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Monday, 20 February 2012

The Syrian Conundrum In The Backdrop Of American Lies And Duplicities By Taj Hashmi


The Syrian Conundrum In The Backdrop Of American Lies And Duplicities
By Taj Hashmi
20 February, 2012
Countercurrents.org
In the backdrop of the “impending invasion” of Iran either by America (so far the only country that has used nuclear weapons to kill people) or by nuclear-armed Israel, for Iran’s alleged “nuclear ambition”; the US and Arab League support for the rebels against the pro-Iranian Assad regime in Syria has further destabilized the Arab World. The Russian and Chinese vetoes against the US-sponsored proposal to impose sanctions against Syria have further complicated the situation in the entire region. These events are significant indications that the so-called regime-change movement in Syria is not just another replication of what Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have already gone through in the recent past.
The American and Arab-League sponsored rebellions in Homs and some other parts of Syria could be the precursors to a) long-drawn wars between pro-Western and anti-Western / Sunni and Shiite states in the region; b) protracted civil wars on sectarian and tribal lines in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain and other Gulf states; and last but not least, c) the Syrian crisis – which could be the prelude to a full-fledged invasion of Iran by America or Israel – has all the potentials to signal the end of the so-called unipolarity, to the detriment of the dying hegemon, America.
An understanding of the Syrian crisis requires an understanding of the “Arab Spring”. While the mass uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere in the Arab World reflected people’s spontaneous outbursts of pent up anger and frustration against tyrannical regimes, as the Tunisian revolution was different from the Libyan, Egyptian and Yemeni uprisings, so is the Syrian unrest very different from the apparently similar uprisings elsewhere in the Arab World. Unlike the Mubarak regime in Egypt, the Assad regime in Syria is neither at peace with Israel nor is friendly towards America. Syria also has a mutual defence pact with Iran.
Then again, although the Shiite Alawi minority in Syria (which roughly represents twenty per cent of the population) is in power for more than four decades, the Assad regime has not excluded the Sunni upper and middle classes from sharing political, economic and military power. Consequently, unlike the impoverished and marginalized Shiite majority in Iraq under Saddam Hussein who went against him in the wake of US invasion in 2003, the Sunni majority in Syria (excepting in certain pockets, especially in Homs) has a stake in the Assad regime. Syria is not another Bahrain, where the pro-Saudi and most importantly, pro-American Sunni minority ruling class calls the shot to the detriment of the Shiite majority. Again, in comparison to the Arab kingdoms and sheikhdoms, the autocratic Assad regime in Syria provides far better public education, health care, and equal opportunities, freedom and dignity to women.
Nevertheless, all is not well in Syria. Inspired and emboldened by the successful regime changes by people in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, tens of thousands of Syrians have been genuinely protesting against the government and dying at the hands of government troops. This is, however, equally true but unknown to most people in the world that America and its Arab League puppets, Saudi Arabia and other GCC members have been sending mercenaries and arming Syrian rebels to topple the Assad regime, which is not at peace with Israel and a close ally of Iran, the common enemy of America and its Arab clients. Thanks to the biased and overpowering Western media reports, which the pro-Western regimes and media within and beyond the Arab World untiringly replicate and propagate, the overwhelming majority of people across the world only see the other side of the coin.
They are not aware of the facts that: a) “Syrian rebels” are using flares and armour-piercing projectiles in Homs, Idlib and Hama to kill troops, foreign observers, journalists and innocent bystanders; b) a Saudi TV station recently broadcast a Salafist religious leader giving his blessing for spilling the blood of foreign observers, as stated by the Russian Ambassador at the Security Council meeting on 31st January; and most people also do not know that c) al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video recording, “Onwards, Lions of Syria”, on 13th February urged Syrians and Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to help those who are fighting to topple “the butcher, son of the butcher Bashar bin Hafiz”. One wonders, if the Salafists, al Qaeda, America and its allies have discovered common friends and enemies in Syria and beyond. In view of the State Department’s stand on Syria and its latest somersault in the Maldives affairs – it supported the Islamist-sponsored 7th February coup and within 72 hours backtracked on recognition of the new regime -- one tends to agree with the late Senator William Fulbright that, “There is a kind of voodoo about American foreign policy” [The Arrogance of Power, Random House, New York 1966, p. 32].
What America and its allies have been trying to do in Syria is not that different from what they did to Libya in the recent past. In the case of Libya, the American “Oil Lobby” achieved what they had wanted since long – to control the oil fields in Benghazi – through UN-sponsored sanctions against Libya to justify a full-fledged invasion of the country to topple the not-so-compliant Qaddafi regime. In Syria, the “Israel Lobby” in America (which is much more powerful than what the White House, Congress and Pentagon represent collectively), is trying to isolate and neutralize Syria, first through UN-sponsored sanctions, and then through open invasion of the country to overthrow Bashar Assad a la Qaddafi. Syria, an adversary of Israel and a close ally of Iran and Hezbollah with 300,000 regular troops and 200,000 reservists, is an impediment to the US-Israeli design in Iran. Unfortunately, for the US-Israeli-Saudi triumvirate, the Russo-Chinese veto in the Security Council is another obstruction in this regard.
Nevertheless, as our experience tells us, America (and Israel) is not going to let Syria go its way. Not only the overpowering Israel Lobby is determined to overthrow the Assad regime, but what we often overlook and undermine, the vicious Military-Industrial-Congressional Lobby in America, the main factor behind all wars waged by America since 1945 (to paraphrase Eisenhower), keeping in view the “profits of war” is also unwavering about waging another war, in Syria, Iran or Pakistan, it does not care. Then again, the US-Israel-Saudi triumvirate seems to be very myopic. As the regime changes in the Arab World have so far strengthened the Islamists (especially in Egypt), Syria would not be an exception in this regard.
Last but not least, it is time that America listens to people like Carter, Chomsky and Joseph Nye to emerge as a soft power. If regime change by mass upsurge is that desirable to America, it should have condemned the Bahraini regime (and Saudi Arabia) for crushing the popular upsurge in Bahrain, which incidentally, is an American naval base for its Sixth Fleet. Otherwise, decent and civil Americans who believe that their country “is not likely to embark upon a campaign to dominate the world in the manner of a Hitler or Napoleon” will be proven wrong.

One does not need Einstein’s IQ to understand how the American Empire has been destabilizing the world for the last sixty-odd years. The so-called champion of democracy, freedom and human rights, the US have had no qualms about killing more than a million innocent civilians across the world since Hiroshima, albeit in the name of preserving the elusive freedom and democracy. What the warmongering and self-righteous America, which for decades has been the biggest promoter of state-sponsored terrorism in the world, is going to do to Syria is not at all comforting to the peace loving people. What it has done so far to the Muslim World since the creation of Israel – and especially since the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring” last year – is good enough to convince us that nothing benign will come off its sleeve for Syria in the near future; and Iran, Pakistan and other not-so-friendly countries in the long run.
Even if we give credence to the assertion that American support was instrumental in defeating fascism during World War II, we cannot forgive this menacing behemoth’s neo-fascist and neo-imperialist designs ever since its nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and what it did later to so many other countries during and after the Cold War. As the brutal and unnecessary killing of more than a hundred thousand Japanese men, women and children by incinerating them into pulp and ash was a war crime – possibly second in magnitude to the Holocaust by Nazi Germany – so have been the series of unprovoked (hence unnecessary) American invasions of countries from Cuba to Nicaragua, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia to Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Is Syria next on line to be “liberated” by American arms and Arab-League and mercenaries?
Taj Hashmi, Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee