- Hilary Clinton doesn’t want any more the Syrian National Council, which was a structure composed by its French and Qatari sponsors.
No room for a third option in Syria
By Ghaleb Kandil
The consecutive American recognitions of the increasing size of the Takfiri movements and Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups within the so-called armed opposition in Syria, settled the controversy launched at the beginning of the events in favor of the Syrian national state, and exposed the Western hypocrisy which was based on the exploitation of the terrorist and Takfiri organizations and the facilitation of the entry of Al-Qaeda’s armed men and the so-called factions of international Jihad, in order to get rid of Syria’s regional strength and the repercussions of its role which is opposed to American hegemony and Israel.
Firstly, the Americans and French are presenting their project to reshape the Syrian opposition under the headline of creating a force capable of containing extremism in Syria. They are also talking about the restructuring of the so-called Free Syrian Army to achieve that same goal, thus emulating the failed Western experience in Afghanistan where the Americans and French adopted a plan to arm and support Afghan groups opposed to the Takfiri organizations such as the Taliban, and what was dubbed at the time the Arab mujahedeen who constituted the nucleus of Al-Qaeda, after they had benefited from financial and military support provided by the United States, the NATO member states, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many other Arab countries headed by Egypt and Jordan, in partnership with the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Secondly, the key and qualitative difference between Afghanistan and Syria is that the Syrian national state is unified and strong, along with its national army, at a time when the Afghan state was destroyed, drowned in chaos and saw its military institution disbanded and scattered. This was originally the plan drawn up for Syria, but it failed despite the massive capabilities allocated to implement it in the region and around the world, by all means necessary. In the face of the global war, Syrian popular polarization is tilting in favor of the national state and its armed forces, while the national leadership represented by President Bashar al-Assad is earning wider support in the ranks of the Syrians with all their social and religious factions.
Thirdly, it is clear through the West’s attempts to gather, break down and reassemble the Syrian opposition movements at the level of their political fronts and tools on the field, that the search for a secularist fighting nerve within these oppositions’ ranks in order to deter the Takfiri movements on the ground is useless, as well as a desperate attempt whose outcome will be the slaughtering of agents working for the American intelligence apparatuses at the hands of the Takfiris and the West’s riddance of some of those whom it used to mobilize the extremists through their liquidation, as it usually happens to the American agents once their roles and tasks expire. But in any case, this enterprise is doomed to fail, because all the components of the political front which were mobilized by the West and its agents, constitute a mixture featuring the Muslim Brotherhood organization which is behind Takfir, Al-Arour’s Takfiri wing and the Bandar-affiliated Al-Qaeda wing which is funded and armed by Al-Hariri’s envoy Okab Sakr. As for the rest, they are mercenaries who do not represent any real power, while the Free Army is a mere hybrid mixture of thieves and criminals, along with fleeing officers who have turned into terrorist Takfiris and into sheikhs ordering killings and slaughters.
Fourthly, the decisive polarization within Syrian society has become quite clear, and the issue no longer tolerates any arguing. The two camps currently present on the ground are undoubtedly the national state with all its components and its national army on one hand, and the terrorist gangs of Takfir on the other. In light of this situation, there is no room for a third team in Syria, and there are no popular bases for such an option. The camp of the national state is wide enough to embrace political, cultural and intellectual plurality, against a clear and well-defined constitutional backdrop. Hence, the real national forces in Syrian society, that are really serious about deterring the threat of terrorism and the foreign colonial interventions, have no other way but to engage in dialogue and partnership at the level of the responsibility with the national state. As for the rest, they are mercenaries and beneficiaries seeking roles in the context of the collaborating fronts being used by the Americans and their agents in the context of the attack on Syria.
The civilian wing opposed to terrorism includes the majority of the Syrian people who are supporting the national state and the Syrian Arab army. In the meantime, the West is hopelessly trying to contain the dangers of its crime in Syria, while refusing to recognize defeat in the face of President Bashar al-Assad. However, it has no choice but to conduct this recognition and pay the price for this dangerous strategic failure on the moral and political levels, at a time when the wager on the agents and the restructuring of the fronts and the gangs conveys further determination to fuel terrorism and killing in Syria and drown even further in the swamp of defeat and failure.
