Why Is NATO Supporting This Syrian War?
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 22 October 2012
by Robin Edward Poulton, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service
New York Times reporter Janine di Giovanni eloquently describes the end of secular Damascus life as we have known it (‘Denial slipping away as war rattles Damascus,’ October 18th). People live in fear; nightlife ends before midnight; normal life is disappearing.
No one has been able – or willing – to explain to me why the US administration and its NATO allies are supporting the Sunni destruction of Syria. The people we decry as ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Al Qaeda’ are in fact the very same Sunni Muslim Extremists – supported by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – whom we are apparently funding and arming in Syria. Why?
Is it simply because because the Alawite minority government is an ally of Iran?
Are our international policies really so shallow?
The Alawites run a tough mukhabarat government, for sure, but it is no worse than any other government around the region. Saudi and Bahreini governments are just as ruthless as the Assad regime; the Gulf States and Yemen are police states. Unlike Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Syria is a land where freedom of thought and freedom of religion are total, and have flourished for centuries
Asssad and the Alawites are now fighting for their lives. The Sunni Wahabbist extremists whom NATO is supporting, believe the Alawites are apostates and must therefore be executed. By supporting the Wahabbists, NATO is destroying Syria, and destroying the world’s oldest Christian civilization.
Are Turkey and Western Europe ready to receive the 15 million Syrian refugees they are helping to create?
During the 1980s we funded the same Sunni extremists in Central Asia, where we created Al Qaeda. Why do we love the Wahabbist Saudis, the people who gave us Al Qaeda and also 9/11? Are Western political leaders unable to see the extreme danger of Wahabbist Salafism flooding across the Muslim world, from Morocco and Algeria to Syria and Pakistan? Janine’s article in the NYT describes a Salsa dance evening in Damascus that ended before midnight. There will soon be no more Salsa, no more music, no more dancing: Salafists hate people who want to have fun.
The danger to the West and to Israel comes not from Iran, a country under permanent threat and hemmed in by aggressive Sunni Arabs and expansionist Sunni Turks. The great danger comes from Wahabbism. Anyone who analyses the lessons of our disastrous policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq must be able to see that we have been encouraging Sunni extremism the world over.
Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Barack Obama, can you not see what is happening, and what harm you are doing?
François Hollande and David Cameron, are you unable to see that the martial rhetoric of your foreign ministers Fabius and Haque is both dangerous and stupid?
Syria has been a pleasant and peaceful place to live. Compared to its neighbours, Syria has been open and tolerant to all its citizens – except to the Muslim Brotherhood and it other Sunni extremist offshoots. It is precisely this tolerance, and the Alawite refusal to accept Sunni extremism, that has led Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Al Qaeda (through its cousin Al-Nusra) to attack Syria. Yes there are Sunni Syrians fighting against Asad: but there are also extremist Turks, Iraqis, Saudis, Yemenis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Phillipinos, Chechens and a host of other terrorists who are inside Syria using bombs and rockets to overthrow the regime.
We should be defending the Alawite regime in Damascus as a bulwark against Sunni terrorism, instead of actively supporting the Wahabbist-supported terrorists.
I am the author of this opinion, and I stand by it !
Robin Edward Poulton PhD – Professor of French West African Studies (affiliate), School of World Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University. Senior Fellow, UNIDIR Geneva, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. Member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.