The political opposition and civil society protesters we spoke to, soon began to realize that a larger geopolitical war was being waged by the Imperial-Zionist powers and the Gulf vassal monarchies & surely their agenda was not democracy. Can any serious observer state that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are democracies, or even aspire to be so in the near future? Are the Nato powers here to to create liberal secular democracies, or wage war, change regimes & control the natural resources of nations? The answers have always been clear.
Syria was targeted, as this country has been a bulwark of the resistance & forms a physical arch that includes Iran, Syria, the Turkish people, Lebanon and Palestine. With all their faults, the Syrian leadership did not compromise with the US-Israel, as did Egypt and the other Arab powers after the Camp David Treaty (1978) & the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty (1979). Then with the defeat of Saddam’s Iraq (1991), Syria was the only Arab country with a political system, military and a courageous civil-society that could stand up to Israel.
Syria and the leading Arab and Muslim nations have been targeted for regime change both in the PNAC (Project for the New American Century, a Neo-Conservative Document, 1997)
The victory of the Lebanese and Palestinian national resistance in their historic victories in 2006 & 2008-09, 2012, was due to the fact that Syria stood by like a rock, whilst other Arab states stood & watched. Israel stood defeated & the myth of Israel’s military invincibility lay shattered forever.
Syria also lies in the pathway of the Oil & Gas Pipelines, with plans to pass from Saudi-Qatar-Syria-Turkey to Europe. Also the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline challenges the hegemony of the Saudi-Qatar-US-Israeli plans to control the routes & the flow of the natural resource.
The recent discoveries of major Oil & Gas deposits in the Mediterranean & Aegean Seas have lead to competing claims between Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus, Greece & Israel. Thus both the Corporate West & the Gulf Petro-Sheikhs require pliant regimes in Syria, as they now have in Libya. (F. William Engdahl, New Mediterranean oil and gas bonanza http://rt.com/news/reserves-offshore-middle-east-engdahl-855/ )
Also the Syrian Arab Nationalist & liberal secular plural identity, are an anathema to all those forces in the region, who cannot see beyond the narrow confines of religion & sect. It’s simply amazing to witness the rich multi-cultural ethos of this ancient Mediterranean civilization going back to more than 10,000 years, with Damascus being the oldest city in the world, with a continuous human urban settlement.
We would speak with a group of 10 Syrians & at the end would remain completely flummoxed as we could never ascertain as to which identity they belonged to. This is also the reason as to why the Syrian nation, even after 23 months of a massive international war, has been able to stand united. If not, Syria too would have fallen & crumbled like Afghanistan & Iraq, as the societies within were deeply divided along ethno-sectarian fault-lines.
There is also a plan that envisages the vivisection & Bantustanization of Syria along Sunni, Christian, Alawite, Shia & Kurdish lines. If this nefarious design were to be achieved, then Turkey with its Ottoman pretensions & Israel with its nightmare of Greater Eretz Israel, would once again carve up the Arab lands, as the colonial representatives of the West. Here the minorities & especially the Christian, Alawite, Shia & Druze communities have been targeted as kafirs & heathens & there are horrendous fatwas being brazenly issued.
The majority of the Muslim Sunnis who are liberal as well as the other Muslim & Christian minorities in Syria are truly frightened at the prospect of a Wahabi-Salafist takeover. Many Christians we spoke to, proud of their Syrian-Arab identity will pack their bags & leave the day the ‘Syrian Arab Republic’ is transformed into a ‘Syrian Islamic Republic’. They will be reduced to second-class citizens, as is the case with all theocracies, as well as Atheocracies - though God forbid.
The common basis of their existence is the Syrian civilization & not on Islam they say & rightly so. The Christians do respect Islam, as part of their common Arab heritage. This is a position that all minorities across the world have professed. The imposition of Islamic states, will lead to more tensions in Egypt, as well as in Nigeria. We have already witnessed the partitions of Ethiopia & Eritrea, followed by Sudan & South Sudan-Darfur.
The Imperial-Zionist strategy is to balkanize Asia & Africa along religio-sectarian & ethnic lines. Thus the creation of Islamic states, will exacerbate this very crisis. To again state the obvious – the common identity of the Egyptian people is not only Islamic, but it is the Egyptian civilization & Arabism as well. We also need to recognize the fact that socio-religious groups & ideologies too have a legitimate right to create political parties, as is evident in many western & other secular liberal democracies across the world. This issue too is at the very core of the ongoing struggle in Syria.
Fortunately enough in India, the visionary leadership led by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru & Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, understood this fact only too well & there were many in Syria who both admired & lauded India’s secular heritage & thus the mutual respect for all religions, cultures & languages.
It must be stated here, that the one of the most remarkable meetings that we had was with Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun, who represents the Muslim Sunni sect & thus the majority of the population. Mufti Hassoun’s 21-year-old son was murdered & he too has been threatened with death. Mufti Hassoun’s first words itself captivated us. He spoke of the ‘sanctity of God & the sanctity of Human life & beyond this nothing was more precious or sacred’. Mufti Hassoun is a true representative of a liberal peaceful Islam & this was the overwhelming sentiment amongst the Muslims that we met. Mufti Hassoun was thankful of the role that India has played, in addition to that of Russia, & China.
The Islam of the Mediterranean civilization will not be overcome by the Islam practiced in the obscurantist Gulf Sheikhdoms or the caves of Tora Bora. Thus Syria must defend its secular liberal ethos & culture. The religio-sectarian battle being waged against the Syrian Government is based on the innuendo that the President Bashal Al Assad is from the Alawite minority (who are Kafirs, according to the extremists & fanatics who lay claim to Islam) & thus he should go. And go he surely will, if & whenever the majority vote against him.
And coming from India, where our PM comes from the minority Sikh community comprising 2% of the population, it did sound very obnoxious. There is also valid anger amongst a section of the people about the four decade long rule of the Assad family, but this coming from those backed by the ruling families of the Gulf monarchies sounds very hollow indeed. They are also the same forces that sent in an army to quell the democratic uprising of the majority of the Bahraini population.
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