Thursday, August 29, 2013

Making sense of the Syrian civil war

I'm trying to make sense of the alignment of the forces in the Syrian civil war. Dr. Basher (Assad) is the hereditary head of the secular/socialist Baath party. He is fighting against reactionary/clerical rebels like Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda, whose program is to install an obscurantist Islamic regime. To this point, the model seems to be a classic ideological controversy. Then one has the ethnic angle: the country is ruled - through the Baath - by the Alawi ethnic minority, and the opposition is the Sunni/Arab majority. A civil war of this four (but basically only two) forces is comprehensible.

Now, lets see the Alawite secular regime's allies, which are Iran - a Shiite clerical dictatorship - and Hizballah, a Shiite clerical non-state army. Iranian and Lebanese Shiites are no friends of godless Alawites, but all fear the Middle East Sunni majority. And Russia, which doesnt know what it wants, except keeping its naval base.

What the Brits, who since the Falkland war are dying to get the chance to punch somebody in the face, want? They consider themselves the legitimite and traditional hegemons of the Eastern Mediterranean, and now that they feel rejuvenated - they would not stay out of this jolly mess. And the Americans? They are considered superpower and they have to defend day-to-day their prestige, which has been put on line by Obama's careless comment that the use of gas would be a red line. Now he has to act or be shamed forever.

Michel Weiss paints a very weakened Asssad, with only 100 planes still operational. Apparently America can destroy him without ground troops. What does Israel want? To be let alone. What do I want? I want Syria (and the rest of the Arab Middle East) occupied and ruled by the Brits. Pic.: Commonwealth (Australian) forces in Syria 1941.

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:32 PM

    WWII was an exception (since the French were otherwise "occupied"), but Syria was within the French, not British, sphere of influence.

    K

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  2. The question is, what does G-d want. He is presenting us with an opportunity to continue fulfilling prophecies (the ingathering of exiles only being one of them.) The British today are a pale shadow of what they were in the 40's, and those Brits were ineffectual sodomites compared to the Brits of the 1850s. They couldn't hold Helmand Province-Syria is a bit of a bridge too far. And don't get me started on the Americans, who haven't finished throwing their Afghan clients under a bus before jumping into another goatfuck. With what army? The one they ran into the ground and are now eviscerating? The one about to have a transexual for Chief of Staff any second now? The Iraqis gave them enough pain-the Syrians will be ten times worse.

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  3. B, why are you always so angry?

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  4. do you not worry about your blood pressure, man?

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  5. Anonymous2:06 AM

    B,

    You cannot even prove that God exists. But if he does, it is presumptuous of you to assume that you know His will.

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  6. Well, I was wrong and B right about the Brits. They backed down and will not attack Syria. May be I am living in the past.

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  7. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Cameron will find a way to do something, probably with the SAS. He needs to help his friends in AQ/MB.

    Anon.

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  8. My blood pressure and all other health indicators are optimal. I am not angry. Are you not worried that this stuff will spill over next door to Turkey?

    Anon-how well is your philosophy working out for you personally?

    The SAS can only do so much, and I'm sure they (or more likely their civilian counterparts) have been doing it. It's not enough.

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  9. Anonymous2:34 PM

    But is it really a civil war when it was started by mercenaries, the leaders of the FSA are all foreigners, it is funded and supported by the Saudis, Turkey... The whole civil war is a smoke screen, even Israel is poking at it, to be left alone, i don't think so, the name of the game is divide and conquer.

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  10. Anonymous3:46 PM

    Today's NYTimes reveals America's war aims - not to depose Assad but merely to restore the red line = keep killing each other boys, but no more gas, 'cause Pappa Obama said so. Play nice!

    K

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  11. Anonymous9:07 AM

    The gas attacks, if perpetrated by Assad, would amount to not only a war crime, but also a strategic blunder that actually defies credibility.

    Unfortunately for the US and the UK, the lies used originally to justify the Iraq war have made it rather difficult for the general public to believe anything they hear or even see; and the Libya and Egypt FUBAR's do not actually inspire confidence that Obama/Cameron/Hollande have more than a very rudimentary idea of what they are actually dealing with.

    Anon.

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  12. Nietzsche said that a good war justifies any cause.

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  13. Anonymous6:44 PM

    a strategic blunder that actually defies credibility....

    It was also incredible that Saddam refused all opportunities to back away and save his neck, but he did. It's very hard to get inside the mind of a dictator, who is often insulated from reality by a circle of sycophants. What may not make sense to an outsider is sensible in the context of the internal politics and dynamics of the dictatorship. Look at some of the stuff that N. Korea does.

    I saw an article with a number of credible theories as to how the gas attack happened. Apparently Syria had been using gas on a smaller scale and gotten away with it. Perhaps the attack turned out to be more deadly than expected. Perhaps he thought that since no one had objected to the smaller attacks, he could escalate and get away with it. Etc. Assad would not be the 1st dictator to make a strategic blunder.

    There were never any "lies" concerning Iraq. That is pure leftist spin that has become part of the narrative. There was bad intelligence and there was an overly credulous willingness to believe that intelligence since it fit pre-existing beliefs and goals. Those were both sins in their own right but that is different than "lying".

    K

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  14. K

    Generally I agree with you, but Secretary Powell's was lying on WMD in the UN plenum (feb.5, 2003). The instant watched him I could not believe how a general like him could be lying. America went to war against Saddam as revenge for insulting papa Bush.

    Regarding Assad, letting the Syrian internet open was his mistake. Without youtube - we wouldnt have known anything. I dont know why there is free internet in Syria.

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  15. Anonymous12:21 AM

    K, I don't buy it.

    The whole thing stinks.

    Anon.

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