Bloomberg: Syria Violence is Sectarian

Admission that sectarian extremism, not democracy or freedom, drives vicious killing, means West, not Russia must back off arming belligerents in Syria. 

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

For decades across the Arab World every nation from Algeria to Morocco, Egypt to Syria, have fought against sectarian extremists from organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. Algeria, for example, fought so long, so hard against violent extremists attempting to overrun their secular society and target ethnic and religious minorities including Christians and even Sunni moderates, that it is known as the “lost” or “black decade.” Algeria faced amongst others, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a US State Department-listed terrorist organization linked directly to neighboring Libya’s “Libyan Islamic Fighting Group” (LIFG) which was recently armed, trained, funded, and politically backed by NATO to overrun Muammar Qaddafi.

Now Algeria and its neighbors face a reinvigorated AQIM courtesy of NATO.

Image: Algeria’s “Black Decade” was a long-fought battle against sectarian extremists who attempted to violently overthrow the Algerian government. While representatives of the West’s hegemonic global agenda would like to see Algeria be “next” to fall, it seems that the Algerian people have learned their lesson, and stopped the US-engineered “Arab Spring” dead in its tracks. Syria now faces its “black years” with the West imploring Russia, China, and Iran to abandon it to what is clearly the same extremism Algerians justifiably fought for a decade. 

In both Egypt and Syria, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that had attempted to overrun secular governments with violence mirroring exactly what is unfolding today, violence that ultimately failed. Today, the Western press decries Egyptian and Syrian efforts to hem in these sectarian extremists, particularly in Syria where the government is accused of “massacring” armed Brotherhood militants in Hama in 1982. The constitutions of secular Arab nations across Northern Africa and the Middle East, including the newly rewritten Syrian Constitution, have attempted to exclude sectarian political parties, especially those with “regional” affiliations to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda affiliated political movements from ever coming back into power.

The Syrian referendum for its new constitution as well as elections held under this new constitution were boycotted by the so-called “Free Syrian Army” and its political wing, specifically because they are sectarian extremists with regional affiliations. The West of course, has backed these boycotts calling the Syrian reforms “laughable.”

Since at least 2007, the West, particularly the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia, have been attempting to build up both the Muslim Brotherhood and smaller, armed extremist groups with direct ties to Al Qaeda, to directly target Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Started under the Bush administration and continuing seamlessly under Obama, in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh, the Brotherhood was already described as being backed by the US and Israel who were funneling support through the Saudis so as to not compromise the “credibility” of the so-called “Islamic” movement. Hersh revealed that members of the Lebanese Saad Hariri clique, then led by Fouad Siniora, had been the go-between for US planners and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Hersh reports a supporter of the Lebanese Hariri faction had met Dick Cheney in Washington and relayed personally the importance of using the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in any move against the ruling government: 

[Walid] Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be ‘the ones to talk to,’ Jumblatt said. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

The article would continue by explaining how already in 2007, US and Saudi backing had begun benefiting the Brotherhood:

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Now, Reuters openly admits that the Syrian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has been involved heavily, leading in fact, the US, Israeli, and Saudi-backed sectarian violence that has been ravaging Syria for over a year. In a May 6, 2012 Reuters article it stated:

Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say.

Bloomberg: Syria Violence is Sectarian

A Bloomberg op-ed now concedes that the violence in Syria is sectarian. The words “democracy” and “freedom,” disingenuously used since the beginning of the “Arab Spring,” have been dropped all together as the Western press throws its full weight behind the long-planned sectarian war the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have been cultivating for years:

What Houla indicates is that the sectarian civil war between Syria’s Sunnis and Alawites that the world had long feared has begun. Assad’s claim in a speech June 3 that terrorists conducted the slaughter of fellow Sunnis to create an international outcry is laughable. Any evidence there is suggests that the Alawite Shabiha militia, working in tandem with the government military, was responsible. Satellite photographs show Shabiha units were positioned around Houla at the time of the attack, which suspiciously took place during a pause in shelling by the Syrian military.

Not only does Bloomberg outright lie about “satellite photographs at the time of the attack,” which were admittedly taken a day after the massacre, but clearly states that a “sectarian civil war” between “Sunnis and Alawites” has “begun.” From the very beginning of the conflict, genuine geopolitical analysts had warned that the violence resulting from the “Arab Spring” was driven by sectarian extremism, not aspirations for “freedom” and “democracy.”

