Syria: Opening Pandora’s Box is just the beginning of the end of the new world order
What happens in Syria is not what the west may have bargained for starting with the end of the Zionist entity and the end of the new world order
Syria is the great decider (not George W. Bush). To even the casual onlooker, it shows where all the world’s power players, regional as well as global, stand; and reveals whether their rhetoric is equal to their policies, and whether their chosen alliances are ones of convenience or of integrity. It has outed those who built up Islamic capital by putting a bullhorn behind easy-to-take Islamic positions; it has forced the Islamic veneer off those who put up a Hollywood display of Islamic rituals for rolling cameras; it has tested the political acumen of long-standing, seasoned Islamic parties who now find themselves in decision-making positions; and it has put the “peaceful protest for nonviolent change” grandiloquence, so popular with Western noblesse oblige toward Muslims, to bed.
Whatever ultimately is the outcome of the civil/military conflict in Syria, it will be at once global, regional, and local. The external reality impacting the situation inside concerns the so-called “Arab Spring,” which according to seasoned political hacks is turning into the “Arab Winter.” The Spring ousted (or was used to oust) the presidents or military commanders of dictatorial republics (Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen) while leaving the monarchical dictatorships (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Morocco, Bahrain) virtually untouched.
America’s proxy monarchies absorbed the Spring’s momentum and dispersed it by paying political bribes and distributing hush money disguised as social spending. Morocco’s king offered the Islamic parties better representation in the assembly and a few ministerial positions — and they accepted what is otherwise an American-sponsored tyranny; Oman’s sultan offered the people’s representatives better jobs and higher salaries — and they accepted the balance of what is a tyranny; and Saudi Arabia’s king released $130 billion from the budget for social spending — and the “this is better than nothing” crowd acquiesced to continue to tolerate the longest-standing tyranny in the Muslim world. Bahrain’s king, not privy to such pretensions because his people would not be bought with platitudes or stop-gap payoffs, came down with Saudi Arabia’s iron fist.
Why this disparity? Because in these faux republics, an unstoppable anti-Israel and anti-America momentum was brewing. The surrogate presidents of these republics were having a hard time stemming the tide and something had to be done. The people were realizing en masse that the reason they don’t have jobs, the reason they don’t have health care, the reason they don’t have access to technology or education, and the reason they are experiencing perpetual oppression is to maintain an unbridgeable gap and to keep an untraverseable distance between the Arab Street and the Israeli Street. The fact of their own political, economic, and religious freedom being tied to the elimination of Israel was beginning to register. It would be impossible for Israel to survive as a co-equal to other regional economies, militaries, and representative polities, who not only have vastly larger markets of consumers, but who, if given the liberty to express their universalist (Arab and Islamic) character, would never tolerate the exclusivization of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. America’s complicity and enabling in fostering a condition where Israeli masters rule over Arabian slaves was perpetually on trial, in the independent media and in coffee-shop conversations.
And so, riding the momentum of liberation from systemic oppression which it couldn’t defeat in any case, America started banking on turning that momentum to favor its own foreign policy objectives of which there are only two. All the US has ever cared about in the region is the existence of Israel, as a staging area for murder, mayhem, and the exploitation of ethnic and confessional fault lines; and its own needs of securing vital resources without paying for them. And a maturing Islamic consciousness stands in the way of both.
As open elections in these republics, where rudimentary mechanisms to hold elections already existed (unlike the monarchies), became a foregone inevitability, the US at first favored the secularists and nationalists, most of whom were either educated in the West, or schooled in Western-style institutions in their own countries, with Western ideas of running a society. This choice was obviously palatable to Western policy-makers because these non-Islamic types would set up a Western-style society in Muslim countries, replete with the economic stratification, political charlatanism, and an untethered military that hogs the majority of the fiscal budget — so characteristic of most democratic (capitalist) countries in the West. To appease the majority, these local secularists would throw a few bones to the Islamic parties, while the international media would build confidence in the new government by trashing anyone who would dare to suggest that Islamic guidance ought to be used to set up a civil society in which the majority are Muslims.
When this gambit failed — largely because the majority Muslim population was not fooled (as the Islamic parties had been developing equity with them for decades), creating deliberative assemblies with the majority of the representatives being Islamic — the US decided to take a more sophisticated carrot-and-stick approach to co-opt the momentum. It made a deal with the top representatives of the Islamic parties that the military would not take over (as in Algeria 20 years ago) so long as the Islamic governments would not challenge the existence of Israel (that is, not reconsider any treaties made by previous regimes), not prevent the infusion of Western capital and political influence (free press, free speech, religious liberalism, etc.), and not upset the influential business class by talking about using their power to redistribute land, wealth, and opportunity equally. To ensure compliance, the US acted to drag out the process of writing a new constitution by using its secular, nationalist and intentionally frightened minority allies to place obstacles and cause instability, all the while using the extra time to codify the exclusion of the military from any civilian oversight. So just in case the new government does not obey orders, the US-trained military can always conduct a coup and send the new representatives packing. In Egypt today, a few salafi ministers have been chosen to see how ardently they pursue a political, social, and sectarian policy against Iran; they are on a short leash and if they do not act hastily to turn Egyptian society against Iran (and thereby the natural allies of the Egyptian Ikhwan — Hamas) and the eventual takeover of the Muslim world by the Shi‘i rawafid, they will not have served the divide-and-conquer strategy, and hence will no longer be useful.
