When (perhaps ‘if’ but I’m not hopeful) Iraq dissolves and brings eastern Syria and Kurdistan with it and the region falls into a few more decades of war, I will remember Paul Wolfowitz assuring the Senate before our 2003 invasion that ‘there is no history of sectarian violence in Iraq’. Really, he said that. In a neighborhood where sectarian war has been the norm for a thousand years. He said that.
Damn them all.
Posted in Cheney, George Bush, Iraq, Middle East, religion, Syria, war
Tagged George Bush, Iraq, Kurdistan, sectarian war, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, Syria, War
In a country where none of the news is good, this is very very bad. I’ve worried about Turkey since the Islamists started flowing into Syria – they’re Sunnis, determined to help overthrow a Shia government.
An extremist group linked to Al Qaeda routed Syrian rebel fighters and seized control of a gateway town near Syria’s northern border with Turkey on Wednesday, posting snipers on rooftops, erecting checkpoints and imposing a curfew on the local population . . .
Its seizure is likely to alarm Syria’s neighbors. Turkey, which has vocally supported the fight against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and allowed fighters and arms to flow freely across its southern border, now faces a bold al Qaeda affiliate. . .
In recent months, jihadist groups have isolated local populations by imposing strict Islamic codes, carrying out public executions and clashing with rebel groups.
Lebanon is expressing some worry too.
Posted in Middle East, religion, Syria, war
Tagged Middle East, religion, religious war, sectarian war, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, Syria, Turkey
And for ‘me’, read the United States of America.
According to Ramzy Mardini, someone who knows (caution – NY Times possible paywall):
The Syrian revolution isn’t democratic or secular; the more than 90,000 fatalities are the result of a civil war, not a genocide — and human rights violations have been committed on both sides.
Moreover, the rebels don’t have the support or trust of a clear majority of the population, and the political opposition is neither credible nor representative. Ethnic cleansing against minorities is more likely to occur under a rebel-led government than under Mr. Assad; likewise, the possibility of chemical weapons’ falling into the hands of terrorist groups only grows as the regime weakens.
And finally, a rebel victory is more likely to destabilize Iraq and Lebanon, and the inevitable disorder of a post-Assad Syria constitutes a greater threat to Israel than the status quo.
Syria is like Iraq. But worse.
Posted in History, Middle East, military, war
Tagged Bashar al-Assad, history, Middle East, Politics, sectarian war, Syria, Syria civil war, Syrian civil war, US intervention, War