Image: Christians in Syria have been particularly hit hard by what is being described as “ethnic cleansing,” not by Syrian security forces, but by NATO-backed death squads under the banner of the “Free Syrian Army.” The LA Times has been quietly reporting on the tragedy of Syria’s minorities at the hands of the Syrian rebels for months – and indicates that wider genocide will take place, just as it is now in Libya, should Syria’s government collapse under foreign pressure. 

It is admittedly under the current Syrian government that Syria’s large populations of ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Shi’ia Muslims, moderate Sunnis, Christians, and Druze have been protected from the inevitable sectarian onslaught by extremists cultivated by the West. In 2007, in Hersh’s “The Redirection,” the following foreshadowing to Bloomberg’s “sectarian civil war” was given:

Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites. –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Now, demonstratively, we see exactly this feared onslaught manifesting itself in Syria, in particular against Christians as indicated in LA Times’ “Church fears ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Christians in Homs, Syria,” and more recently in USA Today’s distorted, but still telling, “Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites.” Even the massacre in Houla, seems to echo of this 2007 warning, bearing all the hallmarks of sectarian extremists like Al Qaeda.

Bloomberg concludes however that it must be Russia that withdraws support for the Syria government, who has demonstratively protected both Syria’s secular society as well as its vast populations of ethnic and religious minorities, in order to avert further bloodshed. Clearly, just as in Libya, Russia’s withdrawal of support and the Syrian government’s removal would not mark the end of violence, but merely the end of contested violence and the beginning of unchecked lawlessness, atrocities and widespread genocide by sectarian extremists flush with Western cash, weapons, and political support.Violence that would inevitably be exported over its borders just as it has from Libya.

Russia’s capitulation to the West, and its abandonment of Syria would be the beginning of an orgy of sectarian genocide that would make Libya’s current dystopian-state pale in comparison. 

Image: Twin car bombings in Damascus Syria kill scores and maim hundreds – the final result of years of US-Israeli-Saudi backing of vicious sectarian terrorists, admitted in both Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection,” as well as across US policy think-tanks openly conspiring to fund and arm listed terrorist organizations for use against Syria, Iran, and even Pakistan.

It is clear that it must be the West who backs down to save Syria from violence it itself now admits is sectarian. It is the Muslim Brotherhood, and the so-called “Free Syrian Army” the Pentagon itself admits is being joined by Al Qaeda, not the Syrian government. And while the Pentagon claims, “we do not believe they share the goals of the Syrian Opposition or that they are even embraced by the Opposition … The sense that we get is that it is primarily members of [al-Qaeda in Iraq] that are migrating into Syria,” it was Reuters in their article, “Outgunned Syria rebels make shift to bombs,” that admitted:

Some of these bombing skills may have been brought back from fighters who joined the Sunni insurgency in neighboring Iraq against the U.S. occupation forces. The presence of hardliners from a Syrian Sunni majority that feels oppressed by Assad and his fellow Alawites who dominate the administration has been among causes for concern among those who fear a sectarian civil war similar to that which devastated Iraq over the past decade.

‘There’s no question that a lot of Syrians fought with al Qaeda elements in Iraq and it’s likely that many rebels today learned bombing skills fighting there,’ said analyst Joseph Holliday, from the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War.

It defies logic and reason to arm, provide military support, cash, and political backing to a movement that is clearly sectarian, and in no way “democratic.” It defies logic and reason to demand Russia, China, Iran, and others to withdraw support for a government that is the only viable force able to protect Syria’s minorities from what is clearly an army of sectarian extremists, admittedly assembled years in advance by the West and its regional proxies – Israel and the Gulf States – all contradicting any concept of “international legality.” This was a premeditated, preplanned sectarian war designed to destroy not only Syria, but Lebanon to the west and Iran to the east, for the sole purpose of expanding Western hegemony throughout the region, regardless of the predicted bloodbath that was inevitable.

It must be the West that is made to stand down from this campaign of depraved global military aggression – aggression that constitutes a crime against world peace – a Nuremberg offense. For those that want to “save Syria,” the government must be allowed to restore order, and continue on with its campaign of reforms with genuine opposition parties who wage their battle with ideas and pragmatic solutions, not Western-arms.

While President Obama attempts to propose either the “Libyan solution” or the “Yemeni solution” for Syria, both which represent genocidal bloodbaths, genuine critics seeking a way out from Syria’s violence should consider the “Algerian solution,” one of restoring order under government-maintained stability where sectarian-politics are wholly rejected, and real progress can be made peacefully.

Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report.   Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.

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