Author Topic: The Arab Dictators Call For Democracy In Syria  (Read 2202 times)

nestopwar

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The Arab Dictators Call For Democracy In Syria
« on: February 13, 2012, 03:03:40 PM »
The Arab Dictators Call For Democracy In Syria

Arab League calls for UN intervention in Syria

By Niall Green
 
13 February 2012

The Arab League met in Cairo Sunday. They called on the United Nations
Security Council to send “peacekeepers” to Syria to intervene in escalating
fighting between the Syrian government and opposition forces led by the US-
backed Syrian National Council (SNC).

A delegation from the SNC attended the meeting at the League’s
headquarters, in an effort to secure full diplomatic recognition.

The Arab League’s meeting comes as heavy fighting continues in the Syrian
city of Homs, where US-backed opposition groups have battled for months
with the army and security forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The US-backed armed opposition is acting increasingly openly to use
methods of assassination and terrorism to destabilise the Assad regime.
Syrian state media reported that Brigadier General Issa al-Kholi, a senior
military physician, was shot dead by three gunmen outside his home in the
Syrian capital Saturday.

This follows a terrorist bombing against Syrian security forces in Aleppo, a
city that has seen few protests against Assad. (See, “Bomb blasts in Aleppo,
Syria kill 28”)

The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, praised US-backed forces fighting
in the spreading civil war in Syria. In a recently released video message, al-
Zawahiri called the government in Damascus a “cancerous regime that
suffocated the free people of Syria.” He advised Syrian opposition forces to
seek aid from other Islamists.

Comments by officials at the Arab League meeting in Cairo made clear that a
major topic of the meeting was preparing for international military
intervention in Syria to support the SNC. “We have been very reassured of
everyone’s agendas,” SNC spokesman Basma Kadmani told reporters about
the Cairo meeting. “It is a priority to deal with the Syria issue.”

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi told reporters that the League
has discussed making an open call for international “peacekeepers” to be
sent to Syria.

Dominated by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, the
Arab League seeks the overthrow of Assad and his Ba’ath Party regime. The
tone of Sunday’s discussions in Cairo had already been set at a meeting of
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last week, an occasion for Saudi and
Qatari officials to continue their campaign against the Assad government.

The GCC circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations General
Assembly last week, similar to the one vetoed by Russia and China in the
Security Council, demanding the resignation of Assad and the formation of
an interim government that includes the foreign-backed Syrian opposition
groups.

The head of the Arab League’s observer mission to Syria resigned on
Sunday. Mohammed al-Dabi, a Sudanese general, criticised the decision by
Saudi Arabia and Qatar to call an early halt to the mission, which ran for
twenty-three days from late-December until January. The Gulf sheikhdoms
and the imperialist powers hoped the mission would find evidence of
atrocities by Assad and thus provide fuel for the imperialist campaign for
military intervention in Syria.

Instead, to the dismay of the Gulf sheikdoms and the Western powers, the
observers produced evidence that the Assad regime was facing a well-armed,
foreign-backed movement, and that opposition reports of casualties were
frequently exaggerated. (See, “Report of Arab League mission to Syria
contradicts Western propaganda”)

The manoeuvres of the Arab League and the United States against Syria are
a virtual replay of their role in the NATO-led war against Libya last year. At
that time, the Arab leaders lined up with the Western efforts to topple the
Libyan regime and replace it with one based on the anti-Gaddafi “rebels” of
the National Transitional Council (NTC).

That this “humanitarian” war in Libya led to a humanitarian disaster—with an
estimated 50,000 people killed, and thousands more maimed or turned in
refugees—is of no concern to the NATO powers or their Arab allies. Factional
fighting continues in Libya between NTC rivals, while torture and other
human rights abuses are rife.

Washington and its allies seek the overthrow of Assad to install a stooge
regime in Damascus and subordinate Syria even more directly to the dictates
of Western imperialism, including breaking Assad’s ties to Iran. This is part of
a broader strategy to bring about regime-change in Tehran, which
Washington has long viewed as a major obstacle to efforts to dominate the
energy-rich regions of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Basin.

This also involves Washington in an escalating confrontation with Russia and
China, which vetoed last week’s UN Security Council resolution aiming to
provide a fig leaf for war against Syria. The Kremlin in particular has
responded to the US-led effort to topple Assad by shipping arms to Syria,
deploying an aircraft carrier battle group off the Syrian coast, and sending
high-profile diplomatic missions to Damascus.

The SNC and its military wing, the Free Syrian Army, are based in Turkey and
backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States and the European powers.
Israeli security web site DEBKAfile has reported that British and Qatari
Special Forces are training Free Syrian Army fighters in urban warfare at
camps in Turkey and providing “tactical advice” to opposition fighters inside
the city of Homs.

There are reports of Sunni Islamist fighters from Libya and other countries
coming into Syria to join with local Sunni militants opposed to Assad’s Ba’
athist regime, which is nominally secular but comprised largely of members
of the Alawite branch of Islam.

The fighting in Syria is spreading to neighbouring Lebanon. On Saturday,
Sunni Muslims clashed with Alawites in the city of Tripoli. The Associated
Press reported gunfire and rocket-propelled grenade fire during the clashes,
leading to two deaths at least 12 injuries.

The working class in Syria and internationally must oppose the machinations
of the Arab League and the US and other imperialist powers in Syria. The
only social force that can sweep away the regime in Damascus on a
progressive basis is the Syrian proletariat, fighting for a socialist program in
alliance with the rural poor and their fellow workers internationally against
imperialism.