All this and more the Islamic Republic of Iran knows. It was the first to publicly support the indigenous uprisings in the Arab world, long before the worldwide advocates of democracy were forced to get on board when they were left with no other option. For 30 years, the Islamic Republic has had one — and only one — overwhelming foreign policy objective: the liberation of Palestine. In its unfailing and unflinching commitment to this objective, over these years, it has either fostered the emergence of (Hizbullah) or supported the efforts of (Hamas) resistance groups and governments (Syria) with the same objective. To this end, what has emerged is a powerful ideological east-west axis that includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza — and in that area, it is the only game in town. Increasingly, more and more of those who live there (other than the Israelis) will stand for nothing less than the complete and total liberation of the Holy Land. And the Israelis (and their racist Saudi cousins) are scared, so much so that they are behaving with the ferocity and impetuousness of a caged animal. Most of the Israelis who do not already carry dual-citizenship with America or a suite of Western European countries are looking to get US or European passports; and this is why the Israeli and Saudi governments want desperately for the US to quell the Islamic “threat” coming from Iran. They believe that the US is the only country left in the world with enough muscle to accomplish a task they do not have the courage or commitment to prosecute on their own.
To counter the east-west axis, the Americans, Israelis, and Saudis have forged a secular and sectarian north-south axis consisting of the Gulf and Peninsula monarchies, Jordan, Israel, and Turkey. Syria is in a key position where the two axes cross, and thus whichever direction it ultimately goes in will break up the counter axis. In the short term, the north-south axis is more desperate to “have” Syria, largely because it finds itself in catch-up mode, being ideologically ill-equipped to reverse 30 years of the ideological Islamic immersion that came out of the Islamic Revolution. To this end, the Saudi funded and religiously coached sectarian warfare has been of great utility to the US and Israel. The useful idiots in Riyadh and their salafi shock troops in Iraq and Syria have played out their role all the way to its bloody consequences, unconcerned about mass dislocations, serial pogroms, destroyed cities, and mutilated infrastructure. They have shown that they would rather spend tens of billions of dollars on warmaking and sectarian bloodshed, and not a dime on the bereaved families of those they have murdered or those they have dislocated. With few or virtually nonexistent mechanisms for the expression of an Islamic public sentiment, the Arabian monarchies, unlike the Arabian republics, were tailor-made to facilitate the sectarian bifurcation of the Muslim world.
The Americans would love to see Saudi-style shar‘i legalism (cutting off hands or stoning in a public square) take shape in the form of governments ruling over large numbers of Muslims. Little Saudi Arabias all across North Africa and the Islamic East, a la the Taliban in Afghanistan, would be just what the Israeli doctor ordered. This would serve three purposes. Firstly, a repressive “Islamic” government would be able to keep genuine Islamic efforts at self-determination in check by a combination of murder, imprisonment, or marginalization by luxury. Secondly, it would allow the Western/Zionist media to effectively propagate the idea that Islamic directives, commands, civil codes, and legal imperatives are inconsistent with running a civil society in the modern world. Thirdly, no Saudi, salafi, or Wahhabi outfit has ever materially threatened the existence of Israel, while at the same time maintaining a takfiri exclusion of all Shi‘is from public and corporeal life.
Two possible scenarios of the endgame in Syria could lead to an unpredictable rearrangement of alliances in the world. The first is a breakup of the country into smaller countries along sectarian, confessional, and ethnic lines. This undoubtedly is the outcome preferred by the north-south axis. However, such an outcome would be a catastrophe for Turkey (and by extension NATO), as the aggregate numbers of Kurds and ‘Alawis in Turkey are close to 30 million. The second is a regional war that Israel would lose. This is not as far-fetched as it might sound on first blush. Israel has already lost to Hizbullah and Hamas, because it did not even come close to accomplishing its stated war objectives of obliterating Hizbullah and Hamas, both of which, especially Hamas, were lightly equipped compared to the fourth-largest military in the world. In a regional war, Israel would be forced to face off against much better equipped armies and militaries who, unlike the secular Arabians of past wars, have an ideological Islamic will that will not be satisfied with anything less than victory. The deployment of nuclear weapons will be out of the question because the radioactive fallout will do as much damage to the Jewish State as to its victims, and a conventional war will be one that Israel will be very hard pressed to win, even with the help of the Americans. Regardless of the outcome, what happens in Syria will impact the whole world, and in ways that are now largely unforeseeable.