Obama and Clinton’s senior advisers visit Syrian president Assad

debkafile‘s Middle East sources name them as Zbigniew Brezhinsky, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, who now advises Democratic Senator Barack Obama on foreign policy, and the Iranian-American Hassan Nemazee, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s principal donors.
The advisers to the two Democratic contenders were in Damascus last week as part of a RAND Corporation delegation. While Nemazee was tight-lipped on his talks with President Bashar Assad, Obama’s adviser stated: “The conversation dealt with recent regional developments, affirming that both sides have a common desire to achieve stability in the region, which would benefit both its people and the USA.”
These words, in the tone of an officiating government servant, raised new speculation about the Middle East policies of the Senator from Illinois and his attitude toward Israel.
Brezhinsky’s statement was compatible with Obama’s avowed intention, if elected, of meeting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Syrian ruler to persuade them that cooperation with America is preferable to confrontation. Clinton calls this approach naive.
However, Brezhinsky went so far as to portray Assad as a seeker of Middle East stability. This sounds odd to anyone familiar with the Syrian ruler’s record of permitting anti-American fighters, weapons and cash to flow from his country to Iraq, his violent destabilization of Lebanon, his arming of Hizballah and his playing host to the command centers of the most radical Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Jihad Islami.
Brezhinsky in fact called on Assad only days after the master terrorist Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated in Damascus, exposing for all the world to see the welcome he and his ilk enjoy in the Syrian capital.
Questions were inevitably asked as to whether the adviser represented the presidential contender’s views or just his own.
The talks Nemazee held with Assad were just as coolly received in New York and Moscow. Clinton’s commitment to Israel’s security and Lebanon’s stability – both victims of the Assad regime’s machinations – were called into question by Jewish and Lebanese circles alike.
In Moscow, the very presence in Damascus of Jimmy Carter’s adviser in the 1970s, the darkest days of the Cold War, was cause for suspicion. Some Russian sources commented that Brezhinsky was still bent on making trouble for the Kremlin, and may even have tried to persuade Assad to break off Damascus’ military ties with Russia, including the Russian Navy’s use of Syrian Mediterranean ports.

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