Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Game Change In Syria

The situation in the Syrian insurgency has changed in an interesting way.

We started out with the Obama administration actually supporting Bashir Assad - remember Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referring to Assad as a 'reformer' and Senator John Kerry shilling for U.S. aid to him?

The next twist in the road was the Obama administration supporting the insurgents, consisting of the Syrian National Council(SNC) and the Syrian Free Army, a group put together at the insistence of President Obama's closest friend among foreign leaders, Tayyip Erdogan and the Islamist Turkish government. The U.S. government has been supplying them with arms and some training via Turkey and Jordan while Qatar and the Saudis have been supplying most of the funding.

Of course, the problem is that the SNC and the Syrian Free Army are controlled in their entirety by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafists, some of them outright al-Qaeda affiliates like Jabhat al-Nusra. Apparently this troubling fact just came to light in Washington.

So the next step was to put together yet another insurgent group of Syrian 'moderates' to back, the Syrian Opposition Coalition,(SOC)and the associated Joint Military Council because, in President Obama's words, it was "now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population, that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime."

Except that there are just a few problems. Mere details.

This new coalition, formed in Qatar is only two thirds composed of members of the Muslim Brotherhood or their affiliates.

The leader of the SOC is one Ahmed Mouaz al-Khatib, former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and - wait for it - a religious cleric closely allied to the Damascus branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another troubling detail is that the SOC and their affiliated Joint Military Council are mostly located outside Syria, and it has few boots on the ground if any, let alone weapons. Thanks to the Obama Administration,it is the Syrian National Council and the Syrian Free Army who have the fighters and the weaponry, some of it reportedly taken from deposed Libyan leader Moamar Khaddaffi's armories, although that part of the sordid Libyan story has yet to be proven conclusively. If that's what actually went down, I suppose we could call it Fast and Furious, Middle East style.

As you might guess, the SNC and the Syrian Free Army aren't taking kindly to a bunch of ferenghi in DC and the EU dumping them and telling them whom represents the resistance and whom doesn't, especially when it's been them doing the fighting and dying against Assad's forces.

The ace in the hole for the newly formed and recognized Syrian Opposition Coalition is that they're going to be the main recipient and control point of Western economic aid. That ought to buy them a seat at the table.

But let's not make the mistake that this is going to end up with a moderate, pro-western government.

The SOC is just as anti-western, just as anti-Israel and almost as Islamist as the SNC.They will almost certainly come together and deal to put together a sharia go0verned Islamist state.

It's the Muslim Brotherhood who has the clear agenda, a disciplined corps of followers subject to an organized hierarchy and the ruthlessness to take over in Syria. The Brotherhood has Qatar and Turkey backing it, and they are ultimately the best bet to be Syria's next government.

What's left of Syria's Christians are already fleeing, mostly to Lebanon, the only Arab country that still has a sizable Christian population.

If the Russians cut Assad loose (and there are some signs that they may now be leaning that way), Assad would be unable to put together a northwestern redoubt as I discussed here. The Shi'ites and Alawites, those that stay, can look forward, at best, to being marginalized if not ethnically cleansed.

The Kurds, meanwhile, are keeping to themselves and consolidating their strength in the northeast, the area adjacent to Iraqi Kurdistan. The odds are good that they may merge in a de facto union with their fellow Kurds just over the border as a precursor to a free Kurdistan.It is the one positive development out of this entire mess.

Syria, like Iraq is an artificial country, some lines in the sand created out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire after WWI. And like Iraq, it was a seething mass of ethnicities ruled over by an iron fisted dictator, until we kicked it over.

Given the coming showdown between the Sunnis and the Muslim Brotherhood versus the Shi'ite Iranian bloc, it's fascinating that in Iraq we midwifed a transition from a Sunni-ruled dictatorship to a Shi'ite one that is essentially becoming an Iranian colony, while in Syria, we're engaged in doing the exact opposite, transforming an Alawite Shi'ite dictatorship into a Sunni one.

The Obama Administration goal, to all intents and purposes is to establish yet another Muslim Brotherhood regime in the Middle East.Or to put it more bluntly, The U.S. is now backing what is essentially an anti-western, Islamist takeover of Syria

And not just in Syria, of course. President Obama and his team believe that the solution to our conflicts with the Muslim world is 'daylight' between the U.S. and its ally Israel ( the president's own words) while we encourage Islamist regimes to take over, as they have in Egypt and Gaza, and may soon take over in Libya, Syria, the Palestinian occupied areas of Judea and Samaria and Jordan.

This is the start of the Caliphate Hassan al-Banna dreamt of, when he started the Muslim Brotherhood back in the 1920's.

