The Dark Anarchic Islamic Winter takes its highest toll in Syria, where it is torn to pieces, and becomes not only a failed state but a demolished one. More than in any other place, Syria exemplifies the free world's failures to understand the reality in the Middle East. Syria exhibits the cultural and civil dilemma of misconceptions and fallacies, a reiterated phenomenon that appears all over history. The historian, Barbara Tuchman, in her eloquence, the March of Folly, talks about the stupidity, blind-stubbornness and permeability of blinded leaders that lead their nations to disaster.
Norman Dixon, in his classic, Our Own Worst Enemy, proves that human beings are busy with two phenomena: denial of reality; and rationalization. We, indeed, are our own worst enemy, because we have abandoned our moral values; we have stopped telling ourselves the truth of who we are and who are the enemies, and that we are the just side in this civilization war; and with self-vilification and mistaken conscience we worship those who hate us and Western culture.
There are many fallacies that hinder us from understanding the situation and establishing a proper policy: political correctness, ignorance, the politics of leaders, stupidity, globalization; but the most important component is the mirror image. The mirror image is, I do believe, our own worst enemy. It means that we look at our opponent and analyze his behavior and actions according to our own set of beliefs and values. We relate to our opponent with the same definitional attitudes and operational codes and we project our own past situations and experiences to our opponent, as if he is like us and we share the same attitudes, values and targets.
If we take George Orwell's 1984 as a guide, we should ask: what if the terms 'moderate' and 'extremist' are totally opposite in Western use, in comparison with Arab-Islamic political culture? What if what is moderate to us is considered extreme in the Arab-Islamic political culture, and vice versa? What if we use the same terms -- peace, political accords, negotiations, coexistence, etc. -- while we translate them operationally but understand them conceptually different? What if for Arabs and Muslims ‘good’ is only whatever advances the cause of Islam to fight the infidels and to control the world, and ‘evil’ is whatever resists the cause of Islam and enables the existence of the Kuffar (non-Muslims)? What if Islam teaches war in the name of peace, and hatred in the name of love? What if the Jewish-Chrisyian Golden Rule of what is morally good or bad is totally different in Islam, as it is the rule of Allah only that determines what is good or bad?
The US does not learn the lessons, even from its own failures. It does not understand what the components of reality are; it has lost the ability to connect the dots that mark the horrendous picture, but continues to insist that the dark anarchic Islamic winter is the ‘Arab Spring’ which leads to a new modern era. It believes in the ‘internet revolution’. It still continues to evaluate the objective reality according to its own twisted subjective mirror image. And though its failures are huge and obvious, it still continues with delusions and dangerous wishful thinking to stumble gloriously from failure to another.
What happened in Egypt, with deposed President Hosni Mubarak; and in Yemen, with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh; and in Libya, with the butchering of Gaddafi, has ended in Syria: the US intervention, and sometimes lack of intervention in the Middle East is deadly. It has collapsed the military regimes and brought forward, knowingly or unintentionally, the advent of Islamic extremist regimes and groups, from the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaida.
-In Tunisia, instead of a secular open regime, we received the al-Nahdah Islamic movement.
-In Egypt, instead of a moderate pro-Western regime, we received the notorious Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood (thrown away by the coup d’Etat by the army headed by Ali Abdullah Saleh ).
-In Yemen, instead of a moderate pro-Western regime, we received the emergence of al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which now controls almost 50 percent of the Yemeni territory.
-In Libya, instead of a stable regime, we received the advent to power of al-Qaida Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), formally located in Benghazi, which not only threatens its neighboring states but actually demolishes its regimes and causes mass flights of populations.
However, the best of the disastrous American policy is seen in Syria, and its climax - the threat to intervene militarily to topple Assad. From the beginning, the Syrian violence was not an internal war between an oppressive regime and a democratic opposition supported by the people, but against al-Qaida-affiliated groups from all over the world that are now concentrated in Syria. It is symbolized by the many calls of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida, that Syria is now the most important Islamic front, and victory there means the advent of al-Qaida to world hegemony. Indeed, what we can see in Syria are domestic and external groups: from Lebanon; AQAP; AQIM; Afghanistan; Pakistan; Chechnya; Turkmenistan; even from China. Hundreds of millions of dollars and huge amounts of weapons pour freely to the ‘opposition’ from Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and the US. Syria is physically demolished; and its cities are ruined, with probably millions of refugees fleeing to the neighboring states.
