For some in the Middle East, the images of Russian tanks rolling into Georgia in defiance of U.S. opposition have revived warm memories of the Cold War.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew last week to Moscow, where he endorsed Russia's offensive in Georgia and, according to Russian officials, sought additional Russian weapon systems.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's influential son, echoed the delight expressed in much of the Arab news media. "What happened in Georgia is a good sign, one that means America is no longer the sole world power setting the rules of the game," the younger Gaddafi was quoted as telling the Russian daily Kommersant. "There is a balance in the world now. Russia is resurging, which is good for us, for the entire Middle East."
In Turkey, an American and European ally that obtains more than two-thirds of its natural gas from Russia, the reaction was more complex. Turks watched as the United States, NATO and a divided European Union hesitated in the face of Russian military assertiveness, leaving them more doubtful than they already were about depending on the West to secure U.S.-backed alternative oil and gas supply lines.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Russia's invasion welcomed in Middle East
Via the Washington Post. Excerpt: