Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Losing Syria and Iran

This summer a senior Saudi official told Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, that “The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

This is today’s “great game” – losing Syria. And this is how it is played: set up a hurried transitional council as sole representative of the Syrian people, irrespective of whether it has any real legs inside Syria; feed in armed insurgents from neighboring states; impose sanctions that will hurt the middle classes; mount a media campaign to denigrate any Syrian efforts at reform; try to instigate divisions within the army and the elite; and ultimately President Assad will fall – so its initiators insist.

The origins of the “lose Assad” operation preceded the Arab awakening: they reach back to Israel’s failure in its 2006 war to seriously damage Hezbollah, and the post-conflict US assessment that it was Syria that represented Hezbollah’s achilles heel – as the vulnerable conduit linking Hezbollah to Iran. US officials speculated as to what might be done to block this vital corridor, but it was Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia who surprised them by saying that the solution was to harness Islamic forces.

The external opposition continues to fudge its stance on external intervention, and with good reason: the internal opposition rejects it.

This is the flaw to the model – for the majority in Syria deeply oppose external intervention, fearing civil conflict. Hence Syrians face a long period of externally mounted insurgency, siege and international attrition. Both sides will pay in blood.

[Excerpt of Guardian article by Alastair Crooke]

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