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Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Modern History, Oil, Peace.

The situation in Syria represents a genuine humanitarian crisis, and it seems that violence there has potential to spread beyond its borders.

For example, Juan Cole says the consequences are likely to flow over the borders. He identifies five outcomes:

  • As Syrian refugees flow into Turkey, the possibility of Syrian-Turkish clashes grows.
  • As small arms flow into Syria, bought up by the revolution, they can be sold back onto the market and flow into Jordan, which has in the past seen heavy fighting between the central government and tribal groups in places like Maan over smuggling.
  •  Likewise, the Palestinian refugee camps in the region could be flooded with small arms weapons, encouraging the reemergence of a militant faction, with negative implications for all concerned, including Israel.
  • In Iraq, the dominant Shiite parties tend to support al-Assad, whereas the Sunnis mostly support the revolutionaries. Renewed sectarian tensions in Iraq could produce further turmoil.
  • Lebanon’s fragile peace could easily be disturbed. Sunni leader Saad Hariri, supported by Saudi Arabia, supports the uprising. Many observers blame the Syrian Baath Party for assassinating his father, Rafiq al-Hariri, in 2005. At the same time, the party of the Southern Shiites, Hizbullah, supports Bashar al-Assad and is patrolling the border to keep weapons and aid shipments from going to the opposition. Renewed Sunni Shiite fighting could break out over Syria.

Following the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya, the other economic and military powers, whether or not they are represented on the UN Security Council have become more suspicious of the methods, means and ends of the American and NATO group of countries. As has been evidence elsewhere, in particular by the behavior of Israel, violence has been used to foment violence for the purposes of political domination and control key resources. Enemies and enemy figures, even those such as Saddam Hussein, who once were proxies and agents of influence, can be very useful in both guises. Who can forget the barbaric Iraqi-Iranian war that raged for years without international mediation?

The refusal to engage in peaceful negotiation is typical of recent interventions into what are in essence civil wars, for example in both Afghanistan and Libya. We don’t have to ask why that might be so. It seems the same script is in play in Syria:

The question is why is the West so involved in the Middle East, since the imperial powers drew it borders, with in the interesting exception of Iran? Could it have something to do with the competition to control the fossil fuel resources of the region by those economies that are dependent on that energy source?



1. The Night Bus | The Persian Kitchen - April 3, 2012

[…] Syrian Bloodbath (wmmbb.wordpress.com) […]

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