[News] Syria, the new Libya

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 14 15:44:43 EST 2012

Syria, the new Libya
By Pepe Escobar


A Kalashnikov in Iraq, until recently, sold for US$100. Now it's at 
least $1,000, and most probably $1,500 (those were the days when 
Sunnis joining the resistance in 2003 could buy a fake Kalashnikov 
made in Romenia for $20).

Destination of choice of the $1,500 Kalashnikov in 2012: Syria. 
Network: al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, also known as AQI. 
Recipients: infiltrated jihadis operating side-by-side with the Free 
Syrian Army (FSA).

Also shuttling between Syria and Iraq is car bombing and suicide 
bombing, as in two recent bombings in the suburbs of Damascus and the 
suicide bombing last Friday in Aleppo.

Who would have thought that what the House of Saud wants in Syria - 
an Islamist regime - is exactly what al-Qaeda wants in Syria?

Ayman "The Surgeon" al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's number one, in an 
eight-minute video titled "Onwards, Lions of Syria", has just called 
for the support of Muslims in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to 
topple Bashar al-Assad "pernicious, cancerous regime". They had been 
responding, in kind, even before The Surgeon came into the picture. 
Not only those, but especially transplanted Libyan "freedom 
fighters", formerly known as "rebels".

Who would have thought that what NATOGCC (North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization-Gulf Cooperation Council) wants for Syria is exactly 
what al-Qaeda wants for Syria?

So when the Assad regime, for all its ghastly military offensives 
that essentially victimize civilians caught in cross fire, says it's 
fighting "terrorists", it's not exactly bending the truth. Even that 
ubiquitous, proverbial entity, the unnamed "US official", is blaming 
AQI for the recent bombings. Same for Iraq's Deputy Interior Minister 
Adnan al-Assadi; "We have intelligence information that a number of 
Iraqi jihadists went to Syria."

So if Syria could not be the new Libya in the sense of a UN 
resolution authorizing NATO humanitarian bombing - vetoed by BRICS 
members Russia and China - Syria is a new Libya in the sense of 
unsavory ties between the "rebels" and hardcore Salafi-jihadis.

And as the West absolutely loves a win-win situation, no matter how 
prefabricated, that could also turn into the perfect Pentagon casus 
belli to intervene - as in freeing Syria from an "al-Qaeda" which was 
never there in the first place. Remember - for all the hype about the 
Pentagon/Obama administration's "pivoting" from the Middle East to 
East Asia, the global war on terror (GWOT), rebranded by Obama as 
"overseas contingency operations" (OCO), is still alive and kicking.

Liberate me so I can kill at ease
Last year, Asia Times Online extensively reported that "liberated" 
Libya - "liberated" by the so-called NATO rebels - would descend into 
militia hell. That's exactly what's happening; at least 250 different 
militias in Misurata alone, according to Human Rights Watch, acting 
as cops on the beat, judges and exterminators all rolled into one. 
There's no Ministry of Justice to speak of in "liberated" Libya. If 
you go to jail, you end up dead; and if you are a sub-Saharan 
African, you get a bonus of extensive torture at a liberated resort 
before meeting the same fate.

Just as in Libya, as a matter of strategy, for the House of 
Saud/Qatar Sunni axis, any possibility of a real dialogue between the 
(armed) insurrection and the Assad regime has been thwarted. After 
all; the key objective is regime change. Thus crude propaganda - in 
an Arab media largely controlled either by Saudis or Qataris - rules.

Example; the much-lauded Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human 
Rights, which vomits unending, unsubstantiated statistics on 
government "massacres" - and even "genocide" - gets its funds from a 
Dubai entity financed by shady Western and GCC donors.

As a bonus, the non-stop "opposition" spin totally laser-guides 
Western corporate media coverage. CNN attributed the Aleppo bombing 
last Friday to "terrorists" - in quotation marks; imagine the 
hysteria if this was the US Green Zone in Iraq bombed by the Sunni 
resistance in the mid-2000s. The BBC actually believed the Syrian 
Muslim Brotherhood spin according to which the Syrian government 
bombed itself; it would be like the Pentagon bombing itself in the 
Green Zone. As for Arab media - largely controlled by Saudis and 
Qataris - it has totally ignored the AQI connection.

The GCC League - formerly Arab League - after bombing its own report 
on Syria because it didn't fit the prefabricated narrative of an 
"evil" regime unilaterally bombing its people, is now peddling a 
supposedly humanitarian plan B; a joint Arab/UN peacekeeping mission 
to "supervise the execution of a cease-fire". But no one should be 
fooled; the agenda remains regime change.

Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, has been 
making the right noises, ruling out a humanitarian intervention. At 
the same time, it's refreshing to hear the oh so progressive House of 
Saud carping about the "lack of commitment of the Syrian government", 
and pontificating that " what Syria is witnessing is not racist, not 
sectarian, nor guerrilla war, but a mass purge without any 
humanitarian considerations".

Imagine the House of Saud's "humanitarian considerations" should a 
pro-democracy movement emerge in the Shi'ite majority eastern 
province (it did; and it was ruthlessly pre-empted). Better yet; look 
at how "humanitarian" they looked in their invasion of Bahrain.

The NATOGCC agenda remains the same; regime change, by any means 
possible. Even Warrior-in-Chief US President Barack Obama said so 
himself. The GCC minions will happily oblige. So expect an inflation 
of Kalashnikovs crossing borders, more car bombings, more suicide 
bombings, more civilians caught in cross fire, and the slow, 
immensely tragic, fragmentation of Syria.

Pepe Escobar is the author of 
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 
2007) and 
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, 
just out, is 
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeusa at mac.com

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