Friday, November 18, 2011

Syrian follies

The expulsion of Syria from the Arab League is an amazing step, and now they have given Syria three days to stop all attacks against civilians. It makes it appear that those human rights advocates in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the other fun-loving Arab regimes are actually concerned about the loss of life of Syrian civilians. It would be funny if it were not so serious. Actually, this is a small but deliberate step in the anti-Shia stance taken by the majority of Sunni Arab rulers against the Iran-backed heretical Alawite regime of Syria, that has killed just enough people (at this point ca. 3,500) to have upset the West. When the West, particularly the US, is upset, then the Sunnis can take a small step in the direction of isolating Syria, which means an anti-Iran baby step.

The problem of course is that the Sunni Arabs are impotent. They buy billions of dollars of arms, but they have no army to speak of. Iran, without the threat of counter attack by either the US and/or Israel would have gobbled up the Sunni Arabs long ago. They tried with Saddam's Iraq int eh 1980's but this was a big mistake, they went in the w ong direction. The US is motivated by the potential loss af Saudi and Kuwaiti oil, and Israel by the possibility of Iran having a greater strategic depth from which to attack it.

It was rich to hear King Abdullah of Jordan give advice to Pres. Bashar Assad of Syria, namely that if he were Bashar he would have resigned in order to save his people further loss and to make sure that he is replaced by a more responsible government. Not only the fact that Abdullah is practically an absolute monarch (he appoints half of his Parliament), but he is politically a midget compared to Bashar, who himself is not exactly statesman material. Actually, the Hashemites, of which Abdullah is the last ruling example, are an extinct species, who managed to hang on as a result of the generosity of Winston Churchill, who when he was in charge in Britain gave half of Mandatory Palestine to Abdullah's grandfather as a gift at the expense of the Jewish people. As Avigdor Lieberman, our Foreign Minister, said the other day, to harp on this is pointless since Jordan is a recognized sovereign state, even if it was artificially created by a colonial power.

So the Sunni Arabs have shown their teeth. What will they do for follow-up? Remember that the Shia hate the Sunnis and the Sunnis hate the Shia, more than they hate anyone else, including Israel, the West, Obama and the whole shebang! This is a historic clash that goes to the very roots of Islam.


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