A footnote on the pathology of imperialism part 5 – sectarian war in Syria

Sectarian STRATFOR Map of Syria

By Belfast Plebian

Over the summer months we were given to believe by reports in the western media that a more suitable, moderate army might be recruited and equipped to fight in Syria, the army of the oppressed Kurds. For a few months we listened to upbeat stories about how the Kurds were pushing back the Wahhabi fighters, of pictures of liberated Kurdish women not secluded in veils but dressed in military uniforms. This only lasted as long as NATO’s ally, Turkey refrained from attacking the positions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PPK) and destroying the Kurdish People Protection Units

At the recent G20 gathering to discuss, supposedly, how to beat back Islamic State, we find the same western politicians standing shoulder to shoulder with the political leadership of another ultra conservative Sunni Islamic Party, only this time of a rediscovered ‘moderate’ one, the justice and development party or the AKP, led by what the English Guardian Newspaper likes to call Turkey’s dependable strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The recent election in Turkey took place at the same as a massive military onslaught on the Kurds was taking place, crossing the international border into Syria. The raid was so big that the Strongman had to go the Americans to plea for a renewal of his diminishing stock of bombs. The strongman is so committed to beating back the Islamic State their fighters were able to explode two massive bombs directed against the AKP and other non-sectarian political opponents during the election campaign

The party of the strongman supplies and equips its own legion of fighting Sunni sectarians across the border called the Ahrar al Sham. The strongman then ordered attacks on Rojava, the free part of Syria held by the Kurdish forces. It was reported in the Wall Street journal that Washington wanted it to be known that it was anxious to keep the territorial ambitions of the Kurds in check to fit with the interest of its NATO partner Turkey, and suddenly stories in the western media supportive of the army of the oppressed Kurds quickly faded away again.

It is generally accepted that Turkey is also buying oil and gas on the cheap from Islamic State. So it seems that the Kurds are not to be the West’s fabled boots on the ground after all. More and more the western governments are looking at Turkey as their agent of change in the region; we will have to wait to see how this turns out.  On the face it one might expect the western diehards to recalibrate their order of priorities, given that they have no willing army to substitute for the seventy thousand Wahabbi mercenaries already fighting and failing in Syria. The conflict is no longer a noble one, between the ‘just’, protesting on behalf of democracy and the ‘unjust’ who want to retain the dictatorship, it is an ignoble anarchy of competing local, regional and imperial interests all wrapped up in a frightful sectarian garb.

Syria is currently divided into at least four political territorial units. There is the part still held by the ‘Arab Socialist’ regime that is being backed by Iran and Russia. There is the part held by Islamic State that is being facilitated by Turkey and still being financed by sectarian backers in the Sunni Gulf States. There is the part that is in the hands of the partners linked to the western allies who still call themselves the Free Syrian Army, even though there is no unified army command any longer, and is endorsed in some fashion by the International Community i.e. the UN humanitarian agencies. Then there is the part that is in the control of the Kurdish factions, which have now to become self -sufficient. I don’t know how it will all turn out.

It should be mentioned that with this example I have only emphasised the strategic pact operating between the Western governments and the Wahabbi theocracy of Saudi Arabi, yet there is another side to the imperialist intervention, the pact between the Theocracy in Iran, the Arab Syrian dictatorship and the ruling element in Russia. The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has claimed that Russia is waging ‘a holy war’ to preserve Christianity in Syria, a view backed by Putin. The Iran regime has called for a worldwide Shite jihad to protect the sacred religious sites of the believers in Syria. The Islamic Republic of Iran has rallied thousands of foreign fighters to protect the golden domed Sayyeda Zaynab Mosque of Damascus which is said to contain the remains of the granddaughter of the Prophet, and who is also the daughter of the martyred third imam Hussein. As many as 5,000 Lebanese Hezbollah have entered the sectarian fight, also thousands have come from Iraq, they all fight under the slogan ‘Bashar is not our concern, it is the Shiites.’ The India media report they think as many as 30,000, Indians Muslims could be involved. For every youtube video and facebook page placed by Sunni fighters there is another put there by the Shiites. If anything the Sunni foreign have met their match on the battlefield at the hands of the foreign Shiite fighters

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