Syria & Self Interests of The West
Last week we explained the wider strands of the dirty game being played, in “Syria, UN Resolutions & the Bigger Picture”.
Whether you wish to accept it or not, the opposition in Syria is sponsored by the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian National Council, assorted ‘activists’ in exile, some closely linked to the British Foreign Office and the US State Department.
Reform is not the issue. Even our very own FCO have admitted it in their briefing, titled “Syrian Government’s commitments to the Arab League: Myths & reality”.
We wholeheartedly condemn the actions taken by the Assad government on the people of Syria, the wanton massacres and indiscriminate destruction of civilian areas prove without a shadow of a doubt that the current regime has gone far too far. After decades of selling arms to dictators in the Middle East, our governments are wrapping themselves in the rhetoric of humanitarian intervention.
All of the players involved in this tragedy are like Saul on the road to Damascus, their agendas vary, but they all converge at one point: their determination to destroy the current government.
For “The West” – Britain, France and the US – the elimination of a government and a political party that has long got in their way, is the issue.
For Saudi Arabia, the issue is confronting Iran and containing Shia-ism across the region. The Sauds sent troops to Bahrain to quell the uprising and now face the Shia problem within their own borders in Qatif.
For the Muslim Brotherhood, the issue is revenge for Hafez al Assad’s repression of their revolt in 1982, the destruction of a secular government and perhaps the installation of a new system which they expect to dominate.
While the BBC are pushing the narrative of an all out sectarian civil war in Syria amongst Sunnis and Shias, the fact that Syria has been dominated by the minority Alawis, as the ruling elite politically & militarily since the 1960’s is strangely absent from discourse. A conveniently forgotten fact.
For the US and their client state, Saudi Arabia – Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are three parts of the same problem. The Sauds regard Iran as the ‘head of the snake’ and have pleaded with the US to attack it on many occasions under the Bush regime, as well as the current US administration. We’re all too aware a direct attack on Iran, would remove the cloak from the covert war already being waged and would be catastrophic to the countries waging it.
Far be it for me to tell the BBC & the western media what the fallout would be from a military attack on live nuclear reactors, not that the consequences of any “collateral damage” are ever discussed seriously. Former UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix stated military strikes would be ''a path to disaster rather than a solution'', before adding that Iran “posed no imminent threat”.
In 2006 Iran and Syria formalised a joint defence agreement to confront ‘common threats’. Any open intervention in Syria would not be welcomed by Iran and would clearly be viewed as an opening prelude to an attack on Iran itself.
As I pointed out Russia & China are unwilling to back UN Security Council resolutions. Military planners in “The West” are using the second option to destabilise Syria. By bringing down the Syrian government and rupturing its strategic relationship with Iran and Hizbullah, the check mate position is in sight for the US and its Western, Gulf and of course Israeli partners.
Nir Rosen recently wrote a detailed piece for Al Jazeera: “Q&A: Nir Rosen on Syria’s armed opposition”, of which the closing paragraphs summarise how Israel will gain from this situation.
When we take Syria in a wider context of the countries hit by the Arab Spring, we can clearly see new geopolitical boundaries being drawn. The so called “Islamist parties” (a term I dislike, but used for western discourse) have come, or are likely to come to govern in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Perhaps even in Libya if elections are ever held.
What parties say when they are in opposition and what they feel obliged to do when they are the ruling governments are two different propositions. Rashid Ghannushi, the leader of Tunisia’s Al Nahda party has held quiet talks with the Israelis in Washington and has indicated that Palestine will not be a priority for the new Tunisian government.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is dithering over maintaining existing peace treaties with Israel; the sticking point seems to be how many billions of dollars in aid they’ll receive for selling out.
Thus far in a area undergoing rapid change, Syria is the player not playing the game; standing firm against the US and Israel on the one hand and the rising Saudi-Gulf axis on the other.
Make no mistake, “The West” is on the hunt for another war in the Middle East. War is a profitable business; why else do you think military supplier BAE systems announced an 18% rise in profits yesterday, amidst a global recession.
The essence of the campaign against Syria is ultimately Iran. Provocation with scientists being assassinated and the US navy on the Straits of Hormuz, are a clear intention to goad Iran into retaliating and providing a pretext for the armed attack that many in Israel and the US want.
The image used is titled “Crocodiles of Arabia” and the credit goes to Khalil Bendib