Does the Assad regime pose a greater threat to international security than the al-Qaida elements fighting there? Does the US really believe that toppling the Syrian regime means weakening Iran and Hezbollah, and turning the balance of power in the Middle East in favor of Western interests? Are the forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, called by the US ‘the opposition,’ pro-Western and more democratic forces? Shouldn’t we deeply be concerned that toppling the Assad regime could strengthen the al-Qaida-affiliated groups, thereby endangering the regional and, in time, even global security?
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A third set of questions is, what will happen to Syria after toppling Assad? Will Syria become more stable and tranquil with the opposition rule? What will be the regional balance of power and the political stability of Jordan and Lebanon, let alone Israel? What will be the fate of the religious and ethnic minorities in Syria, like the Christians and the Druze? Above all what will happen to the Alawite minority? Isn’t it highly probable that pervasive bloodshed massacre, a full-fledged genocide will be conducted against them?
The answer to these questions is obvious due to our current experience. Assad’s disappearance would mean the persistence of the domestic chaotic anarchic situation in Syria, like Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Contrary to the US' wishful thinking, the regime that will emerge will by no means be democratic and liberal; not pro-Western; not a secular regime with the Free Syrian Army; not even a Muslim regime like the Muslim Brotherhood. Out of the anarchy and chaos that reigns in Syria, the probability is for al-Qaida affiliated groups to emerge, as they are already winning today, and they will endanger the surrounding states, like Lebanon, Jordan, even Turkey. Assad's downfall would also mean deteriorating and exacerbating the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict to bloody wars.
There are more questions to wonder about:
Did the US learn the lessons of toppling Saddam Hussein in Iraq? The US weakened Iraq as a regional power and demolished it as a powerful barrier, enabling the onslaught of Iran to regional hegemony. The situation in Iraq is clear: it is a notorious example of a failed state, with shattered institutions and internal chaos and anarchy that took the lives of one million people. It has also advanced the destruction of the minorities, mainly the disappearance of the Christians, to become an extinct species. The US has to admit: not only did it not bring democracy and freedom to Iraq, it exacerbated its internal and external situations. This reality has contributed to the emergence of al-Qaida in Islamic Iraq and Talibanized its society.
Did the US learn the lessons of toppling Gaddafi in Libya? Like in Iraq, the stunning result is that Libya has been weakened internally, with the emergence of the old geopolitical cleavages between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania and the reemergence of tribalism challenging the central government. If Europe feared that Libya threatens its surrounding states, the result of Gaddafi's downfall is that now it is al-Qaida-affiliated groups that do it, and with much more vicious performance. That is, the precarious situation of the civil war and the power struggle have been exacerbated due to the military intervention of NATO forces, a perplexing act without even definitively knowing that the opposition was al-Qaida. NATO forces have directly brought about the al-Qaida victory in Libya.
The flag of al-Qaida waves openly in Benghazi. The result is now seen in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, moving to Algeria and Morocco to the west, and uniting with al-Qaida affiliate Boko Haram in Nigeria. In the East, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has reached a full collaboration with Somalia’s al-Qaida affiliate group, al-Shabāb, and together they threaten Kenya and Ethiopia. That means that the second line of North African states is now in grave danger of falling under al-Qaida rule. Moreover, AQIM has close relationships with Hamas in Gaza, and al-Qaida groups in Sinai. That means an immediate threat to Israel and Egypt’s national security. This is the direct result of the US decision to topple Gaddafi.
Did the US learn from toppling Abdallah al-Salih in Yemen? It is situated in the highly strategic region, and together with Somalia on the other side, it controls the Bab al-Mandeb maritime pass and can close it to international navigation. In the North, Yemen borders with Saudi-Arabia. This is the reason why al-Qaida, headed by Anwar al-`Awlaqi, prioritizes taking control of the state. However, like in Libya, the US is almost ignoring the severe situation there. The immediate result was AQAP (al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula) taking over almost 50 percent of Yemen territory, and threatening Saudi-Arabia. That also means that AQAP enlarges its coalition strategy and merges with al-Shabāb in Somalia and AQIM in Libya.
Did the US learn the lessons by calling Hosni Mubarak, America’s darling, to step down in Egypt? This is perhaps the gravest mistake of the Obama Administration as it has shocked the entire Middle East and caused volatile instability. To add sin to crime, the US has supported the ascendancy of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement to power in Egypt, with its harsh Islamic ideology. By that, the US is responsible for the disastrous situation of the Christian community, the Copts, the true original Egyptians, who are religiously and politically persecuted.
Generally speaking, does the US understand that deserting the Middle East and betraying its allies constitute a lethal threat to the entire region? Does the US understand the moral contradiction of its policy when it supports anarchic Jihadi violent and anti-Western forces against the legitimate governments? Does the US take into account its many failures in the region concerning the adoption of democracy – in Afghanistan; in Iraq; in Lebanon; in Gaza; in Pakistan? Does the US internalize the consequences of the disfunctioning of the international system, where anarchy reigns?
It is bewildering and confusing that the US approves time and again Barbara Tuchman’s eloquence in the March of Folly, by letting the March of Evil of Islam win, thus threatening to bring us all to Islam’s 7th century desert. Tuchman has claimed: “A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than of almost any other human activity.” It is amazing how the US Administration fails, continues to fail, and reiterates its failures and bring them to a new glorious peak.
The US administration should also listen to how the leaders in the Middle East look at its behavior. Concerning the question of whether the US is still a reliable ally that can be trusted, diplomats would pause awkwardly, clear their throats, start with “to be honest” or with a long “Well…” and then utter something like “we believe that the US is maneuvering us as to empower Iran” or that “the US disappointed us as with regard to keeping our interests.” Politicians will be more direct, and would say that the US has betrayed its allies in the Middle East and behaves ungratefully after the intimate intelligence cooperation and political support their countries have given to the US. For other regional leaders, they even speak of the possibility of moving towards Russia, as it firmly stands by its allies and is more sober with regard to the Middle East situation.
The Geneva Accord (declared by Iran it is like the ‘Agreement of Khudaybiyah’ of Muhammad with the Meccans), is the ultimate proof. From Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States’ perspective, this is perhaps the highest betrayal as they find it appeasing their harsh enemy (not Israel, but Iran), as the Shiite-Sunni rift is the apocalypse of the Middle East. Moreover, they were expecting to be invited to take part in the dialogue, so that their interests would be taken into account. If the Dark Anarchic Islamic Winter has saddened and grieved Saudi-Arabia, the Geneva agreement drives her crazy. It cannot understand how the US could betray its regional allies and come to reach an agreement with its arch foe at its expense. In response to this, Riyadh will seek its own nuclear capability, with Pakistan as a probable supplier. Here is another potential disaster for the Middle Eastern stability and calm.
It must be clearly stated: these horrific circumstances are all the result of Obama's tragic policies, and everyone in the Middle East region and the international arena will pay the price.