Why does Riyadh fear Al-Assad’s victory?
Through its behavior, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is showing high levels of tension, in the face of the prolongation of the failure of the war on Syria. Indeed, it has been directly implicated in the allocation of billions of dollars to fund the political and media campaigns and the political and military opposition groups inside and outside of Syria, thus providing them with the ability to proceed with their battle. Recently, it even dispatched British and American arms shipments which had been imported for the Saudi National Guard and army to the terrorist Takfiri gangs which the Saudi intelligence services are mobilizing and supporting on Syrian soil.
Firstly, for decades now, the Saudi command has been deploying all possible means to tame the Syrian position which is rejecting the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and opposing the content of the regional settlement put forward by the United States in the region, and is based on the formation of a regional order led by Israel on the security and economic levels. In this settlement, Saudi Arabia would settle for its share in the partnership with Israel, Europe and the United States, by securing the giant oil and gas pipelines to Europe and eliminating Russia’s position and decisive role at the level of the international energy market. This Saudi implication in the plan to destroy Syria is due to President Bashar al-Assad’s overcoming of all the taming attempts through enticements at times and threats at others, knowing that Saudi Arabia was a main actor in all these efforts throughout the years which followed Israel’s defeat in Lebanon in 2000 and the occupation of Iraq in 2003. This victory by President Bashar al-Assad will address a lethal blow to all the calculations and regional plans in which the Saudi command was implicated, alongside the United States and Israel.
Secondly, in light of the situation in the Arab Peninsula and its surrounding, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia perceives the Iranian role in embracing the resistance option and establishing a partnership with Syria since the victory of the Iranian revolution, as a being a major source of concern which affects its areas of influence that were based on the American hegemony plans in partnership with the regime of the Shah. But the Iranian power moved to the other camp with the establishment of the Islamic Republic, whose role at the level of the Arab-Israeli conflict materialized through its partnership with Syria. And it has become known that the alliance with Iran is one of the main axes of the conflict and the main reason behind the hostility towards the Syrian national state, its Arab nationalistic project and its resisting identity based on which it embraced the resistance factions in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq. And because the Syrian victory will convey the emergence of new regional and international equations and balances, Iran will be one of the major winners, and the new international balance will force the United States to blatantly recognize Iran’s role and influence in the Gulf and throughout the region in general.
Thirdly, the internal predicament of the Saudi regime, which is due to the backwardness of the tyrannical and autocratic structure, is coinciding with the retreat of its regional influence and the transformation of its backyards into dangerous depletion arenas, as well as with the mounting Syrian and Iranian influence within a region extending from Iraq to Bahrain and Yemen.
Consequently, the traditional foundations of Saudi influence are collapsing in parallel to the rise of powers and blocs that enjoy strong alliances with Damascus and Tehran. In Lebanon, Saudi influence is also facing a serious threat, as the Future movement is going through a state of crisis and collapse due to its implication in the war on Syria, whereas Syria’s victory will herald major transformations at the level of the Lebanese domestic equation, going against the Saudi calculations which were historically based on perceiving Lebanon as an arena of presence and influence, especially following the Taef Accord and the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that is busy with the disputes of the ruling family and mounting domestic turmoil, is facing the threat of seeing it’s the decline of its regional role on many arenas. In the meantime, it truly believes that the threat resides in the possible American recognition of President Bashar al-Assad’s victory over the global war aiming at destroying the Syrian strength, which is why hysteria is prevailing over the Saudi decision-making circles dealing with the Syrian file and implicated in the war on Syria.
By Nasser Kandil
Clinton and the shameful behavior of the opposition
Hillary Clinton believed that her call for a conference to unify the Syrian opposition movements and its armed factions in Doha – with Saudi, Egyptian, French, Turkish and Qatari partnership – will be welcomed by all, considering that the call for unity is a common desire, whether to enhance the position of the opposition, conceal its failure to impose a ceasefire, or put an end to the blames addressed to the opposition of being responsible for the weakness of the international support due to its division and inability to achieve unity.
