Exclusive from Syria: Here they come, the DOGS OF WAR

War-mongering in the Middle East is basically driven by Israel's sinister agenda, backed by the West, to remain the region's sole superpower supported by sectarian Arab leaders. Like ravaged Iraq and Libya, where thousands have died, this deadly game can become bloody explosive
Sanjay Kapoor Damascus (Syria)

Drumbeats of war are on prime time again! There is a feverish edginess in the growing discourse in the western media over how military objectives will be achieved in West Asia. TV images of escalating violence in Syria and nuclear facilities in Iran are feeding into the logic of western intervention. It is no longer a question of 'whether', but of 'when' Iran and Syria would be drawn into the arc of attack.

Like it happened first with Iraq, and later with Libya, the western powers are sheathing their diverse agendas in morality to make it look like "another just war", so that the colossal loss of life, the pillage and plunder that follow violence, could all be explained away to the gullible – the consumers of mass media, those who consume news like any other well-packaged product – as necessary or unavoidable "collateral damage" in the fight for a "just cause".

However, is this war-mongering for real, or would someone blink to prevent the world from a catastrophe foretold?

Will rationality prevail to prevent loss of life and further deepening of the economic crisis, or will the logic of war prevail over the simple desires of ordinary people for peace and stability?

Unless someone backs off quickly, the region seems to be perched precariously on the edge of hellfire. Going by the preparations currently on at several levels, it is clear that the stakes are very high for those who are itching for a fight. The coalition led by the US, Europe and Israel, and including some Arab regimes, is attempting to steamroll all opposition by creating a world with no shades of grey. Despite being dumped by history and elections, the neo-conservative bully-logic of 'either you're with us, or you're against us' is once again resonating in the world capitals.

It is no longer a question of ‘whether’, but of ‘when’ Iran and Syria would be drawn into the arc of attack 

India, too, has not been spared this brazen arm-twisting and manipulation. In fact, there has been more of both after it became a temporary member of the Security Council. Its traditional ties with Iran and Syria are being questioned, and at times, ridiculed. The recent bomb blast – a magnetic bomb was attached to the car of an Israeli diplomat's wife, for which alleged Iranian "terrorists" out to seek revenge for the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran were blamed – is being proffered as a reason why India should end its relations with Iran. Israel has brazenly suggested that New Delhi has proof of Iranian involvement in the attack, but does not want to reveal this as it would upset Iran.

India's response to these allegations has been defensive. It is embarrassing to see the Indian government struggling to explain how its dependence on Iran's oil is going down as it looks for ways to settle payment troubles due to western sanctions.

Perhaps to ease off some western pressure on Iran, New Delhi gave in to pressure on the question of Syria. It supported the UN resolution on Syria, even when there was no change in objective conditions in the country from the situation three months ago when it had abstained – except perhaps the heightened coverage of violence in Homs.

Although India gave only conditional support to the UN resolution, which was vetoed by Russia and China, it was clear that it had broken ranks from the new multilateral constructs like India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS). India was part of the IBSA initiative on Syria that had given more time to Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad to initiate the reform process, but even before the end of the deadline, New Delhi blanched under relentless pressure from Qatar, the US and the UK.

The laboured explanation provided by the Indian government is that it is more concerned with "outcomes rather than interest", and was keen to initiate a process that would give people the right to self-determination. If these are the principles that would guide our foreign policy, then, surely, we are heading for interesting times.

Israeli website Debkafile has reported about French, British and Qatari Special Forces fighting alongside the rag-tag Syrian National Army 

India also took part in the 'Friends of Syria' conference held in Tunis in the last week of February. Although no firm decisions were taken, it became clear that the western powers, plus Saudi Arabia and Qatar, would push in arms and support to rebels fighting against the Assad government. This is merely a reiteration of what is already happening in different parts of Syria, where highly trained militants armed by NATO and the US are fighting Syrian regulars. Israeli website Debkafile has
reported about French, British and Qatari Special Forces fighting alongside the rag-tag Syrian National Army.

There are also reports of Al-Qaeda terrorists and other Islamic militants converging in Syria for this 'holy battle' to oust a government, which, despite its infirmities and shortcomings, has been protecting the minorities. The US National Security Advisor, too, has owned up to the presence of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Why is Syria being targeted?

All this talk of humanitarian concerns and aid is a big hogwash. History provides ample proof that western powers are only interested in war, never in stabilizing societies. They have a knack of remaining unfazed themselves by the violence they perpetrate. Otherwise they would have thought many times about the consequences of invading Iraq or Libya, where thousands have died. Iraq is still ravaged by an internal civil war, a result of the bloody occupation led by George Bush. Hundreds of thousands have died, while hundreds are dying routinely even now.

Western powers have a knack of remaining unfazed themselves by the violence they perpetrate

Indeed, the real reason for delegitimizing the Syrian regime has to do with its ties with Iran. Sunni Arab countries have been fed on some claptrap by western think-tanks that their existence is threatened by the emerging Shia arc of Iraq-Iran-Syria-Lebanon. Cash-rich Qatar, which works closely with the British government, is the most active player in this game, and has been spending money to help realize its Emir's dream to become the main power centre in the Arab world. The game plan is to extricate Syria from Iran's side so that when the bombs come raining on Iran's nuclear facilities, neither Syria nor Hezbollah can retaliate against Israel.

In other words, Israel's agenda to prevent any other country in the Middle East from having a nuclear weapon is being met with the help of the naked ambitions of Arab leaders who are getting mired in sectarian issues. The colonial project of deepening the Shia-Sunni divide has been revived, and with fantastic results. The violence in Iraq is a good example of what this project really means. Across the Middle East, the talk is about how Iran will get a bloody nose from the Sunni gang-up with the western powers. The execution of this nefarious agenda in Syria has mindboggling implications.

A country with a mixed population – Sunnis, Shias, Druze, Maronites, Kurds and people of other ethno-religious identities – would just go up in flames like in Lebanon

A country with a mixed population – Sunnis, Shias, Druze, Maronites, Kurds and people of other ethno-religious identities – would just go up in flames like what had happened in Beirut and the whole of Lebanon many years ago. It would become a seething, explosive cauldron, and the fire would take generations to douse. This is the reality that awaits Syria – and the world – as it comes closer to a bloody denouement.

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: MARCH 2012

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