Those who favor unconditional engagement with Syria, believing the ruling regime will in exchange distance itself from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, should consider the parallel drawn by the Syrian Vice-President, Farouk al-Shara, in Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker article this week. When “asked whether Syria’s relationship with Iran would change if the Golan Heights issue was resolved, he said, ‘Do you think a man only goes to bed with a woman he deeply loves?’…‘That’s my answer to your question about Iran.’”
So, according to the Syrian second-in-command, even if the Golan Heights are returned and ties with Washington reestablished, Syria will still remain in bed with everybody, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Israel, America and anyone else the regime finds it advantageous to sleep with.
As Hersh sees it, “Assad’s goal in seeking to engage with America and Israel is clearly more far-reaching than merely to regain the Golan Heights. His ultimate aim appears to be to persuade [President Barak] Obama to abandon the [former President George] Bush Administration’s strategy of aligning America with the so-called “moderate” Arab Sunni states—Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan—in a coordinated front against Shiite Iran, Shiite Hezbollah, and Hamas.”