Is There A ‘US War On Syria’? The Syrian Uprising, The Assad Regime, The US And Israel


In the wake of two Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria on the May 4-5 weekend, the second causing massive explosions close to Damascus and killing at least several dozen Syrian troops, discussion rages about the aims of this aggression and the relationship it has to the ongoing mass uprising and civil war in Syria.

Israel claimed both attacks were aimed at Iranian long-range rockets, or the military depots where they were housed, that were in transit via Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As the Zionist regime has continually indicated that its “red line” was the transfer of any significant “game-changing” weaponry to either Hezbollah in Lebanon (which is currently aligned to Syria’s besieged Assad regime) or to the Sunni Islamist rebels fighting to overthrow that regime, this explanation seems plausible. font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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Therefore, in such a context, with Israel everyday lamenting the “lost peace” on the northern border of occupied Golan (i.e., the peace it has enjoyed for 40 years as the Assad regime never challenged the Zionist occupation and annexation of its Golan territory), Israel is also announcing loud and clear to all sides in Syria, and to the Syrian masses, that “Israel is here, and this is what we can do”. The overall aim, in other words, is mass terror.

Yet while the situation may inexorably drive towards some kind of imperialist intervention, the outstanding fact to date has been the reluctance of imperialist states – and above all Israel – to lend any concrete support (or in Israel’s case, even verbal support) to the opposition trying to overthrow Assad’s tyrannical capitalist dictatorship. line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
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No secular fighters?

Iit’s worth looking at a recent article in the New York Times which, like a great many articles, over-emphasise the significance of the radical Islamist element in the armed uprising. In this case, the NYT made the case more absolute: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
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This is a very odd argument for a number of reasons. But before analysing the reasons for the NYT’s statement, it is worth looking at the evidence. It is certainly true that there is a strong “Islamist” element within the armed opposition, and that as Assad’s brutality grows, so does the “radical” nature of the ideology of many of the rebel groups, and also the reverse brutality of some of the armed rebels (whether secular or Islamist). It is also true that part of the Islamist opposition is backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar as part of a reactionary-sectarian regional game (see below). And it is further true that some Islamist groups, such as Al-Nusra, are allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda.

However, there are also a vast number of articles, interviews, documents, photos, videos and other evidence of opposition, both armed and unarmed, and opposition-controlled towns, that remain secular, or at least religious only in a formal sense without any “sharia law”, or that are opposed to the Islamicisation of the movement. While this article is not aimed at proving this, here are some useful links that demonstrate the point:

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/03/samar-yazbek-syrian-revolution-writing?CMP=twt_gu.

“Welcome to Free Syria Meeting the rebel government of an embattled country”,
http://harpers.org/archive/2012/08/welcome-to-free-syria/.

“How should Idlib's Islamists be handled?”,
http://syriasurvey.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/what-to-do-with-idlibs-islamists.html.

“Syrian rebels tackle local government”,http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-rebels-tackle-local-government/2013/04/30/3f2181d8-b1b9-11e2-baf7-5bc2a9dc6f44_story.html.

“Syria: the ‘no secular fighters’ myth”,http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2013/4/30/syria-audio-analysis-the-no-secular-fighters-myth-scott-luca.html.

“Jihadists and secular activists clash in Syria”,
www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/world/…/syria-war-developments.html.

“Some rebels worry about extremists but Assad comes first”,
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/some_rebels_worry_about_extremists_but_assad_comes_first_20120822/.

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http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-08/183858-syria-rebels-see-future-fight-with-foreign-radicals.ashx#axzz22zO6OH7J.

“First Christian unit of FSA forms”,http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=2528.

“The battle to name Syria's Friday protests”,

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/04/201241314026709762.html.

A similar list could of course be made of all kinds of brutal, reactionary and religious-sectarian actions by parts of the anti-Assad revolt. But that is not what is in question in such a variegated, bottom-up, mass uprising. The evidence above makes clear that the sectarian element can by no means be declared in complete control.CIA has even made contingency plans for drone strikes on the radical Islamist rebels.

The idea that the US wants to support these Islamists, and is just pretending not to, is a fantasy indulged in by parts of

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