Bombing Assad Won’t Change Resentments in the Middle East Over American Power

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the secretary-general of the Arab League, left, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attend a press conference at the end of the Arab summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, April 15, 2018 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).
Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the secretary-general of the Arab League, left, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attend a press conference at the end of the Arab summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, April 15, 2018 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).
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The early reactions of Syria’s neighbors to the joint strikes by the United States, France and the United Kingdom on three chemical weapons-related facilities last Friday night fell into familiar patterns. As the reality of the very limited nature of the attack sinks in, expect the full range of responses, capturing the deep ambivalence in the Middle East toward American power. Most countries in the region resent excessive demonstrations of what they see as American arrogance, but they miss American force when it is not there. Some even hoped in vain that the strikes would signal a new willingness for […]

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