Iran, Syria and Russia have effectively defeated the United States, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Meir Rosenne has warned.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Dr. Rosenne explained that U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to back down on intervention in Syria, and to go along with a Russian initiative instead, will have severe repercussions for American foreign policy.
“The message to the world is that the United States no longer has the influence it once had. This is a very bad sign regarding what is likely to unfold in this region in the near future,” he warned.
“Syria and Iran now see that there is a difference between what the United States says, and what it does,” he explained.
Obama had previously defined the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line,” but has agreed to respond to a chemical weapons attack near Damascus with an attempt to implement a Russian plan for disarmament, rather than with an airstrike campaign as originally threatened.
His decision to forgo airstrikes was made in the face of strong disapproval among American citizens to further foreign engagements.
Rosenne explained why he believes Obama’s decision means a victory for Russia.
“There was a Russian veto here that brought to mind the atmosphere during the Cold War. This is a big victory for Syria, Iran and Russia.
“America had already prepared its warships and planes, and was constantly saying there would be retaliatory action against Assad – and now the impression is that Assad can keep on murdering his citizens using conventional means, and the West will not oppose him,” he stated.
Russia’s proposal is not a true alternative to military action, he argued.
“There is no U.S. military victory here. The diplomatic solution that talks about oversight on chemical weapons does not talk about removing them from Syria.”
American deterrence was already on the decline, he said, due to a similar change of heart on the part of the U.S. administration.
“When it came to Iran, American announced in the past that if the uranium enrichment continued it would attack, and that didn’t happen,” he recalled.
America has now lost all deterrence in the Middle East, he lamented.
Rosenne's comments partially echo reactions by many in Israel, particularly (though not exclusively) on the Israeli right, who have criticized US dithering on Syria as a sign of weakness, and a reason not to rely on America at times of crisis.