On Syria Crisis and Prospects

Moghadam, Val

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/11/2013
Year Published:  2013  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20280

This article speculates and considers the probable outcomes and consequences that could result if a U.S. bombing campaign against Syria takes place.



The situation in Syria began very simply but has become quite complicated. In 2011, it was about protests against an authoritarian regime -- as had already occurred in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya -- and about a regime that was hitting back, as had also occurred in Bahrain (with the support of Saudi Arabia). But regional dynamics came into play.

Turkish prime minister Erdogan, with his grandiose notion of himself and of Turkey's role in the region, decided to turn against the Syrian regime and support a growing rebel movement. (This in a country that has waged a long war against its own Kurdish rebel movement.) Saudi Arabia did the same, no doubt determining that this would be a good way of undermining the region’s uppity Shias -- the Assad regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Qatar, a tiny state with huge ambitions, joined what was becoming a Sunni coalition, now in an alliance of sorts with western powers that had decided early on that "Assad must go" -- France, Britain and the United States.


Meanwhile, militant Islamists began to join the ranks of the Syrian rebel movement, as anyone with any knowledge of the Middle East/North Africa region would have predicted. And they were encouraged -- openly and surreptitiously-- by the Western-Saudi-Turkish alliance.


The use of chemical weapons (by whom?) was the unilateral "red line" that meant some sort of punishment. And if the British government would not undertake a bombing campaign, thanks to the wisdom of its parliament, and if French public opinion was overwhelmingly against such aggression, the "international community" could always count on the United States to undertake its historic mission to wage war.

Were the United States to bomb and overthrow the Syrian regime, the outcome would be similar to that of Iraq -- the collapse of a state and its apparatus, decentralization and fragmentation, infighting among the former rebels, further massive outmigration, and terrorist attacks.

Alawites, Christians, and many Sunni Syrians would seek refuge elsewhere, and a once stable country with beautiful historical sites would be destroyed.

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