Whose Violence and Why?

The Imperialist Violence in Syria: Part 5 of 7

Read Part 1, 2, 3, and 4.

As viewed from American, European, and Israeli angles, a system of united Arab states presaged a challenge mainly on three issues: the primacy of imperialism, Zionism, and anti-communism in their geopolitical agenda. This explains why the West has consistently adopted anti-Arab policies. For the imperialist West, accepting the emergence of unified or even confederated Arab states means dealing with the largest political entity on earth sitting on an enormous land mass in excess of five million square miles stretching from the Arab-Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean and having the vastest wealth imaginable.

As a reflection of American long-term planning, consider the following: when Syria and Egypt merged in a union as the United Arab Republic in 1958, Allen Dulles, Eisenhower’s CIA chief, had this to say in a NSC briefing in 1958:

The United States agreed that union between Syria and Egypt would be dangerous to all our interests and if we remained passive it would expand and would shortly take in Jordan and the Lebanon and ultimately Saudi Arabia and Iraq leaving us with a single Arab State ostensibly under Nasser but ultimately under the Soviet Union…. In this view, if we were going to oppose it effectively we must do so very rapidly…. It might be that some parts of Syria might wish to secede and join Iraq. If there were such an idea, Iraq should follow it up and could count on the United States backing. ((Quoted in Malik Mufti, Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq, Cornell University Press, 1996, p. 100.))

We see, therefore, the United States and the West manufacturing events in the Arab world to serve cumulative objectives. As such, in no particular order, the Zionist rape of Palestine; the US virtual invasion of Lebanon in coordination with Camille Chamoun in 1958; the fomenting of ethnic strife inside Arab states with large ethnic minorities; Britain-France-Israel’s war on Egypt in 1956; the CIA-organized Baathist coup against Abdul Kareem Qasim in 1963; Israel’s war against Syria, Egypt, and Jordan in 1967; King Hussein’s war against the PLO in 1970; the Lebanese civil war; Iraq’s invasion of Iran and Kuwait; the Egypt-Israel peace treaty; the destruction of Iraq in 1991; the 13 years of sanctions on Iraq; Algeria’s civil war; the suspicious event of 9/11; the US invasion of Iraq in 2003; the partition of Sudan; Israel’s repeated devastation of Lebanon and Gaza; and the destruction of Libya and Yemen are but a few chapters in the long road to dismantle and subjugate the Arab nations.

Within all these events, other chapters (after WWI) set the stage for the next phases of the future American-British-French-European-Israeli onslaught against the Arab states. Here is how it happened. Arab states situated in Western Asia: Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, as well as the Arabic Peninsula have international borders designed by colonialist Britain and France. This is standard practice by western colonialism; it divided all of Africa, the western hemisphere, and some parts of Asia into colonies, political states, enclaves, and protectorates.The modern history of what the West now calls the Middle East—instead of Arabia—to allow for the insertion of a European settler state in the body of the Arab lands cannot be separated from oil, Israel, and geo-strategic location in relation to competing powers.

When the early objectives of Britain and France (1920-1950s) in Arabia (current Middle East) and Arab North Africa met the objectives of US imperialism in ascendancy after WWII, the results would be devastating—for the Arabs only—until this very day. The dreadful plight of the Arab nation states today was caused, to varying degrees, by the unrepentant West (ends justifying the means) as well as despotic Arab rulers and their regimes of the past 100 years.

We can identify some of the primary objectives of Western imperialism in the Arab world as follows: 1) perpetually keeping Arab nations under direct/indirect colonialist or imperialist control; 2) installing military bases as outposts for empire’s expansions and local control; 3) installing a Zionist state on Palestine and using it as a destabilizing factor; 4) imposing mandatory protection regimes on oil-producing countries; 5) controlling oil, gas, and other resources; 6) keeping oil money in Western banks; 6) re-absorbing oil money through sale of advanced weapons systems; 7) keeping the Arab masses from rebelling against the status quo through deals with rulers; 8) employing the Divide and Rule model as a means of political and physical control; 9) igniting sectarian and ethnic strife to destabilize established political orders and forestall progress; 10) impeding the project of Arab unity by promoting Wahhabism, Muslim Brothers, and Salafism—these currents and movements vehemently oppose the notion of one Arab nation, but endorse the notion of one Islamic nation. (Note: Muslim Brothers and Wahhabism are forms of Salafism. Salafism can stand alone as an “Islamist” religious ideology but not as Islam—the religion founded by Mohammad. (Discussing the differences among these creeds goes beyond the scope of this work.)

