Reshaping the Middle East: why the West should stop its Interventions (2)

Syria: the project of creating a” jungle state” instead gave birth to a powerful Resistance movement

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai  

Foreign intervention has pushed many Middle Eastern populations into poverty, at the same time making them more determined to confront and reject the global domination sought by the USA. The number of Middle Eastern countries and non-state actors opposed to the US coalition is relatively small and weak by comparison with the opposite camp, but they have nevertheless shaken the richer and strongest superpower together with its oil-rich Middle Eastern allies who were the investors and the instigators of recent wars. They have coalesced as a Resistance movement attracting global support, even in the face of unprecedented propaganda warfare in the mass media. The soft power of the US coalition has been undermined domestically and abroad from the blatant deceit intrinsic in the project of supporting jihadist takfiri gangs to terrorize, rape and kill Christian, Sunni, secular, and other civilian populations while allegedly fighting a global war on Islamic terrorism.

The small countries targeted by the US coalition are theoretically and strategically important due to their vicinity to Israel. Notwithstanding the scarcity of their resources and their relatively small number of allies in comparison with the opposite camp, they have rejected any reconciliation on the terms offered by Israel. 

Israel itself is progressively revealing more overt reconciliation and ties with oil-rich Arab countries: we see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strolling in Warsaw, discussing and shaking hands with Arab leaders. These are obviously not first meetings: recent years have shown a progressively warming rapport and openness between Israel and many Arab leaders.

These Middle East countries have long been supportive of Israel’s aggression against Lebanon and its inhabitants. And in the last decade, this support expanded to include a plot against the Palestinians, Syria and Iraq.

The US has exerted huge pressure on Syria since 2003, following the invasion of Iraq. During Secretary of State Colin Powell’s visit to Damascus in March 2003 he offered long-lasting governance to President Bashar al-Assad in exchange for submission: Assad was asked to sell out Hamas and Hezbollah, and thus join the road map for the “new Middle East”. 

When Powell’s intimidation failed, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the US’s main Arab allies and the countries responsible for cash pay-outs to help the US establishment achieve its goals (and those of Israel), promised to inject untold gold and wealth into Syria.

Assad was not willing to comply with this US-Saudi influence and pressure. The influence belonged to the US; Saudi Arabia and Qatar stood behind, holding the moneybags. A war against the Syrian state became essential, and its objectives and prospective benefits immense. 

In a few paragraphs, this is what the seven years of war in Syria were about:

The Palestinian cause was pushed to the periphery by the mushrooming of ISIS, a group that terrorised the Middle East and participated in the destruction of the region’s infrastructure, killing thousands of its people and draining its wealth. It was also responsible for numerous attacks around the globe, extending from the Middle East into Europe. ISIS didn’t attack Israel even though it was based on its borders under the name of “Jayesh Khaled Bin al-Waleed.” Nor did al-Qaeda attack Israel, although it also bordered Israel for years, enjoying Israeli intelligence support–and even medical care!

All this was done in order to destroy Syria: dividing the state into zones of influence, with Turkey taking a big chunk (Aleppo, Afrin, Idlib); the Kurds realising their dream by taking over Arab and Assyrian lands in the northeast to create a land of Rojava linked with Iraqi Kurdistan; Israel taking the Golan Heights permanently and creating a buffer zone by grabbing more territory in Quneitra; creating a failed state where jihadist and mercenary groups would fight each other endlessly for dominance; gathering all jihadists into their favourite and most sacred destination (Bilad al-Sham – The Levant) and sealing them into “Islamic Emirates”.

It also involved, strategically, stopping the flow of weapons from Iran through Damascus to Hezbollah in Lebanon; weakening the Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi-Lebanese “Axis of Resistance” by removing Syria from it; preparing for another war against Lebanon once Syria was wiped off the map; stealing Syria’s oil and gas resources on land and in the Mediterranean; building a gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe to cripple Russia’s economy; and finally removing Russia from the Levant together with its naval base on the coast.

At no point in the Syrian war was a single leader proposed to rule the country and replace Bashar al-Assad. The plan was to establish a zone of anarchy with no ruler; Syria was expected to become the jungle of the Middle East.

It was a plan bigger than Assad and much bigger than the Syrians. Hundreds of billions of dollars were invested by Middle Eastern countries – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to kill Syrians, destroy their country and accomplish the above objectives. It was a crime against an entire population with the watchful complicity of the modern and “democratic” world.

Many pretexts were given for the Syrian war. It was not only about regime change. It was about creating a jungle state. Think tanks, journalists, academics, ambassadors all joined the fiesta by collaborating in the slaughter of Syrians. Crocodile tears were shed over “humanitarian catastrophes” in Syria even as the poorest country in the Middle East, the Yemen, was and still is being slaughtered while the same mainstream media avert their gaze and conceal the nature of the conflict from the general public. 

Anyone who understood the game, or even part of it, was called “Assadist”, a designation meant as an insult. The savage irony? This epithet “Assadist” was freely wielded by the US chattering class- who themselves have evidently never publicly counted and acknowledged the millions killed by the US political establishment over the centuries. 

So, what has this global intervention brought about?

Russia has returned to the Levant after a long hibernation. Its essential role has been to stand against the US world hegemony without provoking, or even trying to provoke, a war with Washington. Moscow demonstrated its new weapons, opening markets for its military industry, and showed its military competence without falling into the many traps laid in the Levant during its active presence. It created the Astana agreement to bypass UN efforts to manipulate negotiations, and it isolated the war into several regions and compartments to deal with each part separately. Putin exhibited a shrewd military mind in dealing successfully with the “mother of all wars” in Syria. He ventured skilfully into US territory against its hegemonic goals, and he has created powerful and lasting strategic alliances with Turkey (a NATO member) and Iran.

