There is something about Syria. It produces wishful thinking in the most surprising quarters. “We do believe,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated on July 24, “that it is not too late for the Assad regime to commence with planning for a transition to find a way that ends the violence and begin the serious discussions that have not occurred to date.” Really? Does the administration truly believe that a managed transition in Syria is possible?
Apparently it does. Five days after Hillary Clinton spoke, Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense also emphasized the need for an orderly transition of power. “The best way to preserve…stability,” he said, “is to maintain as much of the military and police as you can, along with security forces, and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government.”
Anyone who thinks that this hope is grounded in reality should read the very clear-sighted analysis of my colleague, Ken Pollack. Syria, he explains, is in a civil war. Such conflicts have a logic all their own, one that we ignore at our peril. Ken’s analysis lays the basis for a realistic discussion of the stark choices that Washington truly faces. It is required reading.
[Trump has] given Iran the moral high ground and that is an exceptionally difficult thing to do given the history and reality of Iran's misdeeds at home and in the region. It's just malpractice on the part of an American president.
The way the Trump administration is moving forward [with its Iran policy] is just so hostile to all aspects of Iran that it’s unlikely to produce any traction with the Iranian people or to encourage divisions within the system.
The intent of [any U.S. action] to do with the IRGC is basically to cast a very broad shadow over sectors of the Iranian economy and exacerbate the compliance nightmare for foreign businesses that may be considering trade and investment with Iran.