Washington’s idea to send Saudi troops to Syria is a last ditch attempt to save Jihadi extremists from total defeat and continue their push for regime change in Damascus. The result will be greater conflict, more death and destruction, and the real possibility of a Sunni extremist entity taking shape where ISIS was defeated. But above all, it will transform a Syrian proxy war into a full fledged regional conflict. This may be exactly what the United States is looking for. (Two errors corrected 4/22/2018)
Euphamistically called an “Arab Force,” this is nothing less than a flanking move on Iran and a last ditch attempt to save anti-government rebels from total defeat. It is a force which will be led and financed by the extremely Fundamentalist hardline Wahhabism of Ryad.
To make matters worse, much of the Army they want to send could be composed of ‘military contractors’, mercenaires, organized by people like Eric Prince, a close Trump ally and the man who founded “Blackwater” and who is now advising the UAE.
Such a move risks further internationalizing an already very dangerous conflict. It will put Saudi Arabia in direct contact with Turkey who continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood ousted from Egypt with Saudi backing. It will put Saudi troops in direct contact with Iranian forces: Saudi Arabia’s designated enemy. Majority Shia Iraq will oppose Saudi moves to impose a Sunni extremist entity on its border which could relaunch the civil war in Iraq as tensions between Shias and Sunnis are not only reignited but encouraged.
From Proxy War to Regional War
A Saudi incursion will also further internationalize the conflict in Syria. Saudi Arabia can’t afford to move many troops from its war with Yemen’s resistance.(1) One suggestion is they finance Sudanese, and perhaps Pakistani troops to do much of the fighting. There are already Sudanese troops in Yemen fighting the Houthis led resistance. If Egyptian troops also join the fray, then conflict with Turkey is assured as President Erdogan has challenged General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi’s 2013 coup which overthrew democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Turkey is also frustrating Egyptian plans to exploit Mediterranean gas. Egypt earlier this year threatened military action against Turkey in its economic zone of interest.
Saudi Arabia’s new best friend, Israel, will encourage a Saudi-Iranian confrontation in Syria which could easily spill into a regional conflict and get Israel directly involved. Israel has already attacked Iranian targets in Syria and has pushed for an all out Western attack on Iran for years, claiming they are endangered by Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has up 400 nuclear warheads.
Given the risks of a regional war, it is hard to see how the United States or Russia could stay out of it. At the very least, they will have to provide air support for their respective sides. But, as General Wesley Clark pointed out in a March 2007 interview, the Neo-cons decided in the 1990s on a list of seven countries to over turn with the final target being Iran. This may be what the Boltonites are hoping for.
The lines are drawn; the alliances formed. There is a Saudi-Israeli-Egyptian league supporting extremist Sunni Muslims in Syria opposed to a Turkey-Qatar alliance who also support extremist Sunni Muslims in Syria but are friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood and are on good terms with Iran. Shia Iraqis will have to choose sides. Iran, Hezbollah and Russia have made their side clear and will not stand down.
It is unclear what the US end plan is beyond the destruction of Iran. It is quite possible they are once again playing the Total Chaos card, also known as The Shock Doctrine.(2) By backing the Kurds, Washington has pushed Nato member Turkey into a pragmatic friendship with Russia. If the Saudis use the war as a chance to finally get rid of the Emir of Qatar (a Saudi led embargo is what prompted Turkey to send troops there last year) Turkey will respond.
Saudi Arabia will never be a neutral arbiter, nor a stabilizing force. It should be clear to all:
- Saudi Arabia has been arming and financing Sunni Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq.
- Their form of Islamic government is the most backwards. Wahhabism Sharia is the goal they set themselves for the world.
- Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE, is itself carrying out a brutal and criminal war against the people of Yemen with predominantly American made arms.
- The people who created al Qaeda came from Saudi Arabia and had Saudi financing and backing.
- Most of those who committed 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia.
Washington’s brainchild is a very bad idea and needs to be opposed actively. The only solution for Syria is an Assad victory against the extremist Muslim rebels and the application of the new Constitution, approved by a Referendum in 2012, which the West rejected at the time because their proxies were winning the war. That Constitution will allow for multi party elections and a new government, eventually without Assad.
For clear understanding on how the United States destabilized Yemen through drone and air strikes and backed its ruthless dictator until the end (Thank you Hilary) thus creating the present war in Yemen see Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars, The World Is A Battlefield, New York, 2013.
To better understand how US capitalism creates and uses chaos for regime change see Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, New York, 2007.