In later years, we're going to find out exactly what a huge act of folly this was.


amspirnational said...

of course the antidote to all this is/was Ron Paul/Pat Buchanan non-intervention, no aid,economic or military, to ANY side...which being a dual loyalist sympathizer you could not have accepted at any rate.
but it is interesting that the loss of thousands of lives trying to turn Iraq into a pro-Israel, pro-US puppet "fascinates" you...

Rob said...

Ooh looky, another Jew hater!

You should read the site more often, Mr. Anonymous amspirnational. If you did, you'd see that I was not only against us intervening in Syria, but in Libya..for the simple reason that we didn't have a dog in those fights.

Syria would be good place to intervene if we did have one to break up the Iranian bloc, but we don't, and it sure ain't the Muslim Brotherhood.

Now in Iraq (which again, is not where I would have sent an army after 9/11) we actually did have a dog in the fight, the Kurds.Their Persh Merga ( largely trained and armed by Israel, BTW) killed every AQ jihadi scumbag who came into their territory so we didn't have go after them or to deploy more than a few troops there, and they wanted nothing more than for us to stick a base in Kurdistan and ally with them. Kurdistan was the real 'model Muslim Democracy' and 'ally in the war on terror' Bush was seeking, according to his own words. But Bush shafted them to please the Turks and Iraq's Shi'ites.

Got us a lot, didn't it?

I realize that to people of your mindset, absolutely everything - traffic, the weather , the price of peas is about Jews and Israel.

*chuckle* You and the people you mentioned wouldn't know a loyal and valuable US ally if it bit you in the ass. How many Americans would have died in the first Gulf War if the Israelis hadn't bombed Osirak and Saddam actually had nukes?

Pat's a smart guy in some respects and so is Ron Paul, but his kind never learn from history and their obvious feelings about Jews trumps anything remotely resembling common sense.They never learned that it never just stops with the Jews.

If ol' Pat had gotten his way back in WWII, we'd be speaking German right now. But a lot of Jews would be dead, so you'd have that consolation.

Ah, the might have beens!

But the thing is, it didn't turn out that way, most Americans are smart and patriotic enough to back our ally Israel and guess what - Israel stays.

Deal with it.


B.Poster said...


The purpose of the invasion of Iraq was not to turn Iraq into some sort of "puppet" for US interests and definitely not for Israeli interests. The main reasons for the invasion were to eliminate Iraq's WMD stockpile, to eliminate Iraq's support for Islamic terrorism activities, and to facilitate Iraq's transition to a democratic form of government.

As it turned out, the WMD were not where we expected due to faultly intellegence and the fact that Iraq and its allies were able to use the UN and other international bodies to delay action long enough to move the weapons likely to Syria. While the US government likely would have preferred a pro-US government, this never was the primary purpose. The primary purpose was as stated above and later after WMD were not found the primary purpose shifted to the purpose of demcoracy for Iraq at any costs no matter how bad American interests might be undermined. The goal of democracy for Iraq was stated from the start and should surprise no one.

Furthermore, the Iraq war was in no way shape or form designed with the goal of assisting Israel. Instead quite the opposite was the case. In order to get together the type of coalition partners we needed to successfully depose the Saddam Hussein government, an unwarranted sacrifice of Israeli interests was made. As an example, this led to the dangerous and misguied "road map" as a resolution of the Israeli Arab conflict.

While I initially supported our actions in Iraq, it turned out to be a massive strategic error. I was wrong and freely admit that. As a result of this and the large amount of resources spent on this and other military operations in the GWOT, America is a mere shell of what it once was and the military has been degraded to the point that even basic national defense is problematic.

While I now agree with the position that the actions in Iraq were a stratgic error and a poorly executed policy at that, the record did need to be set straight. At no time was this done with the idea of setting up an American or Israeli "puppet" government. Additionally, the constant reference to any American ally as a "puppet" is degrading to those soverign nations. As such, it is no small wonder why no one wants to ally with us. The constant demeaning of any one who does so very likely plays a big role in their decision making.

Rob's response to you is largely spot on, however, we would not be sepaking German. We might be speaking Russian. Even without American involvement, Germany could not have won WWII. Without US involvement the war likely would have taken longer and casualties on all sides would have been higher before Germany lost and its very likely that the Soviet Union would have gained control over all of Europe and not just the Eastern Bloc which would have deprived us of valuable allies in confronting the Soviet Union which could have led to a different result of the Cold War, so we'd probably be speaking Russain but definitely not German, very respectfully.

Finally, by a change in the nature of the "special realtionship" that is supposed to exist between the US and Israel to one where America has less direct involvement which probably means less direct aid from the US the freedom of movement Israel would gain from this situation would more than outweigh the loss of American aid. Such a situation would be a win-win for both nations. Teh so called "special relationship" is actually a myth any way that makes it easier for media pundits to demonize both nations.