Iran found fertile ground in Syria to consolidate the “Axis of the Resistance” when the country’s inhabitants (Christian, Sunni, Druse, secular people and other minorities) realised that the survival of their families and their country were at stake. It managed to rebuild Syria’s arsenal and succeeded in supplying Hezbollah with the most sophisticated weapons needed for a classic guerrilla-style war to stop Israel from attacking Lebanon. Assad is grateful for the loyalty of these partners who took the side of Syria even as the world was conspiring to destroy it.

Iran has adopted a new ideology: it is not an Islamic or a Christian ideology but a new one that emerged in the last seven years of war. It is the “Ideology of Resistance”, an ideology that goes beyond religion. This new ideology imposed itself even on clerical Iran and on Hezbollah who have abandonned any goal of exporting an Islamic Republic: instead they support any population ready to stand against the destructive US hegemony over the world.

For Iran, it is no longer a question of spreading Shiism or converting secular people, Sunni or Christians. The goal is for all to identify the real enemy and to stand against it. That is what the West’s intervention in the Middle East is creating. It has certainly succeeded in impoverishing the region: but it has also elicited pushback from a powerful front. This new front appears stronger and more effective than the forces unleashed by the hundreds of billions spent by the opposing coalition for the purpose of spreading destruction in order to ensure US dominance.

Proof-read by: Maurice Brasher and C.B.

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17 thoughts on “Reshaping the Middle East: why the West should stop its Interventions (2)

  1. It is rare that I find someone with the courage to tell the truth in spite of any push back from the powers that be…Your attempt to inform and enlighten has been received. I am aware of everything you spoke of; and the fact that you exposed the truth of the actions The US, Israel, Saudi Monarchs, Qatar, and a list of others, perpetrated against Syria needs to be made public. I am a combat veteran and I am amazed of the low level of understanding people have about the situation in Syria. Even fellow veterans are shamefully mislead. The main stream media in my country is partly to blame because it is rare to find any truth in it. The horrors done to Syria for power and greed by the above mentioned countries are crimes and should be addressed as such. Please continue to print the truth. The world needs to know the extent to which these so called “great” nations will go for an agenda of greed and power. For them, the hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and many more, were just stepping stones in pursuit of destroying Iran and weakening and silencing Russia. It is frightening that a human mind could procure such evil without guilt or remorse. The first step for its defeat is exposing their dark schemes and you are doing that. Thank you…you are not alone!

  2. Elijah,

    All of your essays are good and these two, to me, are among your best.

    If your overall thesis is that with each incursion made for the purposes of establishing, or tightenin, its grip over the Middle East, the US, instead, gets weaker, I agree.

    The one clear difference I see in the region today as compared to fifteen or so years ago is that the Sunni Arab leaders no longer identify at all with the Palestinian cause versus Israel; then, as now, they worried about Iran. But in those days, they opposed Iran but would not sell out the Palestinians (at least not that we were able to see). Egypt did — and it was ostracized by the others for doing so; and it has never been a player in the region since.

    Now if I understand ‘the Arab street’ (and you probably do) the idea that Israel is now the friend and the Palestinians are no longer worth the trouble I do not think prevails. I think below the level of the monarchs, Israel is still the enemy. I don’t even think most Arabs shake in their boots at the thought of Iran. But ‘the street’ does not get to decide if Saudi fighter bombers strafe Yemen.

    It is my hope that by becoming estranged from the populations, the monarchs will eventually face the music, as happened with Sadat and Jordan’s Abdullah. But until such times roll around, things get much harder for the Palestinians, for Lebanon, for those Arabs and Persians who don’t want to get paved over by Western-Israeli hegemony.

    As you observed, most everything that the US has attempted to do over the past couple of decades has blown up in their faces. They took down Saddam when they did not need to; now they probably wish they had him back. Deals could have been made with Iran from as far back as 2002, but Bush, and State, are/were too focused on punishing the Islamic State for 1979.

    I liked your suggestion that the Lebanese, and so, Hizbullah, benefited from having Syria pushed out of Lebanon after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. It was inevitable that Hizbullah would fill the power vacuum — inevitable to all except for the Americans and the Israelis. Then in 2006 they thought they might finish Hizbullah off, but the difference with the Party of God, as the difference with the Iranian military forces, is the esprit de corps. That is the one thing that has never been evident in any of the Arab armies (except perhaps for crazed groups like ISIS). You can’t just throw money at an army and achieve it.

    Now Trump and the Israelis and State want to take out Hizbullah in Lebanon. They wasted seven years trying to beat Nasrallah indirectly, through Syria. It seems impossible to destroy Hizbullah without destroying Lebanon, but they may go ahead, and then attempt to rationalize this to the world. Would Russia just sit back and let that happen? Would Iran? Seems unlikely. Israel presumably would like to hit Hizbullah small enough that it would not justify intervention by Iran — but how could that happen, and still accomplish anything? This is not 2006. In 2006, Bush told Barak he had 30 days to smash as much of Hizbullah as he could, and then the war was over. Times being different, Trump being different, I think the appetite for destruction is greater today than then. But in 2006, Iran was not getting involved, no way. Nor was Russia.

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