Libya and Tunisia Come Out Against Syrian Opposition

Middle Eastern politics are strange, as a rule, and the latest developments are on the strange side.

Mohammed al-Megarif, the interim president of Libya, visited Tunisia, promising a sizable amount of aid. And both al-Megarif and Tunisia’s president expressed opposition to arming the Syrian rebels and delayed recognizing the new Syrian opposition coalition assembled by the Obama Administration, the EU and Qatar.

President Mohammed al-Megarif and his Libyan counterpart are Islamists, though al-Megarif soft pedals that part of his resume. It’s understandable why al-Megarif would funnel Libyan money into Tunisia to support the ruling Islamists there. And it’s also understandable why both Islamist rulers might reject the new Syrian opposition coalition, which is Islamist, but not Islamist enough for the Jihadists in Syria.

But why express opposition to arming the Syrian rebels in general, except as a negotiating tactic for remaking the Syrian coalition more to their liking?

Among other things this is a blow to the Obama Administration’s efforts to set up a legitimized Syrian opposition council.

  • @Kenrick66

    It is apparent that Obama's skill at "statecraft" – that is, the ability to endorse and enable the establishment of Islamist régimes – lacks foresight and an anchorage in the realities of Mideast power competitions. The Islamists, once so enabled, are going to go their own way on their own terms and with their own ends in mind, not Obama's. With any luck, his foreign policy, enacted in his first term, will in his second term begin to unravel and cause him great and deserved embarrassment.

  • adinakutnicki

    What is most important to remember is this – in terms of western outcomes/interests it matters not a whit which one comes out on top. In other words, it will be this Islamist or that Islamist, with nary a diff between the two.
    And whichever one the Islamist-in-Chief has his capital behind is surely not due to American interests. As such, here are some guideposts coming from someone who not only studies the region, but lives in its cross hairs!
    And six of one…half a dozen of another -
    Besides, repeat after this blogger – there is NO moderate Islam -
    Adina Kutnicki, Israel –

  • Spongebob2007

    C'mon folks…do not be fooled any longer. Arab Spring is a buzzword imagined up by the American marketing imagination. The entire Middle East campaign over the past 10 years is all about promotion of a destablization of the region so they can continue to take advantage of these 3rd world countries economically and politically. Almost all of it paid for by Arab dictators and Western civilians tax dollars (actually, more so borrowed money). Nothing to do with promoting democracy, protecting innocent civilians, or especially the hilarous idea that they are tracking down and eliminating Al-Quaida (everyone knows that Bin Laden and Al-Quauda were born and nurtured in Saudi, not Afghan).