since 2006 toward Hizballah, itself a well-armed, radical Islamist movement.

That is one of four arguments they marshal in favor of not fearing regime change in Syria. I don’t know if Gen. Yadlin’s view represents the Israeli government’s, but I think it suggests that, contrary to Friedman, there probably is a contingent currently in power in Israel who agrees with this analysis. via


Saudi prince rules out engagement with Israel until Arab land is returned

November 5, 2010

In an unusual detour into U.S. politics, Turki also warned against a return of the “neoconservative philosophy.” He said that under the policies of President Obama, many Americans may have believed “that the neocon movement has died, the victim of its own failed, delusional ambitions.” But, he said, “this recent election will give more fodder for these warmongers to pursue their favorite exercise, war-making.”
As an example of what he labeled neoconservative thinking, Turki dissected in detail a recent article on Foreign Policy magazine’s Web site by Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Satloff warned Obama about actions that he thought might be counterproductive to reaching a peace deal, including failing to make clear that a military option remains on the table in confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

so now you know who reads Foreign Policy magazine