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Syria’s Fake Sectarian War

by SHAMUS COOKE

The fate of Syria and the broader Middle East balances on a razor’s edge.  The western media is giving dire warnings of an impending sectarian war between Sunni and Shia Muslims, a war that could drown the Middle East in a flood of blood.

Such a war would be completely artificial, and is being manufactured for geo-political reasons. When the most influential Sunni figures in Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both U.S. allies — recently called for Jihad against the Syrian government and Hezbollah, their obvious intentions were to boost the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia and its closest ally, the United States, by destroying Iran’s key ally in the region.

Will Sunni Muslims in Syria — who are the majority — suddenly begin attacking their Shia countrymen and the Syrian government? Unlikely. A compilation of data from humanitarian workers in and around Syria compiled by NATO suggests that:

“…70 percent of Syrians support the Assad regime. Another 20 percent  were deemed neutral and the remaining 10 percent expressed support for the rebels.”

The pro-Assad 70 percent is mostly Sunni. This data flies in the face of the constant barrage of western media distortion about what’s happening in Syria. Previous polling compiled last year by Qatar had similar results, and was likewise ignored by the western media.

The above article quoted a source familiar with the data:

“The Sunnis have no love for Assad, but the great majority of the community is withdrawing from the revolt… what is left is the foreign fighters who are sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They are seen by the Sunnis as far worse than Assad.”

Syrian Sunnis are likely disgusted by the behavior of the foreign extremists, which include a laundry list of war crimes, ethnic cleansing, as well as the terrorist bombing of a Sunni Mosque that killed the top Sunni Cleric in Syria — along with 41 worshipers and 84 others injured. The Sunni Cleric was killed because he was pro-Assad.

The recent calls for Jihad by the Saudi and Qatari Sunni leaders are likely in response to the Syrian government scoring major victories against the rebels. The rebels are now badly losing the war, in large part because they’ve completely lost their base of community support.

There are other key rebel supporters now taking urgent action to bolster the flagging rebel war effort. The leader of al-Qaeda, for example, made a recent plea for Sunnis to support the rebels against the Syrian government, while U.S. politician John McCain journeyed into Syria to meet with rebels — later identified as terrorists — to further commit the U.S. to the rebel side.

Meanwhile, The New York Times confirmed that the CIA had increased its already-massive arms trafficking program into Syria, while the European union agreed to drop the Syrian arms embargo, so that even more arms could be funneled to the rebels.

And to top it off, France now says it has proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against the rebels — a UN representative has suggested that just the opposite is the case — while the rebels are desperately trying to incite war between Syria and Israel by attacking the Syrian government on the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Also relevant is that the pro-Jihad religious leaders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are taking a giant gamble in their recent anti-Hezbollah proclamations, and risk triggering political instability in their own already-shaky regimes, which are hugely dependent on the religious leaders for support.

Hezbollah is still revered throughout the Muslim world for its military defeat of Israel in 2006; and most Muslims will likely be uninterested in waging Jihad in Muslim majority Syria. Also, attacking the Syrian government and Hezbollah would mean allying with Israel and the United States, not an ideal situation for most jihadists.

It’s very possible that the Syrian tinderbox could drag the surrounding Middle Eastern countries into a massive regional war, with Russia and the United States easily within the gravitational pull.

The Syrian conflict could end very quickly if President Obama rejected U.S. support for the rebels and demanded his U.S. allies in the region do the same. Obama should acknowledge the situation in Syria as it exists, and respect the wishes of the Syrian people, who do not want their country destroyed.

Instead, the U.S. is considering arming the rebels even more.

U.S. Senator John McCain revealed the unofficial U.S. government policy for Syria when he said that he would tolerate an extremist takeover of Syria if it weakened Iran.

At this point an extremist takeover of Syria will cost tens of thousands of more lives, millions more refugees, while exploding the region into a multi-country orgy of violence.

The media will blame such genocide on Islamic sectarian violence, and ignore the obvious political motives.

Hopefully, the social movement in Turkey will force the Turkish government out of the western-controlled anti-Syrian alliance, while empowering other Middle Eastern countries to do the same.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org)  He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

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