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My friend Tony Badran, who writes the superb Across the Bay blog, points out the following item this morning:

The US has lost its influence in the Middle East peace process despite the hopes raised by US President Barack Obama, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published Monday by Italian daily La Repubblica.

Assad added that a new era has begun in the Middle East, including an understanding between its major powers that was reshaping the region. He pointed to a similar phenomenon throughout the world, with countries such as China and Brazil refusing to wait for Washington to “hand out roles” and noting that Russia was trying to rebuild its own role in the region.

On relations with Israel, the Syrian leader said that if Tel Aviv was ready to return the Golan Heights to Syria, then “we would not be able to say no to a peace treaty.” However, he added that any deal would have to include a complete solution of the Palestinian issue, saying that he thought Israel was “not ready for an accord at the moment.”

Even Basher Assad has contempt for Obama and displays it openly.

What happened? It didn’t used to be embarrassing  to be an American.



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