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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New York Times Editorial, "Another Syria Peace Conference": Insights Into Obama's Secret Agenda

The latest New York Times editorial entitled "Another Syria Peace Conference" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/opinion/another-syria-peace-conference.html?ref=opinion) is as addle-brained as always. However, given that its editorials habitually reflect Oval Office "thinking," this short piece, ruing the absence of Iran from the upcoming peace conference in Geneva, is certainly worth a read. The editorial board of The Times would have us know:

"Just how the invitation from the United Nations was fumbled is unclear, but it is unfortunate that some diplomatic solution could not have been found to include Iran, which along with Russia is Syria’s main ally, providing President Assad with arms and other military support. In an interview with The New York Times and Time magazine last month, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Iran would not be an impediment to a political settlement. 'We have every interest in helping the process in a peaceful direction,' he said. 'We are satisfied, totally satisfied, convinced that there is no military solution in Syria and that there is a need to find a political solution in Syria.'"

Iran has "every interest in helping the process in a peaceful direction"? "There is no military solution in Syria"? I suppose that is why Iran sent Revolutionary Guard advisors and thousands of Hezbollah fighters to assist Assad.

The editorial continues:

"The civil war has drawn affiliates of Al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists to the Syrian battlefield, and these could eventually be a threat to Shiite-led Iran as well as Russia, which is fighting extremists in the Caucasus and worrying about attacks during the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month.

Mr. Zarif acknowledged this problem generally, asserting that 'the continuation of this tragedy in Syria can only provide the best breeding ground for extremists who use this basically as a justification, as a recruiting climate, in order to wage the same type of activity in other parts of this region.'"

Now I understand: al-Qaeda is extremist, but Hezbollah and the Iran Revolutionary Guard are not, and we should also believe everything that Javad Zarif tells us. Yeah, right.

Again, you might ordinarily expect this sort of muddled thinking from the editorial board of The New York Times, but in this instance it more likely reflects the thinking of the president. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Obama is preparing to elevate the status and standing of Iran at the expense of America's traditional Sunni allies in the region, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan.

Indeed, the US purportedly objected to the last-minute invitation to Iran from the UN to participate in the talks, but other conciliatory signals - such as this one from the semi-official organ of the Obama administration - are also being sent to Tehran.

Or in a nutshell, Obama is undertaking a Middle Eastern shake-up with all the preparation that went into the rollout of Obamacare.

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