In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Al-Qaeda to fill in Kofi’s void in Syria

Posted by seumasach on August 9, 2012


7th August, 2012

For all those pundits in our strategic community who religiously take the word from the Council of Foreign Relations in New York as the Bhagavad Gita, this must come as a terrible shock — an argumentative piece by a senior fellow of the CFR justifying the logic of using the Salafist fighters as instrument of US policy to bring about ‘regime change’ in Syria. The argument runs like this:

Despite all the King’s men and all the King’s horses, the Syrian rebels are not able to pull it off. They are getting demoralized (as any ragtag army of mercenaries will be). So, what is needed is the al-Qaeda fighters. “The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni Sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results.”
“In short, FSA [Syrian rebels] needs al-Qaeda now.” Of course, al-Qaeda fighters would have their own agenda in overthrowing the Syrian regime — setting up of a “regional headquarters where mujahideen can enjoy a safe haven”
But, not to worry. Because, “The unspoken political calculation among [US] policymakers is to get rid of Assad first – weakening Iran’s position in the region – and then deal with al-Qaeda later.”
Got it? It’s as simple as that. Wasn’t that the agenda that Zbigniew Brzezinski also espoused — in cohort with another Saudi KIng and a Pakistani military dictator — for Afghanistan circa 1980 and successfully executed? The US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan got a ‘regime change’ alright in Kabul, finally. It is a minor detail that Osama bin Laden and Jalaluddin Haqqani provided the steel frame at that time.
What the CFR scholar espouses is in fact the US policy on Syria. Simply read up and ponder over today’s dispatch in the Washington Post. The US’s estimation is that the agenda of ‘regime change’ in Syria is getting stuck in mud. The Syrian regime is intact.
Therefore, what is needed is a military push. The name of the game is to achieve a ’soft landing’ in Damascus without spilling American blood – as WaPo says. Now that the US and its allies have got rid of the nuisance of Kofi Annan, the path ahead is clear. Read the CFR commentary here

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