In writing about what is happening in Syria, it is necessary, to recall how the events of the past 100 years have unfolded. We know that Syria (and all other Middle Eastern Arab states) exists as a modern state with its current borders because it was carved out of pan-Arabia by British-French secret collusion: the Sykes-Picot Agreement (approved by the Wilson Administration). After these states became independent nations, citing Sykes-Picot is relevant as a reminder of how the Arab lands and peoples have been divided and individually controlled by various Western colonialist states. Also, let us not forget that the Agreement was conceived to allow for the creation of Zionist state in Palestine.

Notwithstanding the above, considering the unremitting global objectives of US imperialism and European vassals, the Sykes-Picot Agreement that divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire is now as relevant as ever. In simple words, it adduces that American, British, and French imperialist schemes to divide and conquer have become permanently ingrained in their ideological makeup. To substantiate our statement, when the United States and European vassals prepared to attack Iraq in 1991 consequent to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, ear-piercing Western voices shouted that Iraq was an artificial state created by Britain—although as a state, Iraq has been around in different political forms for the past 6000 years. Well, simple logic has it that being an “artificial” or “natural” state is an irrelevant fact vis-à-vis the crime of occupation.

When Tony Blair rubbed shoulders with the US to invade Iraq in 2003, imperialist operatives in Europe and the US summoned the spirits of Sykes-Picot. This how Britain did it. Besides the spurious charge that Saddam could hit Britain with his “ballistic missiles” within 45 minutes of an order, a so-called scholar, Christopher Catherwood, an advisor to Blair on Iraq, provided him with another rationale. He went as far as stating, in not too many words, that without Winston Churchill’s miscalculation to create Iraq, all that was about to happen would not have happened. ((Christopher Catherwood, Churchill’s Folly, Barnes & Noble, New York, 2004.))

Considering the game plan of western colonialist imperialism, we can understand how Catherwood reached the conclusion that the events leading to Iraq’s invasion were due to Churchill’s folly instead of plans stipulated by Britain and the United States. To conclude, Catherwood and thousands like him want to indoctrinate that Iraq’s troubles did not stem from plans by US neocon imperialism but from whims of a former British prime minister who designed its new administrative borders by turning it from a Turkish province into a state under British mandate. ((For a comprehensive understanding of how the British colonialist mind works and how it interprets Arab history, politics, and power in terms of utility to British and Western imperialist systems, we recommend the work by J.B. Kelly: Arabia, the Gulf, & the West.))

We can state unequivocally that whatever Sykes-Picot designed has been converted into a pretext for continuous wars and intervention in Asian Arabia. It is beside the point to say that whenever imperialist objectives target an Arab country, Western historians, politicians, commentators, blabbering heads, and so-called experts promptly call in the teachings of Sykes-Picot with the purpose to help them apply its core schemes on the designated victim. Thus far, the neo-scheme to partition specific Arab states has targeted (with blood, fire, and death) four states: Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now Yemen. (For the record, Libya was not part of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. However, after the NATO bombardment of Libya and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, Western imperialists summoned the Sykes-Picot model by re-opening the Italian colonization chapter of the country. The rationalization was all too predictable: Libya was an artificial creation made out of three separate Arab provinces [under Ottoman rule] that Mussolini joined in one colony he called Italian Libya in 1939).

Conclusively, whenever the partition of an Arab state is under study, Western imperialist ideologues relentlessly invoke the “bad” British-French legacy of Sykes-Picot and propose ways to remedy its “shortcomings” by scheming “revamped” partition models.

