Saturday, February 27, 2016

Mideast alliances shift as regional balance alters

Sharmine Narwani,, Saturday, February 27, 2016

image from
[Narwani:] In January, I was interviewed by the conservative Iranian publication Javan about the shifting balance of power in the Levant and Persian Gulf. We looked at Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia and the many moving parts of US foreign policy. ...
[Narwani:] I would like to see Iranians and Arabs begin to invest in public diplomacy more proactively, but not just to emulate what the west does. Part of the Iranian problem is that they are active participants in the West’s ‘discourse’ about this region – Iranians are the ‘rejectionists’ in that discourse, and they actually strengthen it by ‘rejecting’ it. The Resistance Axis and its allies need to begin afresh by developing homegrown narratives that reflect their own political, economic and social priorities. Don’t participate in the west’s telling of OUR story – let’s construct our own. The west will immediately reject our goals, our vision, our version of the narrative – for a change, they will become the ‘rejectionists’ in our game. In this region, we need to take control over our own narratives before someone else comes in to fill that void. This needs to be a national security priority – not an afterthought by a communication staff member. ...

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