Clinton knows that her call makes her responsible for the direct or indirect participation of Taliban-like formations that follow Al-Qaeda’s ideology, that she is taking a risk and that eventually, this gathering will be used to engage in negotiations since the war to topple the regime in Syria has failed. Nonetheless, she is relying at this level on the fact that the opposition’s unity will give the anti-Syrian camp stronger cards in the negotiations.
But the answer disappointed Clinton, as she was the object of a campaign of responses revealing that the opposition’s media, partisan or military formations would rather remain scattered than establish any unity that would force them to reveal their financial records and adopt an announced rhetoric going in line with their actions.
The Doha conference failed before it was even held, and Washington and its allies are discovering that the defeated lose their power, even over their followers, thus paving the way before the spread of thugs. At this level, we would like to congratulate Clinton and state that Lavrov’s advice is made of gold.
The armed terrorist groups violated the ceasefire decision to which the regular armed forces committed, by perpetrating two terrorist attacks in the Rawda residential neighborhood in Girmana in Rif Damascus, as well as in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad region. These attacks claimed the lives of a number of citizens and caused injuries in the population’s ranks, including a number of women and children. The Army and Armed Forces General Command announced that the terrorist groups’ ongoing and blatant violation of the ceasefire decision undeniably confirmed their connection with the project aiming at dividing and destroying Syria, which required the continuous deterrence of these terrorist groups, the pursuit of their remnants and their eradication to rid the country of their evil.
On the field, the regular armed forces continued to pursue the remnants of the terrorist groups in a number of regions, especially in Aleppo and its Rif, thus eliminating many of them, including mercenaries.
In a related context, the Jordanian police arrested on Tuesday 61 Syrians who were in three tricks near the southern city of Maan which is considered to be the stronghold of the Islamists. On the political level, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov assured there were mercenaries fighting alongside the opposition in Syria, and that the latter were still entering the country via its border with the neighboring states. He continued that the talk about the toppling of the president was useless, assuring that if this is perceived as a main goal, the bloodshed will continue.
For his part, United Nations Envoy to Syrian Lakhdar Brahimi assured following the talks he held with Lavrov in Moscow that the situation in Syria was moving from bad to worse. He thus expressed his disappointment towards the failure of the truce he had called for during the four days of Eid al-Adha, recognizing that groups acting outside the control of both parties might have been behind the violation of the ceasefire. Brahimi continued that some explosions which took place during the Eid holiday in civilian areas were definitely terrorist acts carried out by groups with which he had no contacts.
In the meantime, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Syrian opposition to fight the attempts of extremists to shift the course of the revolution. She added in a press conference in Zagreb there was alarming information about extremists heading to Syria and trying to shift the course of what has so far been a legitimate revolution against an oppressive regime, in order to achieve their own interests. She continued that this was why the United States wanted to help the opposition unify its ranks to deter Al-Assad’s regime, insisting that the Syrian National Council could no longer be perceived as the leading body of the opposition, and that it was rather part of the opposition which should include figures from the Syrian domestic arena among others.
For his part, Syrian oppositionist Haitham al-Maleh considered that Clinton’s position was a “blatant interference in Syrian domestic affairs.”
The Libyan National Congress (parliament) granted its vote of confidence of the government of Prime Minister Ali Zaidan.
The storming of the Congress headquarters by dozens of protesters had caused the postponement of the ratification of the new government formation presented by Zaidan. Hence, a few hours after the government was granted the vote of confidence, armed men gained control over the Libyan parliament building, without the side to which they belong having been identified.
Tunisia has been witnessing tensions between the Salafis and the police corps. On Wednesday night, Salafis armed with knives took to the streets following the death of two extremists, at a time when the police threatened to use live ammunition to impose security.
Interior Minister Ali al-Arid said that the Ministry was insisting on handling all those who violate the law without any exceptions.
