Syria and the US: is Iran next?

Posted on | augustus 30, 2011 | No Comments

Now that Libya is in the ‘Western camp’ with the inevitability of a regime that will surrender many sovereign rights to the US and its European allies, what will the US do if indeed the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria also falls as Syrian rebels believe is inevitable? Will that be sufficient to for the US to save the Saudi Arabian regime and to keep Israel as the strongest country in the Middle East, or will Iran be the next target as it has been but without success despite the aggressive covert military and intelligence operations and foreign intervention that we have seen in Libya. Wishful thinking for the US and others in the West is that Iran goes back to the good old days of the Shah, at least something like it, but is that what most Iranians want, given that we are not sure what most Libyans or Syrians want. All we know is that national sovereignty will be a thing of the past for Libya and for Syria as well after Assad.

During August 2011, there have been clashes between security police in Albu Kamal on the border with Iraq where rebels are presumably backed by US-backed forces and are conducting raids and engaged in sabotage. Reportedly, US-trained rebels bombed an export oil pipeline near Homs, causing an oil leak. One of the most important cities because of the two oil refineries, Homs has suffered street protests presumably guided or at least influenced by agents that cross over from Iraq. Ironically, the Assad regime has stated that it is fighting terrorists that are trying to overthrow the legitimate government – America’s freedom fighters are Syria’s terrorists.

To prepare public opinion for military operations in Syria, the US and its junior partners, especially France and UK, have been laying the groundwork through intense propaganda as well as covert operations on several fronts. The latest issue with Syria, fresh from the disinformation desk of the State Department, is that the embattled Assad regime must go not only because there has been social unrest with many casualties for several weeks, but because Syria possesses chemical weapons and Assad has a history of backing ‘terrorists’. This is not to minimize the reality of Assad as an authoritarian ruler who inherited the position and is responsible for more than 2200 dead owing to suppression of the social revolt; even though it has been a revolt like that in Libya heavily influenced by the West.

These arguments have been used before against Muslim leaders that the US opposes, but not a word about the massive arsenal of countries that possess even more powerful weapons, like Israel and Saudi Arabia that the US supports. The world has known for a number of decades that Syria has a Russian, Chinese and North Korean connection, just as it has known for decades that Syria is a major player in the regional balance of power and especially in Lebanon. It turns out, now that Gaddafi is finished, Syria is the real threat, not Libya as the US, UK and France, ‘the crusading trio’ as I have been referring to them in my writings. US intelligence is not necessarily arguing that Assad would use such chemical weapons or that he would hand them to Muslim extremists interested in using them. But what if those chemical weapons, scud missiles, artillery and laser rockets, which are reportedly considerable, fall into the wrong hands?

The US is already concerned that the Syrian rebels, many trained in Iraq, combined with local rebels, many of whom are indeed genuinely opposed to Assad and are not Western agents, are too weak and divided ideologically to take over if/when Assad falls. In the event that the regime weakens further and social unrest intensifies during autumn 2011, civil war is not only possible between pro and anti-Assad forces, but among anti-Assad forces once the rebels taste victory. In short, just as Yemen and Libya suffer from socio-political fragmentation, so does Syria; all of these are scenarios for the eventual rise of new dictatorships that would replace existing ones.

Using Syria’s former ally Turkey, the US has encouraged the opposition to unite, but by their own admission, Syria’s opposition leaders acknowledge that they represent only a segment of the population.This means that Syria’s ‘pro-democracy’ opposition is hardly democratic, which is the reason that the US and EU have been moving rapidly to adopt an embargo against Syrian products. The same crusading trio that was behind the Libyan social uprising is also behind the Syrian, but they are trying to get the United Nations behind the campaign so that world public opinion will not conclude that there is a Western crusade intent on installing pro-Western regimes in Islamic nations. Heavily influenced by the Western nations, the UN human rights council has been investigating Syria’s regime for crimes against humanity; a charge that could easily be leveled against the ‘crusading trio’, given its war crimes in Africa and Asia in the last decade alone. As expected, Russia, China and Cuba object to sanctions and to UN using its offices to investigate crimes against humanity in Syria amid the popular uprising.

The central issue before the US is to have pro-Western regimes in as many Muslim countries as possible, given that Iran is refusing to yield its sovereignty to Washington and remains determined to have a voice in the regional balance of power. And let us assume that the US and its junior partners succeed in installing pro-West regimes across the entire Muslim world, how long before there is grass roots opposition rises to challenge surrender of sovereignty to the Crusading West?

What is achieved by replacing one dictatorship with another as far as the people are concerned? Can neo-imperialism prevail in the 21st century when there is no patron state on which client states like those of Libya and Syria rely? Many believe that it can because it has in Muslim countries for more than a century, assuming that Russia and China wash their hands of these regimes and are rewarded with contracts when new regimes take over.

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
E-MAIL: jonkofas [at]


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