Syria: Sifting through the disinformation by Abel Ashes
It is important to realize that in the Syrian conflict there are many Islamist factions, and several secular ones, as well as minority religious groups most of whom support some sort of secular government in order to protect themselves. The semi-secular Assad regime is backed by the Shiite Islamist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran and both Iran and Syria support the Shiite Islamist group Hezbollah and prior to the Syrian uprising both supported the Sunni Islamist party Hamas.
Among the opposition to Assad there are Sunni Islamists backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, there are Sunni Islamists backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and there is Al Qaeda and related sub-state actors. Al Qaeda is not supported by the regime in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda is opposed to the Saudi regime and has conducted operations against Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia has conducted operations against Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is also opposed to the governments of the USA, Israel, Turkey, Russia, China, Iran and of course Syria. There are secularists who support Assad and secularists who oppose him.
You can be sure at this point that if anyone tries to tell you that innocent people are not being killed by all of the following they are lying to you: the Assad regime, the Shabiha Alawite gangs who support Assad, Sunni Wahabi Salafists backed by Saudi Arabia, and the even more radical Al Qaeda. All of them are killing innocent people. If anyone tells you that “moderate Islamism” exists they are lying to you. There is no such thing as “moderate theocracy”. There are only various degrees of theocratic fanaticism. If anyone tells you that Syria under Assad is not or was not a dictatorship they are lying to you. If anyone tells you that anyone other than Syrians started the uprising in Syria they are lying to you or repeating lies they have bought into. If anyone tells you about that the USA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, and Al Qaeda all have the same agenda and are all working together, you are either talking to an idiot, a liar, or a severe paranoiac.
Saudi Arabia and Israel would want to destroy each other were it not for the fact that both are US allies that depend on the US for protection. Israel is against the Assad regime but they are also against all of the Islamist factions fighting against Assad. Israel has no world agenda. Israel only cares about Israel. They are a self centered nation of people who believe they are “God’s Chosen people”. They want whatever outcome will be the least bad for Israel. The USA is against the Assad regime and is working with both secularists and Islamists it deems to be “moderate”. The USA government is full of people with various interests ranging from humanitarian to capitalistic and imperialistic.
Saudi Arabia supports more hardline Wahabi Islamists. The Saudi Royal Family is interested in doing whatever will appease its people and the Wahabi clerics so there is not a revolution in Saudi Arabia. The Wahabi clerics want a global Sunni caliphate. Al Qaeda supports Taliban, Al Shabab, Boko Haram style brutality in support of a different vision of a Sunni caliphate. Iran supports Syria for reasons that are primarily related to their partnership in funding Hezbollah and in solidarity between Shiites who are a minority in the semi-secular Syria and the majority in the Islamic Republic of Iran theocracy. The Mullahs in Iran believe that all evil in the world is the result of “Zionists” so in their weird minds Sunni extremists are “Zionists”.
Assad’s Baathist regime, and the People’s Republic of China’s “Communist” regime have in common that they basically pretend to be socialist when in fact neither is favorable toward working class grass roots organizations. Russia is now nothing more than an extremely capitalistic oil plutocracy and it’s interest in Syria, similar to the conservative wing of the US government, is primarily to do with capitalistic, imperialistic geostrategy, with some rather minor concern for human rights peeking through the clouds occasionally.
The Obama Administration would like to be more directly involved in humanitarian and possibly military support for anti-Assad forces but has resisted doing more than covertly supplying select factions due to fears of how such actions would effect diplomatic relations with Russia and China and more importantly the fear of sparking a widespread regional conflict that could lead to Iran and Israel and Lebanon and Turkey and the USA not merely fighting via proxy but directly in a regional hot war.
What about the Muslim Brotherhood? Well, The Muslim Brotherhood has an agenda somewhat similar to that of Saudi Arabia but the two are longtime adversaries. Saudi Arabia sees the MB or Ikhwan as a threat to it’s own power and the Muslim Brotherhood is critical of the Saudi Royalty. Al Qaeda is basically a deformed stepchild of the MB and the two groups are enemies. MB is ideologically anti-Israel but is willing to be semi-tolerant of Israel out of necessity just as Saudi Arabia is forced to be.
My take is that Morsi needs allies badly so he is trying to walk a shaking tightrope by attempting a MB victory in Syria while at the same time courting friendly diplomacy with Syrian allies Iran and China and Syrian enemies the USA and Israel, all begrudgingly since all four of those regimes are ideologically opposed to much of the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda. Iran is run by Shiite Islamists not Sunni Islamists. China is run by infidel godless supposed “Communists” who are really infidel godless uber-capitalist fascists. Syria is run by a semi-secular regime that has banned religious political parties such as the MB. Many estimate that the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria may be the single largest group fighting against Assad. The USA stands in the way of the spread of Islamic theocracy in the long run but is full of useful idiot types on both the left and right that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to exploit for its Islamist agenda. Israel is the actual oppressor of the Palestinian people and the imagined secret rulers of the world in the mind of the MB and is only tolerated to the degree necessary to obtain diplomatic legitimacy for Ikhwan.
There is a global proxy war being waged between various Sunni factions, some backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, some by the Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain, and others backed by the radical sub-state Islamist groups such as Al Qaeda on the one hand and Shiite factions almost always backed by Iran. This proxy war between Sunni and Shiite has perhaps been the primary cause of death and destruction in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq and is probably the main driving force behind most of the carnage being committed in Syria against civilians.
There has been a lot of disinformation spread by various factions in this conflict. I get particularly disgusted with the disinformation coming out of Iran because it is coming directly from the Supreme Leader and often mascarades as being secular and leftist and is anything but. There is a a well known supposedly leftist Assad backing journalist who loves and supports the tyrannical theocratic Islamist Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran named Amal Saad-Ghorayeb and let’s not forget Lizzie Phelan and Mostafa Afzalzadeh who have made a slick piece of propaganda in the form of a film full of truths, half truths, and blatant falsehoods, called “Manufacturing Dissent”. There is a previous film by the same name on another subject and the name is an obvious play on the Chomsky book “Manufacturing Consent”. Lizzie Phelan is a longtime agent of Russian’s plutocratic agenda and has worked for various Russian news outlets including RT as well as Thierry Meyssan’s Voltaire Network (Meyssan is the one who started the disinformation that Flight 77 did not hit The Pentagon on 9/11). Mostapha Afzalzadeh is an admirer and supporter of Alex Jones, “Syrian Girl”, and Michel Chossudovsky who all promote nonsense about Al Qaeda being pro-US and pro-Zionist and he himself is an Islamist albeit one who supports Shiite/Sunni unity.