The history of Europe and the US in the Arab regions is one of aggressions, colonialist occupations, and encroachment. Take for example the European influx that was granted a “homeland” on the land of Palestinians without asking the Indigenous residents and in total disregard of their sovereignty, to which the United Nations, a body representing the interests of so-called winners of WWII acquiesced in 1948.

We see Syria as a chapter in the long list of Western aggressions—particularly American— around the world. It is instructive to recall that after WWII, the US embarked on a series of direct aggressions and wars in many places: Korea, Viet Nam, Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, and several more. ((See William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2000).)) The Soviet Union also was involved in aggression outside its territory. We also remember that following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia was promised by US administration officials that NATO would not intrude into former Soviet territory. ((Walter C. Uhler, “The Hypocritical United States of Amnesia and Russia,” Dissident Voice, 15 March 15 2014.)) The US reneged on its word and has been ever since in an unremitting expansionist mode.

Pointedly, the United States has an agenda: re-shuffling the configuration of the existing order of independent nations to create a new geopolitical arrangement amenable to its global interests. Also, it is clear that the US has a plan to redraw borders. ((See Kim Petersen, “A Bloody Border Project,” Dissident Voice, 5 July 2007.)) The US is keen at changing this government or that regime without scruples or concerns for the destruction and violence that ensues. The US has a predilection for domestically cultivated dictators and collaborators (examples: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran, Ngo Dinh Diem in South Viet Nam, Sygnman Rhee in South Korea. Curiously about Iraq, when the US failed to install its point man, Ahmed Chalabi, another point man, Ayad Allawi took his place, and when this did not take hold, other collaborators entered the scenes.)

Psychologically, regime change is an American neurotic fixation whereby the US uses its military power, directly or through proxy, to put a new regime in place. Recently, the US has been behind regime changes in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, and Libya. Afterwards, the objective grew to Ukraine, a former Soviet state, and now it is aggrandizing and moving threateningly toward Russia and China. In its criminal game to be the sole gendarme of the Arab states and the world, the US is using killers of all stripes, creating fake “Islamic” groups to discredit Muslims, and importing mercenaries through regional players.

As stated, Syria is a serious geo-political pawn in the attempt to build a lasting American Empire. In addition, Syria is an opponent of the Zionist state. It has relations with the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, Iraq (which, although inserted inside the US orbit after the invasion, has good relations with Iran—influencing its cohabitation with the United States), as well as itself having relations with Iran which, for ideological and political reasons, opposes the US and Israel. If Syria were to fall to western imperialism, it is very conceivable that a widening encirclement of Russia would be enabled, as well as control of pipelines and fossil fuels. This would all be to Russia’s economic detriment–brought about not by open economic competition, but militarism. (We will leave China out of the discussion, although it is important to state that China is also being encircled and threatened as well.)

At this point, what are the interests of the United States, Israel, France, Britain, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar in launching their combined war of aggression against Syria?

The United States and Violence in Syria

If one wants to know what US imperialists are thinking at a given moment, the shortest way is to read their dedicated media. In 2013, Robin Wright, a columnist of the unofficial voice of American Zionism, the New York Times, joined in the battle to partition several Arab states with her article, “Imagining a Remapped Middle East,” and added a larger map (How 5 Countries Could Become 14) with notes detailing rehashed arguments proposed by the Zionist “historian” Bernard Lewis, and by Ralph Peters, a novelist and a rabidly-frothing military commentator on Iraqi and Arab affairs. Peters was the author of “Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look.” (See his map).

Middle East borders, as reimagined by Lt. Col. (ret.) Ralph Peters (2006).

Middle East borders, as reimagined by Lt. Col. (ret.) Ralph Peters (2006).

In her article here above mentioned, Wright presented her version of Peters’ map with unsurpassed imperialistic clarity. She wrote, “A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too.” [Italics added]. In essence, from the comfort of her New York City office, this Zionist decreed—just like Peters—that thousands upon thousands of Syrians would become pawns on the imperialist chessboard, shunted aside, and as is clear seeking checkmate involves entails genocide, all in the name of “reconfiguring alliances (alliances between who and who?), security challenges [security for whom?), trade and energy for much of the world (but can all these be achieved without changing borders and the killing of 250,000 Syrians and over two million Iraqis before that?)

