But despite their vast resources and a favorable environment created by George W Bush’s Middle East crusade following the September 11 attacks, the moderate Arabs did not fare so well in their confrontation with the resistance camp.
The other approach, in which Paris in particular led the way, was to lure Syria out of its alliance with Iran into the Western camp, using various diplomatic and economic incentives. Removing Syria from the equation, they calculated, would represent a devastating blow to the resistance axis by depriving Iran of its key Arab ally.
And as has been revealed recently by Hezbollah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, Syria played a critical role in supplying both the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups with the kind of weapons (medium-range missiles and armor-piercing rockets) that made all the difference, particularly in the July War. To much of the public’s surprise, these weapons were made or modified in Syria, and Damascus was not merely a transit point as many had thought.
Bilal El-Amine is an editor at Al-Akhbar English.
The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.