Taking Syria Seriously

After failing in his empirical bid to make an end-run around Congress regarding the Syrian civil war, Obama sent Secretary of State John Kerry out into the fray of the Sunday morning news shows to deny that Obama was making any kind of power grab, and that the “president” would certainly consult Congress before committing any troops to Syria.  Kerry denied that Obama regarded himself as some sort of empire making fiat decisions about foreign policy.

You could have fooled us.

Since he drew the “red line” warning Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad to stop gassing his own people, Obama’s been the laughingstock of the international community.  Really, he’s been the clown prince of diplomatic clumsiness since he began bowing to potentates (speaking of bowing, what’s up with Pope Frank bowing to the Queen of Jordan?).  Every day that passes since he drew the red line, but took no action, the more foolish he looks.

The passage of time also makes it more difficult for the United States to take any serious action against Assad’s atrocities.  By the way, does Assad really consider those women and children he gassed his “own people” or does he consider them from another tribe, and so, fair game?  Saddam Hussein didn’t consider the thousands of Kurds he gassed part of his tribe.  He had no trouble at all committing genocide.  Yet when Pres. Bush wanted to go to war to deal with him, the Liberals held countless rallies.  What Hussein did was none of our business; Bush was “nation-building.”

In the case of Syria, the Liberals suddenly don’t see themselves as building an empire.  We’re going there to protect the innocent.  If it just so happens that we’re also fighting on the side of Al Qaeda, well, what can you do?  To paraphrase T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), anyone who thinks they’re building a nation in the Middle East is building it on a foundation of sand that the wind will quickly whisk away.

Syria is a no-win situation for the United States.  So was Iraq, thanks to the Progressive Liberals and our media.  Iraq was being ruled by a tyrant and threatened by Iran.  Syria is already under the influence of Iran, and has the backing of Russia and China.  No matter what we do, Syria will be a radical Islamic state, guided by Iran, run by terrorists (Hezbollah), and an enemy of Israel.

Isn’t it interesting how the United Nations found some, albeit “skeptical” evidence of WMDs in Syria, where they did not find the WMDs with which Saddam Hussein murdered the Kurds?  If you wondered what we were doing in Kuwait or Iraq or Vietnam, you really have to wonder what we’re doing in Syria?  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees flooded into the country following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.  When Israeli forces attacked Lebanon in the summer of 2006, 180,000 Lebanese took temporary refuge in Syria.

 

Bashar al-Assad’s government is run by the Baathists, the same party that ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein.  During the “Arab Spring” of 2011, Assad used government troops to try to quell the rebellion.  However, the conflict escalated.  The International Committee of the Red Cross declared a state of civil war existed in Syria on July 15, 2012. 

The chief Muslim sect in Syria is Sunni, but the minority Alawites rule the government.  When you think of Sunnis, think Osama Bin Laden.  The Alawites (also known as Alawis‎) are a prominent mystical religious group centered in Syria who follow a branch of the Twelver Shi’ism.  Twelver or Imami Shia Islam is the largest branch of the Shi’i (Shi’a) sect. Adherents of Twelver Shī’ism are commonly referred to as Twelvers, which is derived from their belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and their belief that the Mahdi will be the returned Twelfth Imam who disappeared and is believed by Twelvers to be in occultation.

The Occultation (in Arabic,‎ Ghaybah) in Shia Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure, or Mahdi, who in Shi’i philosophy is an infallible male descendant of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, was born but disappeared, and will one day return and fill the world with justice. Some Shi’is, such as the Zaidi, and Nizari Ismaili, do not believe in the idea of the Occultation. The groups that do believe in it differ on the succession of the Imamate, and therefore which individual is in Occultation. The Hidden Imam is still considered to be the Imam of the Time, to hold authority over the community, and to guide and protect individuals and the Shi’i community.

Approximately 85% of Shī’a are Twelvers, and the term Shi’a Muslim as commonly used in English usually refers to Twelver Shī’a Muslims only.  People of the Twelver faith form a majority in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and  Bahrain, and form a plurality in Lebanon.  Alevis in Turkey and Albania, and  Alawis in Syria, also regard themselves as Twelvers, but hold significantly different beliefs from mainstream Twelver Shias. People of the Twelver faith form a large minority in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.  Smaller minorities of Twelver also exist in Oman, Yemen, and Egypt.

Alawites revere Ali ibn Abi Talib (cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad) and the name “Alawi” means followers of Ali. The sect is believed to be founded by Ibn Nusary, in the Eighth Century. For this reason, Alawites are sometimes referred to as “Nusavris” and regard Ali as the first male to accept Islam and to be the first Imam and true descendant of Muhammed.  Today, Alawites represent 12 percent of the Syrian population and are a significant minority in Turkey and northern Lebanon. There is also a population living in the village of Ghajar in the disputed Golan Heights.

The establishment of the French Mandate of Syria, which gave control of Syria to France, marks a turning point in Alawi history. It gave the French the power to recruit Syrian civilians into their armed forces for indefinite periods of time and created exclusive areas for Alawis (including an Alawite State). The Alawite States was later dismantled, but Alawites continued to have significant representation in the Syrian army.

Since Hafez al-Assad (Bashar’s father) took power in 1970, the government has been dominated by a political elite led by the secular Alawite Assad family (Bashar was a dentist, they say). During the Islamic uprising in Syria in the ‘70s and ‘80s, this establishment came under tremendous pressure. The conflict continues today as a function of the Syrian civil war.

So what are we doing in a country where killing is the national sport?  Why would we want to help the Sunnis, who are allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda?  Why would we want to uphold a regime that believes in the coming of a mystical religious figure that will wipe out all the other religions in the world?  Both sects have the same goal in mind.  Their fight is over who will actually carry out this world domination.  How can we instruct our Congressional representatives on what to do, if anything, about this civil war when most people don’t even understand what’s going on and would be abashed if they did?

Now you know what it’s all about.  Unless we’re planning to nuke the entire place out of existence, America doesn’t belong over there.  Whoever we support, we’ll only be digging our own grave.

 

 

 

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Published in: on September 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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