The scope and amount of the groups, the majority of which are al-Qaida-affiliated, is long, exhausting and terrifying. A short list includes the following: Jabhat al-Nusra, the biggest al-Qaida-affiliated group; Qatā'ib Ahrār al-Shām; `Usbat Liwā’ al-Tawhīd; `Usbab Qatā'ib al-Haqq; Fath al-Islām; Qatā'ib Abdallah Azām; `Usbat al-Ansār; Qatā'ib Shuhadā’ al-Barā’ Ibn Mālik; Qatā'ib Umar al-Faruq; Jaish al-Islām; Qatā'ib al-Ansār; and al-Majlis al-Thawri. Jabhat al-Tahrīr includes over ten Salafī-Takfīrī sub-groups; and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, includes the same. Some other groups are organized under al-Jabha al-Islāmiyah; and Ahfād Qatā'ib al-Rasul, with four groups. There are also Jihadi converted Muslims from Europe, Africa, and the US, recruited and organized by Abu Ahmed al-Iraqi. The last estimation by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London is that between 3,300 and 11,000 foreigners from 70 nations are fighting now against Assad.
Though there is a clear division of operation between these groups according to regions and cities, the important thing is that the legitimate Syrian regime is fighting for its existence against the worst enemy of the Free World, and that the US is supporting the wrong side - absolutely the opposite of the just side in this fight. The consequences are horrible to the existence of a sane and stable Middle East. The flag of al-Qaida is already waving in parts of Northern Syria, and on May 22, 2012, the al-Qaida coalition has declared the establishment of the “Islamic Emirate of the Levant” there.
Alongside the terrorist anarchic operations, these groups are perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing of the minorities, mainly the Christians. Indeed, if one wishes to draw conclusions about a selected situation, the plight of the Christian minority is an illuminating symbol. The objective of al-Qaida has already been declared by al-Zawahiri: “toppling Bashar Takfīrī (infidel) regime and establishing the Islamic state based on the Sharī`ah.”
The best pronouncement of the situation was made by a Syrian general: “why the world does not understand that we are the last dam that blocks the flood of Islamism in Europe? What blindness!” And the US, stubbornly, and with great stupidity, continues to support evil. It is as if it has not learned the lessons of Afghanistan where it supported Osama bin Laden and al-Mujahidin al-Afghan; and has not learned the lessons of supporting Khomeini against the Shah, both immediately turned against her. It was John Klapper, who admitted in his testimony before the Senate sub-committee that it seems as though al-Qaida is winning in Syria.
Still, the US military is conducting special operations training for 5,000 to 7,000 of Libya’s military, according to the commander of the US Special Operations Command, Admiral William McRaven. This would bring the most advanced military tactics and operations, including weapons, to AQIM. What reveals more of the US march of folly is that the Free Syrian Army units are receiving intensive training from US Marine Corps personnel in Saudi Arabia. To these, one should add the CIA Special Operations in Turkey (Mersin and Adana), training al-Qaida terrorists coming directly from Pakistan and Afghanistan; and in Jordan (Irbid region) the US trains other al-Qaida terrorists coming from Iraq and Libya, and sends them to Syria to fight Assad forces.
Questions should be addressed concerning the US Administration and the situation in Syria. When the democratic world condemns Assad as a cruel bloody dictator, and accuses him of butchering his own people, does it really have the accurate knowledge and the reliable information about the domestic situation in Syria and who the forces are that are operating there? Does the reality match the myths disseminated about who are the butchers? Moreover, does it take into consideration that all the political leaders in the Arab-Islamic polity during its entire history are coercive brutal and oppressing? Whether we like it or not, it was and still is impossible to rule without being a murderous intimidating dictator, so that the people deeply fear the leader, and at the same time admire him. Without these abilities, no leader could bring all the centrifugal forces to a centripetal orderly ruled system. Iraq is only one example of this situation: the US took out Saddam Hussein, who maintained the balance of power in Iraq; and total anarchy and chaos now reign there. The rule of Takfiri al-Qaida affiliated groups in Falluja symbolizes the new situation there.Is Assad really any different from all other contemporary and previous Arab-Islamic historical leaders?