Let us examine Wright’s map. Notably, she expanded on Peters’ map by partitioning Saudi Arabia into five states instead of Peter’s four. (see Wright’s map, compare it Peters’ map, and then compare them to the map created by Oded Yinon in 1982 to reflect Theodor Herzl’s idea for a greater Jewish state on Arab lands. Why Saudi Arabia, America’s favorite ally after Israel, was the primary target designated by the map? The answer is simple, with Iraq and Syria no longer relevant on the Arab arena, Saudi Arabia is rich, has oil, and easily pliable for American demands. An attentive analysis of Peter and Wright’s articles and related maps would reveal that the United States was sending a specific message ((American political science professor James Lee Ray pointed to US government using the media to convey its foreign policy objectives in his book, American Foreign Policy and Political Ambition (2007): “[T]he media serves as a tool that the government can use to communicate to the public about foreign policy issues, as well as persuade the public and important, influential elements within it that its policy choices are prudent and their impacts beneficial.” (164-165).)) whose implied threat was unmistakable: the kingdom could be partitioned unless the Saudis bent to US objectives on Syria as they did before in Libya. In the public realm, there was utter silence from the House of Saud on the proposed partition of their country. Since the US calls Saudi Arabia an ally, then what is the purpose of divulging plans to partition it? And why partition a homogeneous country, despite confessional differences, that since its founding in 1932 has been stable?

Oded Yinon Plan

Oded Yinon Plan

While Saudi rulers remained unresponsive to Peter’s plan, Turkey, reacted with anger, and the US responded with typical dissociation from Peters’ plan. In its editorial, “Carved-up Map of Turkey at NATO Prompts US Apology,” the Turkish paper, Today’s Zaman, wrote, “The U.S. State Department assured Ankara that the map did not reflect the official American view, and denounced it as unacceptable.” Really? “Did not reflect the official American view,” the Americans said. Why apologize for something you had no part in? And nine years after that phony apology, the pending partition of Iraq and the still unaborted plan to partition Syria lends credence to Peters and Wright as media mouthpieces for what is cooking the US imperialist oven. The story then is simple: faithful to its tradition, US imperialism sends trial balloons before implementation of its designs.

Further, in comparing Wright’s map to that of Peters’, we noticed that Wright focused only on Arab states (Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Libya), decreased the size of Jordan, increased Kurdish areas taken from Syria and Iraq, and, as we stated, increased the partition of Saudi Arabia from four to five states. Wright embodied the cynicism of American Zionist imperialism. In reading her map, we cannot but notice that she used the Urdu-Persian suffix “stan” [meaning place or land] to denote the planned partition of the Arabs. She called regions with mostly Arab Shiite Muslims, “Shiitestan”, and regions with Arab Saudis assumed collectively to adhere to Wahhabism, “Wahhabsitan”, then we read “Sunnistan”, Alawitestan.

Seeing and reading about all this redistribution of peoples and lands, an imperative question arises: from who, and based on what rationale, did a journalist and a former army officer decide to re-draw maps and partition the Arab nations? The answer is pragmatic and it is based on our knowledge of how the imperialism state works: the orders to partition the Arab nations have come from a consortium of the decision makers outlining prescribed goals and agendas. Consequently, Wright and Peters are spokespersons for an array of American elitists including but not limited to political, imperialist, Zionist, media, financial, military, and industrial classes. Unlike Peters, Wright’s proposed partition of Syria, and the establishment of a Kurdish State excluded Turkish territory with Kurdish majorities. The reason is easy to guess. The US does not want to antagonize Turkey for the time being. This explains why Turkey is now ready to recognize a Kurdish state in Iraq but only in exchange for the US promise not to join parts of its own territory to the proposed Kurdish state in Iraq.

The larger geopolitical scenario is this: with a Kurdish state being imposed on Iraq and Syria, and with Syria under its control, the US will order Qatar to proceed with its gas pipeline to the Mediterranean in a move meant to push the Russian gas out of the European markets. Ultimately (prior to the Russian intervention), once Syria vanishes as a cohesive independent state, the US would finally deal a massive blow to the Arab resistance against Israel (i.e., historical Palestine under Zionist occupation) thus facilitating control of the Arab world. Syria, therefore, is no more than another stage in the US (and Israeli) calculation of global hegemony.

To conclude, regardless of its political system, Syria is the only remaining Arab state that is embracing Arab nationalism, independence, and resistance against US imperialism and Israel. If Syria were to fall, Arab aspirations for emancipation from imperialist control would likely die for a long time to come. The US intent to dismember Syria is multi-pronged: 1) remove Syria as a threat to Israel, 2) isolate Hezbollah and prepare it for elimination, 3) carve out a portion of Syrian territory and make it an extension to a potential Kurdish state in Iraq, ((For a comprehensive view, read, “Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a ‘New Middle East’.”)) 4) make Syria a transit station of oil from Syrian and Iraqi oil fields, and 5) allow Qatar to pass gas pipes through.

Israel and Violence in Syria

Talking about Israel in the Middle East requires separate treatment. With Syria gone as a centralized state, Israel is intended to be the master of the region. It will permanently annex the Syrian Golan Heights (already annexed by Israel in 1981). Most importantly, if Syria falls, the Lebanese Resistance will be exposed, and the Jewish-Zionist occupation of Palestine will be resolved according to Israel’s liking. ((Read: “Syria’s future: Israel favors fragmentation while Saudis want reliable counter to Iran”; “Partitioning Syria” by the imperialist think tank: foreign Policy Research Institute.))

Europe (especially Britain and France) and Violence in Syria

Capitalist Europe has two pathetic features: obedience to the United States and a keen appetite to share in the spoils of war and business contracts with a new Syria (as they did in Iraq and Libya) under American hegemony. We should mention that the Eastern regions of Syria have oil deposits that could rival those of Iraq and Kuwait combined. ((See map, also read: “How the War in Syria is About Oil, not ISIS” and “Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines.”))

Turkey and Violence in Syria

Recep Erdogan and his Muslim Brothers have three objectives. 1) Revive Ottoman post-WWI claims on the province of Aleppo. ((C. Lin, “NATO, Turkey, annexation of north Syria like north Cyprus?Asia Times, 25 November 2015.)) 2) Revive the Ottoman imperialist posture toward the Arab countries, over which it ruled more than four centuries. ((http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/22243. (Arab media). Nicola Nasser, “Syria, Egypt Reveal Erdogan’s Hidden ‘Neo-Ottoman Agenda’Global Research, 20 November 2013.)) 3) See the Muslim Brothers in power everywhere to vindicate the “Islamic model” invented by his Justice and Development Party— favored by the US since it offers a model of submission to religious themes in tune with Washington designs. ((Thierry Meyssan, “The uprising against Brother Erdogan,” Voltaire.net, 10 June 2013. Thomas Seibert, “Turkey is a model for every Muslim state, Recep Erdogan says,” National, 1 October 2013.))

For the record, when Assad rejected his proposal to share power with the Syrian Muslim Brothers, Erdogan turned against him. Before that, to use Erdogan’s slogan “Zero problems with neighbors,” relations and trade between Syria and Turkey were at their best. ((Read these two informative articles: “Erdogan’s Syria Policy: Wrong from the Start” and “Why Erdogan Would Benefit from Bashar al-Assad’s Fall?”)) Indeed Erdogan’s ambitions show little restraint as Turkey has now provoked the military might of Russia—something not sanely imaginable unless hiding under the skirt of NATO.

Jordan and Violence in Syria

The Jordanian monarchy has one purpose: to survive as a monarchy. To do that, however, it feels it must appease Britain, Israel, and the United States before any others. Meaning that Jordan’s monarchs do what they are told to do. Moreover, if Israel is the paradigm of a parasitic regime, Jordan is the model for disgusting regime opportunism. Curtly, Jordan will work for whoever pays it. From the early days of the conflict in Syria, Jordan’s “king” has changed his positions several times; yet he was always on the side of Britain and the United States when forced to take sides. When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, its forces invaded coming from Jordan. (This was despite the fact that during the Iraq-Iran war, Iraq gave Jordan free oil, not to mention a $12 billion investment in the al-Aqaba port). Jordan supplied massive support for the anti-Syrian front through facilitating military training and the passage of weapons and armed groups.

Saudi Arabia and Violence in Syria

Saudi Arabia’s violence in Syria stems from a complex platform. There were no specific and highly national reasons for Saudi Arabia to be a major co-player in the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and now Yemen. So what are the Saudi explanations for the violence and destruction they are inflicting on Syria? 1) To be accepted as the “indispensable” ally of the United States. 2) To destroy all remnants of Arab nationalism, which, not a long time ago, was a major force threatening the Al Saud power base. 3) The Saudi rationale for fighting Iran in Syria is ludicrous, and the irrational stance against the Arab Alawites, because they mix Shi’ism with Sunnism, is both criminal and pathetic. The fact is, they want the head of Bashar Assad because he, during the Israeli aggression against Gaza in 2008, demeaned them by calling them “half-men.” 4) Saudi Arabia used aid as a chip to try and force Syria to sever relations with Iran and Hezbollah. However, relations between the two deteriorated. Factors that brought about this enmity include Iran being a nuclear state, Syria dependence on Iran for assistance against Israeli aggression, Syrian ties to Hezbollah as an ally, and because Syria refused to align its foreign policy with that of Saudi Arabia. 5) By spreading Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia is seeking hegemony over Arab and Islamic countries. 6) Saudi Arabia’s intense animosity toward Iran is not about Shi’a-Sunni antagonism as the West likes to repeatedly state. Instead, it is due to Iran’s appeal (after the Iranian revolution) to the Muslim people of Saudi Arabia to rise against the pro-American corrupt Saudi ruling family. 7) Saudi Arabia has been actively seeking to partition Iraq, and it wants to partition Syria to appease its own goals and US goals.

Qatar and Violence in Syria

First, Qatar is the unofficial spokesperson of US policy in the Arab world. Second, from the viewpoint of strategic or military value, and excluding gas output, tiny Qatar (barely 7080 km2 or 4400 square miles; native population 278,000) should have little regional or international relevance. We do not disparage any nation because of size or population count, but on the chessboard of intentional relations, tiny Qatar must stop thinking of itself as a giant. The fact is that Qatar, a powerless pawn in US hands, speaks and acts tough because of the US installed CENTCOM on its territory. Take the gas out; and abolish the regimes’ propaganda outlet, the Al-Jazeera network; and Qatar will have nothing to show except idiotic machismo.

Recently, Qatari foreign minister Khalid al-Attiya roared that Assad will leave whether by force or by diplomacy. Well, and who is going to make Assad leave? The Qatari armed forces? This is risible? Qatar’s quarrel with Bashar Assad is well known. Syria refused the Qatari proposal to allow gas to duct through Syria in exchange for Syria severing relations with Iran and Hezbollah. Then Syria refused the Qatari request that Bashar allow the Muslim Brothers to have a political voice in Syria. While open political discussion is preferable, the close relations between the United States and the Muslim Brother of Yusuf Al Qaradawi go beyond the scope of this work. In essence, what applies to Saudi Arabia applies to Qatar with the difference that Saudi Arabia is, according to some pundits, being strong-armed to enact a proxy war on behalf of the United States, while Qatar is a willing executioner of the US agenda. As for the Muslim Bothers’ issue, this is only a rationale since the Qatari ruling family does not adhere to their ideology—it only uses it in coordination with the US.

Next: “A Russian White Knight or an Interventionist Power?”: Part 6 of 7

Kim Petersen is an independent writer and can be reached at kimohp at gmail.com. B.J. Sabri is an observer of the politics of modern colonialism, imperialism, Zionism, and of contemporary Arab issues. He can be reached at b.j.sabri@aol.com. Read other articles by Kim and B.J..