Sunday, June 01, 2014

The Great Game has shifted west

Tom Friedman posts his Sunday New York Times column from Iraqi Kurdistan. It concludes --

The only solution, they [Kurds] say, is for the U.S. and Russia (how likely is that!) to broker a power-sharing deal in Syria between Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and their proxies. Repeat after me: There is no military solution to Syria — and Iran and Russia have to be part of any diplomatic one. Those are the kind of unpleasant, unromantic, totally long-shot foreign policy choices the real world throws up these days. A little humility, please.

To be fair to the Moustache, he's not a novice on Syria. He was in Hama after the Hafez al-Assad flattened it with at least 10,000 people under the bombs and bulldozers. But anyway, the point here is the following: note how his solution, which is very much of a consensus solution in elite foreign policy circles, only involves one Arab country with multiple non-Arab players, and doesn't involve talking to actual Syrians at all!