Joshua Landis (Syria Comment blog)
"Syrians seem to be staying at home this Friday. It is raining in Damascus. Friends there say it is calm and everyone is watching events in Egypt on Aljazeera. A friend who runs a travel agency says he has gotten a first wave of cancellations due to the Egyptian events. People don’t distinguish – its all the Middle East.
Several months ago, I wrote in Foreign Policy that “Syria will work to isolate the United States in the Middle East” by forcing it to chose between Arab friends and Israel. That process is happening much faster than I thought. The Egyptian democracy movement has forced Washington to chose between the Arab people and US pro-Israel interests. Washington has hesitated. Now Republicans are calling for an end to US military cooperation with Turkey because Erdoghan does not want to share intelligence with Israel and aim missiles at Iran. Again, Washington is being forced to decide between its Middle Eastern interests and Israel. Congress is likely to force Obama to side with Israel. If America burns its relations with Ankara, the US will have no friends but Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. By refusing to take a positive stand on Arab-Israeli peace or to oppose Israeli expansion into the West Bank and Golan, the US is forsaking its principles of fairness and supporting international law. In Egypt, it has fallen behind the democracy curve."