Saturday, October 6, 2012

Syria's 'rebels' discovery: 'Washington & European capitals are more interested in maintaining the flow of oil from Libya & Iraq, and protecting Israel'

[NYTimes] "... The corollary is frequently sounded, too: The West may be gaining enemies where it might have found friends. As anger grows, armed groups opposed to the United States may grow in numbers and stature, too.“The United Nations and international community are making a big mistake,” said Ghassan Abdul Wahib, 43, a truck driver and now a leader in Kafr Takharim, a village in the north. “By letting this be a long war, they are dragging Syria toward radicalism, and they will suffer from this for a long time.”
The origins of these sentiments are typically the same: a widely held view that Washington and European capitals are more interested in maintaining the flow of oil from Libya and Iraq, or in protecting Israel, than in Syria and its people’s suffering. The view is supported, Syrians opposed to Mr. Assad say, by the West’s stubborn refusal to provide weapons to the rebels, or to protect civilians and aid the rebels with a no-fly zone.....
Other men echoed this sentiment, and accused the United States and Europe of playing a double game, in effect of conspiring with the Kremlin to ensure that no nation has to act against the Assad government or on the rebels’ or civilians’ behalf....
Mr. Wahib, the leader in Kafr Takharim, dismissed the discussions in the United Nations as a choreographed show. “The whole world is now trying to destroy Syria,” he said. “The international community knows that Assad is dead, but they want war so it destroys Syria and puts us back 100 years. In this way, Israel will be safe.”
“The United Nations,” he added, “is a partner in destroying Syria.”
Like many activists and fighters, he had a derisive view of what had once been hailed in Western capitals as an achievement by NATO — the military intervention in Libya last year, which Western leaders have said protected civilians and which enabled disorganized rebels to defeat their country’s conventional military.
That campaign was not perfect. NATO killed and wounded many civilians whom it has refused to acknowledge or help. As the war dragged on, many armed groups formed, casting the country’s long-term security in doubt and, after the attack last month on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, jeopardizing Western engagement, too.
But Syrians opposed to Mr. Assad still crave Western military assistance,.... Many Syrian men also bristled under what they called common descriptions that their uprising is driven by foreign fighters, or hosts groups linked to Al Qaeda........"

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