Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"The west & its allies cynically bleed Syria to weaken Iran"

"...The fact is intervention has long been a central dimension of the war. The regime forces are backed by Syria's old allies in Russia and Iran. Funding and military support for the rebels come from the US, Britain, France and their regional allies: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Jordan.Airlifts of arms to the Syrian rebels, co-ordinated by the CIA, have increased sharply in recent months to become what one former US official calls a "cataract of weaponry". British and American forces are training rebel fighters in Jordan. The worth of US aid to the Syrian opposition has doubled to $250m, while the EU has now lifted its oil embargo to allow exports from rebel-held areas.
The result of foreign intervention has of course been to escalate the conflict. Now pressure is building on the Obama administration to go further and supply weapons directly. Among those pushing for more intervention is David Cameron – anxious to ingratiate himself with the Gulf dictators – who has been pressing for the EU arms embargo to be lifted.
The intention is to build up the west's favoured groups and weaken the role of jihadists who have taken centre stage as the war has gone on. They include Jabhat al-Nusra, which now controls swaths of rebel-held territory and has declared allegiance to al-Qaida.
The irony of the US and other western governments – let alone Israel – once again making common cause with al-Qaida, after a decade of a "war on terror" aimed at destroying it, is one factor holding Obama back. So is the risk of being drawn into all-out war (publicly raised by Britain's chief of the defence staff); the hostility of American public opinion (mirrored in Britain and the Arab world); and the aftermath of intervention in Libya, where militias have been besieging government offices demanding the ousting of western-backed Gaddafi-era leaders....
The result will certainly be to ratchet up the death toll and spread the war. If they were genuinely interested in saving lives – instead of neutralising Syria to undermine Iran – western leaders would be using their leverage with the rebels' regional sponsors to negotiate a political settlement that would allow Syrians to determine their own future. ..."

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