A number of Middle Eastern Arab countries are cozying up to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad because of Syria’s big brother—Russia. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:
America may “be back” for most of the world, but for the Middle East the only thing it is “back” to, is Obama’s “soft power” touch in the region.
GCC countries have so much to learn from Assad on how to survive an uprising and how to stay in power. But what he can really teach them is how to handle Moscow
In early June, the world was rocked by news from the Middle East that Gulf Arab leaders are now moving even further to becoming a full-on ally of Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad. Now, all countries have their embassies re-opened in Damascus with Saudi Arabia being the last to jump on the bandwagon and the new position of these GCC states is to go beyond merely bringing him in from the cold but to embrace him. Soon, we will see Syria reinstated in the Arab League, an institution largely known around the world as an Arab elite talk shop which only makes the headlines when its members have a very good lunch and often nod off in the afternoon during the speeches.
On the face of it, the move is pragmatic, even erudite. Assad is the ultimate survivor who has fought and won a counterrevolution against the very people – the Muslim Brotherhood – which most (not all) GCC states hate vehemently.
Yet there is some irony now with those same Gulf Arab countries using their influence in Washington to try and convince Joe Biden’s administration that it is time to lift sanctions against Syria. Indeed, it is the Biden touch which has pushed Saudi Arabia, UAE and others towards this extreme measure of “if you can’t beat them, join them.” America may “be back” for most of the world, but for the Middle East the only thing it is “back” to, is Obama’s “soft power” touch in the region.