Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sectarian War or Sectarian Engineering?

The regime claims that this entirely sectarian based, though in the end it would appear that only the regime is acting in accordance with a sectarian based agenda.

It is well known that Europe and the USA are less likely to interfere in the case of Sectarian violence, a risk that didn't exist in western intervention with Egypt and Libya, which were essentially monolithic in the Sunni Islamic sect.  After centuries of their own sectarian strife, massacres and wars Europeans and Westerners are loath to become involved in an internal religious dispute.  The wages of sectarianism are what we see in Iraq, and saw previously in Lebanon leaves a pit in the stomach of western spectators.

To top it off since all of the regimes real allies are Shiite, it would appear that the government is willing to use its allies to perpetuate the sectarian image of this conflict.  They have sought the support of the Shiite run Iraqi government, thugs (I am sorry "revolutionary guard" troops) from Iran and Hezbollah's thugs.  It is in the best interests of the Syrian regime to transfer this into a sectarian conflict by shaping it into one intentionally.

One tactic used to do this is the nature of crackdowns and detentions.  When a large group of Sunnis is involved in a protest collective punishment is dolled out on their area, but small numbers of minority protestors, Christians and Druze only face individual punishment in order to inflame the sensibilities of only one ethnic group.  Christians as a whole and the heavily Christian Halab remain incredibly mum so far in this conflict.  The goal of the regime is to engineer the quiet for as long as possible so that they fill face later more open anger from Sunnis who are being harshly beat down, in the midst of apparent Alawi, Christian and Druze silence rooted in fear of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sunni Hamas has remained neutral, and their affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, who has until now been somewhat mum, makes it hard for them to take a side, as Iran and Syria are their bread and butter.  They claim their silence is due to "not wanting to interfere in another nations internal issues" but they don't seem to have a problem with Syria interfering in their own internal issues or those of its other neighbors... and their real reason for silence is to avoid risking their own gravy train.  They are affectively no more than yet another tentacle of Iranian imperialism in the Middle East.

Of course the sectarian nature of this is not lost to the gulf, for whom the specter of a future Iran run Shia based empire is of great concern.  Iran funds terrorists and dissension of Shia in every Gulf country trying to expand their influence over the Gulf and revive the old Persian empire under the guise of the Shiite revolution.  It is both fortunate and unfortunate that Gulf countries are starting to put aside their concern for continuing Arab springs with the ethnic repression Syrian and Iran are exerting on Syria's Sunni majority.  They may unwittingly contribute to Syria's conflict becoming more sectarian as well.  One must wonder if inclusion of Hezbollah and Iran bore this goal from the get go.

Of course apparent hypocrisy, is in part in that it is OK to crack down on Shia in gulf states, but not on Sunnis in Syria.  Then again the Sunni revolts in Syria are not part of some foreign perpetrator's desire for imperial expansion, despite what the regime claims, as they are in the gulf states.  That the crack down is by the same players creating their own dissension it makes sense.  The Syrian people are now the enemy of Iran, and Iran is the enemy of the gulf states.

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