Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "Lebanon"

U.S. Policy, Viewed From the Middle East

by Elliott Abrams

It’s natural that in the United States we see the Middle East from our own perspective, but very useful to step away from that perspective for a moment to try and see the region as our closest allies there do. By closest allies I refer to Israel and to Arab states such as the UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Read more »

“Who Won the Gaza War,” and “What Now for Israel?”

by Elliott Abrams

In the past week I have written a long article and even longer essay on the Middle East situation today.

“‘The Fog of Cease-fire: Who Won the Gaza War” is the cover story in this week’s edition of The Weekly Standard and can be found here. In brief, it seems to me Israel was the winner by most measures, but as we saw with the Lebanon war of 2006 (where most Israelis thought they had “lost” but now believe that conflict has deterred Hezbollah from making further trouble on the border) judgments may change over time. Meanwhile, there is no sense of triumph in Israel, which is already creating political difficulties for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Read more »

Iran Mocks President Obama by Honoring Mughniyeh

by Elliott Abrams

President Obama has a full court press under way to stop Congress from passing new sanctions legislation that could–could, not will–impose sanctions on Iran one year from now if negotiations break down or Iran cheats. The idea seems to be that passage of the bill would signal mistrust of Iran, or would break the spell of sincerity being cast at the negotiating table. Read more »

Syria: Greetings From Hezbollah

by Elliott Abrams

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, spoke about Syria on Tuesday, and it is fair to say that he is not intimidated by American policy. The Nasrallah speech is a reminder that use of chemical weapons is not the only issue we face in Syria; the intervention of Iranian IRGC and Hezbollah troops is another. Read more »

Syria’s New Attack on Lebanon

by Elliott Abrams

Fears are expressed almost every day that the war in Syria will spread to Lebanon, or to all of Syria’s neighbors. The problem, however, is not that the war “will spread” as if by nature, inevitably, the way spilled water spreads, but that it will be spread–deliberately, by the Assad regime. Read more »

Who Will Speak Up for Lebanon?

by Elliott Abrams

Lebanon’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity were for decades violated by Syria, during the years of Syrian occupation: 1976 to 2005. After the occupation ended, the Assad regime in Syria continued to intervene in Lebanon, but less openly–for example by secretly arranging the murders a long series of Lebanese leaders and journalists who opposed Syrian interests. Read more »

Hezbollah Fighters in Syria

by Elliott Abrams

While there has been considerable discussion in the United States about jihadis who may be fighting in Syria against the Assad regime, less attention has been paid to the presence of Hezbollah fighters acting on the side of that regime.

Asharq Alawsat, the London Arabic-language newspaper, reports on this issue today in a story entitled “FSA: Hezbollah fighters in Syria, carrying out raids.” According to the FSA, the Free Syrian Army, there are also Iranian elements present. What are they doing? According to the newspaper’s sources, the Iranian are providing technical advice and assistance: “there are also Iranian specialists present in the northern areas [of Syria] close to the Turkish borders who have set-up operation rooms…in order to intercept the telephone calls of activists and FSA members…the Iranian specialists’ tasks include training, communication operations and uncovering activists.” But the Hezbollah men are operational: they are snipers. Read more »