Friday, 10 February 2012


What is the west galvanising anti-Shia violent groups against the Assad regime?

By Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
10 Feb 2012

Western risk analysts Jane's Defence Weekly has reported that another armed group using the name of Islam to justify its violent sectarian aims, has joined the armed collaborators of the so-called 'Free Syrian Army': "A new jihadist group calling itself Jabhat al-Nusrah has announced that it has joined the rebellion against the Syrian regime" (IHS Jane´s Defence Weekly, Vol 49, issue 05, 1 February 2012). Anti-Shia pro-western pro-Gulfi groups are well known to be active in the SFA.

It was in the fight against anti-imperialist and non-aligned nationalists in the Arab world and Middle East that the British, French and the USA have been using right-wing highly sectarian groups in the fight against independence and socialist movements and governments. In the decade from around 911 the west promoted Muslims and Islam as the major threat to the west and its interests across the Muslim world, and also the west incessantly played upon the what we can see now as untrue that Muslims were also the main 'enemy within'.  It seems things have come full circle with the western media openly celebrating these same 'jihadi' elements as 'liberators' of Libya, Syria, and no doubt soon in Lebanon and Iran. These forces which the west have given life and strength to allow the west to make failed states of any state that stands as an obstacle to their domination, and ravages these said countries in debilitating civil wars.

The west's nato project on Libya was the first open and blatant recruitment of extreme right-wing terror gangs in to a regime change strategy. Having done so the west are now taking leaders of these fighters, such as the military leader of the rebels Belhadj, and many of the Libyan and Qatari fighters to Iskendarun in Turkey who have been sending these fighters into Syria. In retrospect, it seems rather clear that Iraq was also the arena by which the west galvanised these elements in order to bring a devastating and traumatic split in the anti-imperialist resistance in Iraq which at the same time sent Iraqi society into deep sectarian divisions.

What the west want to do with Syria is to overthrow the Assad regime because Syria is one of the last nationalist and secular progressive regimes in the region which is allied closely to Iran and the anti-zionist and anti-imperialist resistance movement in Lebanon, Hizbullah. The west wants to overthrow the Assad regime and in its place install a puppet state which is rabidly anti-Shia, anti-Iran and in general against the growing movement led by the Iran-Syrian-Hizbullah-Palestinian-resistance axis in the region.

The west along with its key allies the region  - Israel, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi - wants to turn Syria into a puppet state that organises these armed elements to then conduct an offensive against Hizbullah, as it is unlikely that the west will enter into an open armed conflict with Iran with Hizbullah threatening the zionist state at the same time. The west want to use a collaborationist regime in Syria to then invade and wipe out Hizbullah in Lebanon. The anti-Assad elements in Lebanon are already widely reported to be supplying arms into the conflict in Syria. Although parts of the Syrian opposition claim that Hizbullah fighters are intervening in Syria on the side of the Syrian state, there has been no convincing evidence to support this claim. Similarly the report made today that Iran are sending thousands of special forces to Syria also appears to be a fake  aimed to justify a great ratcheting up of the armed gangs in the opposition, and these fake reports are designed to be a cover for the west and their allies who are openly calling for an escalation of arming the opposition.

Anti-Assad groups in Syria have already conducted beheadings of Shia people, like in Egypt, Libya and Iraq, these groups will target any sect outside what they consider outside their own puritanical standards. There are reports today of armed clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon between anti and pro-Assad groups. Hizbullah have wisely stood back from any major escalation in Lebanon related to events in Syria, but we may very well see the Syrian conflict spilling over into Lebanon in the near future. It is not in the interests of the west to shift the conflict into Lebanon just yet, as Hizbullah at this moment could comfortably and swiftly neutralise any armed threat to its position in Lebanon. The great danger from now is that if the forces railed against Syria continue to build this Free Syrian Army force, they are looking to reach a point of strength that they can then move on Hizbullah to remove it as a powerful resistance movement.

There dangers if the Syrian Republic falls are great on many levels. The dangers are not only to Hizbullah and Lebanon, but also to the Palestinian resistance, which is in the weakest position it has been in decades due to the developments in the region, especially Libya and Syria, as well as the rise of 'Islamists' in Tunisia and Egypt who pose no threat to the imperialist and zionist status quo.

There are even greater dangers as is Syria falls, then the possibility of wiping out Hizbullah and then moving onto Iran is a very real possibility. Beyond Hizbullah, Palestine and Iran, Russia and China and Latin America must realise that they cannot allow Syria to fall, because more than the fall of Libya, the fall of Syria means that the position of the Global South countries in general is looking that much more precarious at a critical juncture in history whereby western hegemony is violently resisting its historic demise and the rise of the Global South. For all those who believe in a peaceful, independent and progressive region, all forces must be focused in finding a political solution to the Syria crisis which maintains Syria's independence and its support of the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, and also maintains its strategic alliance with Iran and the more assertive elements of the Global South. It seems Russia and China understand this, but the lesson of Libya is that it is not enough to understand the challenges, but to make concrete steps to meet the challenges lest another important front of our struggle is lost.

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