Quite a bit of social media activity over the weekend following US admittance that Syria’s Bashar Al Assad has already used chemical weapons against his own people. Much of the traffic honed in on a very pertinent question for this blog: What does it mean re Iran?
The issue was aroused, of course, during US SOD Chuck Hagel’s recent visit to the Middle East. The Israelis have not been exactly bashful in pushing their point about red-line consistency – as illustrated in this New York Times report by David E. Sanger and Jodi Rudoren – but that doesn’t mean their contention should be ignored.
Furthermore, as emphasized by Sanger & Rudoren, the Iranian view is as important – if not more so – that the Israeli one.
In the same context, this Foreign Policy article by Aaron David Miller seems to be enjoying quite a number of retweets these days. Shedding light on an important component of the issue, the author looks down the Syrian road – and inevitably sees Iran:
Still, the president knows there’s a pretty good chance the Iranian issue may come to a crisis, and the United States may be forced to respond militarily. He is going to need Russian and Chinese support for whatever he does — and he isn’t going to get it on both Syria and Iran. Staying out of the Syrian crisis will give him more flexibility and options on Iran.
We have to admit: as the material quoted here demonstrates, media coverage so far on this complex dilemma has on the whole been balanced and level-headed. Good to see.