In the meantime, members of the security syndicates in the capital demonstrated in front of the Interior Ministry headquarters, in protest against the repeated attacks targeting security and National Guard officers. For their part, the political parties and civil society components condemned the violence, while the opposition Republican Party called for the deterrence of the violence provoked by the extremist groups, accusing the government of being lenient with them.
The Tunisian presidency announced the extension of the state of emergency for three months until the end of January 2013, instead of the usual one month.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti believed that through its recent attack against the Yarmouk arms factory in the southern part of Khartoum, Israel wanted to assure the Israelis that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the one who will protect their security and interests.
Sudan pledged to adopt more stringent measures towards the Israeli interests which it said had become legitimate targets.
For its part, the independent Sudanese Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper revealed that the American embassy in Khartoum had decreased the number of its diplomats, while Foreign Minister Karti described this measure as being Washington’s business. He assured that Washington’s feeling it is not far from the attack against the Yarmouk factory pushed it to adopt this step, adding:
“The United States does not allow the use of its aircrafts and weapons against its interests, which would explain why Israel used F-15 and F-16 aircrafts to bomb the Yarmouk factory.”
He stressed on the other hand: “The visit of the two Iranian warships to Port Sudan is not a secret,” indicating there was no link between these two Iranian frigates and the hostile Israeli attack on the Yarmouk factory. The latter ships left Port Sudan following a three-day visit.
The Israeli papers issued this week focused on the case of Minister Kahloun, his intention to form a new party and the Likud’s attempts to dissuade him from making that move to prevent the toppling of the balance of powers inside the existing parties and the left and right camps in Israel. In that same context, the papers tackled the alliance agreement between the Likud and the Yisrael Beiteinu party.
On the other hand, the papers addressed Netanyahu’s visit to France and his call on the Jews in it to go to Israel, to which French President Francois Hollande responded by saying: “France’s Jews belong in France.”
For its part, Yediot Aharonot carried a threat addressed by Israel to Hezbollah, saying it will wage a third war against Lebanon in case the party were to carry out an operation against Israel. Moreover, most of the papers carried the statements of the Israeli defense minister to the Daily Telegraph, ones in which he revealed that about eight months ago, Iran transferred a quantity of enriched uranium for peaceful purposes, and that this decision was a turning point which prevented the adoption of a decision to launch a military attack against it.
In the meantime, Maariv revealed that Egypt turned down a request presented by Israel to raise the level of the relations between the two sides. It indicated that the Egyptian officials were avoiding any contacts with their Israeli counterparts, quoting a foreign diplomat who is knowledgeable about the relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv as saying: “The current relations are frozen and the political situation in Egypt is very sensitive. Therefore, they will not approve any change or the raising of the level of the relations in a way exceeding what prevailed during Mubarak’s term.”
During his meeting with Prosecutor Hatem Madi, Prime Minister Najib Mikati stressed the necessity of mobilizing all possible means to at the level of the investigations into the assassination of General Wissam al-Hassan. He considered that the completion of the investigations into this case constituted a national demand to ensure the imposition of security, as well as a personal demand on his end due to the close ties which he enjoyed with the martyred general. In this context, Minister of Interior and Municipalities Marwan Charbel assured that the FBI team had left Lebanon after it completed the mission which it was assigned to carry out in coordination with the relevant Lebanese judicial authorities.
For his part, Army Command Jean Qahwaji warned against the stay of the capital of the North, i.e. Tripoli, under the mercy of the armed men, stressing the army’s insisting on upholding the city’s security and its ongoing contacts with its religious and political dignitaries to handle the repercussions of the incidents.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stated: “The loud voice of the March 14 team aims at obstructing the course of the state and at eluding the discussion of a new electoral law to maintain the 1960 law. What they failed to accomplish in the previous stage will not be accomplished now.
We thus call on the March 14 group to be rational, to tend to Lebanon’s interests, not to obstruct the state and to accept the government’s legal status, considering that anarchy and obstruction are causing harm, without changing the actual equation in Lebanon.”
New Orient News (Lebanon)