What's the Point of Talking?
Can you trust President Obama to deal with Iran and Syria?
The Bush administration recalled its ambassador in Damascus after Hariri's killing, a decision the new administration may soon reverse. Obama's vagueness on how to safeguard Lebanese sovereignty is worrisome (as was Bush's), because Damascus has spent the last three years violating every U.N. resolution destined to achieve that end. Lebanon was a verifiable success for George W. Bush. By turning engagement into a fetish without grasping its damaging consequences if badly conceived, Obama might harm not only the United States but especially those in the Arab world unwilling to be stifled by Iran and Syria.
Michael Young is opinion editor of the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut and author of The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon's Life Struggle, which the Wall Street Journal listed as one of its 10 standout books for 2010.
Photograph of Bashar Assad by Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images.