Monday, 10 June 2013

Syria could be the Tipping Point for All Out Regional War in the Middle East

Syria really could be the tipping point where the civil war develops into a regionwide conflict intensified by sectarian enmities. So it adds to the instability caused by the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 as well as surpassing the catastrophic bloodshed and carnage that happened as the power of the state disintegrated there and left a power vacuum

Yet the civil war in Syria could be more potentially lethal than Iraq as all the regional powers have turned the conflict into a proxy war. This will inevitably affect Britain because of its overdependence upon Saudi Arabia for oil supplies and to prop up the 'balance of power' in the Middle East against the main threat to Western interests in the shape of Iran.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague's preparedness to back Syrian insurgents is interconnected with these strategic interests. Turkey, which is backing Muslim Brotherhood militias from the north  is a NATO power that, along with Saudi Arabia, is concerned with the growing influence of Iran in Syria where it has acted to shore up Assad's Alawite shia regime.

The absurdity is that in Iraq the US and UK tacitly allowed shia militias to defeat the sunni ones that were fighting them for control over Iraq in the sectarian war that arose after Saddam's state was removed by force ('regime change'). Ethnic cleansing was involved in that and the US and UK looked the other way as the price of defeating them.

As a result of that the Shia Iraqis are now dominant, in partnership with the Kurds, and under Maliki have moved closer towards Tehran. Many willing shia jihadists are arriving in Syria from Baghdad. This a clear long term outcome of Tony Blair's disastrous foreign policy and one that is set to get worse as the Syrian conflict looks likely to spill over into Iraq and Lebanon.

In this sense, there is a definite continuity between Blair and Hague that is routinely ignored by political pundits desperately trying to pretend there is some fundamental difference between the New Conseratives and New Labour. There is none because when Cameron speaks of an 'existential threat' from jihadists he really also means one to our oil supply.

There is a difference in tactics involved in backing Syrian insurgents as opposed to military intervention and not in the intent. The ultimate 'game plan' is to destroy Iran because it is the only regional power that can challenge the US's militaristic endgame of removing it as an independent state capable of resisting designs to control the oil and gas of both the Middle East and Central Asia.

Three months before Hagues's decision to show his preparedness to arm the 'rebels', i.e sunni fundamentalists, by getting the EU embargo removed, Baghdad approved of plans for a Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline from the South Pars Gas Field which Iran shares with Qatar. These realpolitik considerations are foremost in the foreign policy towards Syria.

Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia started to arm the Sunni fundamentalists from the outset of the Syrian civil war to forestall the rise of Iranian influence so that the UK now has to stand by this corrupt despotic rentier regime to uphold its oil interests in the Middle East, as well as lucrative arms deals amounting to millions of dollars and pounds.

Therefore, the UK and France, and possibly the US in future, want to redress the balance of power by arming sunni insurgents as a counter to the rise of shia predominance they promoted in Iraq ! The same tired pretexts are already being wheeled out as 'Public Diplomacy'-'chemical weapons', 'humanitarian intervention' 'fighting extremism', 'terror threats' etc.

The fact is that  in backing unreservedly Saudi Arabia, the US and Britain is supporting a country that actually funds terrorists elsewhere, including Al Qaida, as well the Taliban in Afghanistan against whom British soldiers have been fighting and dying for twelve years now. The war in Afghanistan is crucially about securing the TAPI pipeline as an alternative to Iran's pipeline to Pakistan.

It is truly Orwellian as regards the ideological schizophrenia, doublethink, and changes of the official line. It's clear shoddy realpolitik has always underlain the purported humanitarian rhetoric about both Iraq and Syria. British people must wake up and think about the problem of oil consumption and dependence unless we want to lose the democracy we have taken for granted for so long.

For the foreign policy will only lead to greater volatility, increasing terror attacks and the increase in state power in Britain over people's lives; the price for thinking that 'business as usual' in such dangerous lands that spawn terrorists and fanatics is something that cannot be questioned or that some terror threat is somehow not connected to it.

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