About two years ago, the heads of the US, UK, and France declared that Assar al-Assad "had to go," just as Muammar Qaddafi previously had gone. In the latter case, Hillary Clinton laughingly rejoiced that "We came, we saw, he died!
The NATO parties justified their decision as a defense of unarmed demonstrators, whose early actions were repressed by the Syrian government. Soon, the demonstrators became well-armed militias that laid siege to Syrian cities with the direct or indirect assistance of NATO, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and Jordan. Iran and Hizbullah, on the other hand, see themselves as ultimate targets, and support Syria.
This time, unlike with Libya, Russia and China vetoed at the UN Security Council a proposed imposition of a "no-fly" zone, which would have permitted NATO planes to bomb control-and-command centers, airports, and any other targets NATO saw fit to bomb in order to "protect civilians." Those actions were to lead to the destruction of a good part of Syria’s infrastructure and the removal of al-Assad. Then, Democracy would rule the land.
The plan began to unravel as it became clear that the Syrian democrats were not necessarily Syrian, nor democratic. The armed militias are led by an extremist religious faction. Supported by Jihadists from around the region and Europe, it intends to turn Syria into a land of radical Sunni Islam run according to the sharia.
Andrew Parasiliti was a foreign policy adviser to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and now is the editor of Al-Monitor.com, a Middle East news and analysis website. He has this to say, according to USA Today:
"The war is spreading to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, as we speak, and will only spread more. It’s a regional sectarian war, where Turkey, the Gulf states and Iran, as well as the U.S., EU countries and Russia, other countries, are backing factions."
A similar opinion is expressed by Samir al-Ibrahim, 55, secretary-general of the Syrian Free Religious Scholars Association and a Sunni Muslim in Idlib, Syria.
"There is great fear over a massive sectarian war starting. If it does, the entire region will turn into a genocidal war, engulfing everyone."
Who could want this to happen? At this point, a victory by the extremists would entail the fragmentation of Syria and indefinite war throughout the region among diverging religious and ethnic groups. This can be seen already in Iraq, where sectarian conflicts have heated up as a result of the war in Syria. More than 500 people have been killed in Iraq by explosives this month alone. The figures don’t support the justification of protecting civilians.
This outcome would be alright with the US and Israel, which for years have planned to disintegrate Syria when the right time came; and — albeit involving competing interests — with Turkey, whose Ottoman Empire once ruled Syria; and with France, a former empire that also ruled Syria for a time; and with the UK, another former empire in the region, which continues to play the role of poodle that made it famous in the war against Iraq; and with the extremist Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, who could get rid of a ShiÂa competitor.
It would be alright, unless the world took note of what was happening, and did something about it.
Now, many European countries oppose the military approach, as does Canada. Popular opinion in the US rejects yet another war lacking justification, a clear goal, and a foreseeable end.
The former Coalition of the Willing has not yet left Afghanistan and Iraq, but the proponents of war insist on moving forward against Syria, apparently thinking that they will figure something out along the way.
Other countries should be concerned about the ongoing attempts to remake the world through war, following the model of the neocons. Eurasia, Southeast Asia, Africa, all could be targeted at some time. Why not Latin America?
May 30, 2013