Michael Crowley recently speculated that
Administration officials are exploring a Syria solution in which Iran would support the exit of Assad and his top lieutenants — a core rebel demand — while preserving a government infrastructure. Russia, which also backs Assad, would need to agree. So would Sunni Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, who supply arms and money to opposition fighters.
Let’s imagine how such a ‘solution’, given the Obama Administration’s proven track record at negotiation, might play out.
First, we can lose the part about the Sunni Arabs having to agree. They didn’t have to agree to the Iran deal, so why would the administration care now? The Turks couldn’t care less. They have already gotten what they want from Obama, permission to bomb the Kurds. As has happened at least three times since the 1920s, the West is betraying the Kurds, who will be kept from achieving the self-determination that would be uncomfortable for Turkey and Iran.
Mass murderer and chemical weapons enthusiast Bashar al-Assad would go into exile somewhere. Maybe he would even be allowed to keep a little piece of his former country as an enclave for himself and his loyalists. In any event, he would live happily ever after on his Swiss bank accounts, under the joint protection of the US, Russia and Iran.
A pro-Iranian puppet government, even less independent than that of Assad, would be established. This government would have to fight ‘terrorism’, which would be defined as any opposition to it – just like Assad does today. The difference would be that now the US as well as Iran and Russia would be on its side, maybe even providing air support. No need for those tacky barrel bombs or low-tech chlorine cylinders! This would be in the name of ‘stability’ and suppressing ISIS, of course. Too bad for the Syrian Sunnis that haven’t fled the country yet.
The deal would undoubtedly include a free hand for Iran in Lebanon, which would lose even the vestige of independence that it still possesses.
And why, Israel will be asked, shouldn’t it give the Golan Heights back to this new Syria? Surely it can be trusted with the US behind it.
My wife said this morning that if Obama and Kerry had negotiated the the Munich Pact, in addition to a piece of Czechoslovakia, Hitler would have gotten $150 billion (OK, slightly less in 1938 dollars), immunity to develop his V2 rocket program free of interference, and a promise that the West would overlook any future aggression (yes, this is in the Iran deal). A Syria deal would be like the Allies helping him set up the Vichy regime in France.
But after the nuclear deal, absolutely anything is possible.