The US, Britain, France, and some conservative Arab allies have funded and armed the Syrian rebellion from its start a year ago. In fact, the US has been funding anti-Asad groups since the mid 1990’s. Arms and munitions are said to be flowing to Syria’s rebels through Jordan and Lebanon. Extreme rightwing groups in Lebanon, funded by western and Arab powers and Israel, are playing a key role in infiltrating gunmen and arms into northern Syria.
Syria’s murky, multi-level conflict continues to grow worse. So does public confusion here in the west as the US, British and some European media keep depicting Syria’s civil war as a simple passion play pitting the evil Asad regime in Damascus against mostly unarmed democratic protestors.
Support for the Asad family’s Ba’ath regime, now in power for 41 years, is clearly slipping. But important sections of the armed forces, the 17 intelligence and security agencies, the powerful Alawai minority, most Syrian Christians, tribal elements and much of the commercial middle and upper class still back the Asad’s. In spite of intense western efforts to overthrow him, Bashar Asad, a mild-mannered former eye specialist, is still hanging on.
Recently, small numbers of al- Qaida veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have entered Syria and are using car bombs to try to destabilize the government. Current al-Qaida leader, Dr Ayman al- Zawahiri, has called for all-out war against the Asad regime. Interestingly, the US, France and Britain now find themselves in bed with the very jihadist forces they profess to abhor
Washington’s key objective in Syria is to overthrow the Asad regime in order to injure its closest ally, Iran. There is so much anti-Iranian hysteria now in the US, that any blow against the Islamic republic is seen as good. Former US fears of a chaotic, post-Asad Syria are now forgotten in the rush to undermine Iran, by destabilizing Syria. Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain, are baying for war against Syria.
Israel, whose influence in Washington in this election year is unprecedented, is stoking war fever against Syria and Iran. Israel is delighted that the crises with both nations have eclipsed the issue of Palestine and of Syria’s Golan Heights, which were illegally annexed by Israel in 1981. Golan supplies on third of Israel’s total water. Israel’s objective is to see Syria splintered into feuding cantons like today’s Iraq.
Title: The Dangerous Mess in Syria Grows Murkier
Author: Eric Margolis
Source: Information Clearing House, March 25, 2012
Student Researcher: Dane Steffy, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University