Sniegoski on Cockburn Article about Regional Significance of Syria

Patrick Cockburn on the war in Syria and the threat to the Middle East


Steve Sniegoski wrote:

Patrick Cockburn is not as courageous as his late  brother, Alexander,  in that he does not point out the role of Israel and its American supporters in the Syrian war,  but this is easy to detect from his presentation.  In short, what is taking place,  falls  completely in line with the Likudnik Oded Yinon destabilization/fragmentation goal as it was updated by the neocons, the intention of which is to gravely weaken Israel’s regional enemies and thus maintain Israel’s regional preeminence in the future. The war in Syria does this in a number of ways.

1.    Fragments Syria (a major ally of Iran’s against Israel)

2.    Spreads  ethno-sectarian violence throughout the Middle East.

3.    Threatens to eliminate Hezbollah (in Lebanon)  which is staunchly opposed to Israel.

4.    Weakens Iran’s  military power against Israel  by endangering its allies (Assad Regime and Hezbollah) and the Islamic Regime itself, which can be threatened by Sunnis (and Kurds)  from within and from bordering Iraq..

5.    Augments the power of  the Kurds who are tied to Israel.

The following is some of the key information taken from Cockburn’s article.

Syria is increasingly resembling its neighbours to the west and east: there will soon be a solid bloc of fragmented countries that stretches between the Mediterranean and Iran. In all three places the power of the central state is draining away as communities retreat into their own well-defended and near autonomous enclaves. A high-ranking intelligence officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, states:   “But if we lose Syria we won’t be able to hold Tehran” [ Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, made it very clear in a speech on 30 April that the Lebanese Shia also see Syria as a battleground where they can’t afford a defeat. ‘Syria,’ he said, ‘has real friends in the region and the world who will not let Syria fall into the hands of America, Israel or takfiri groups.’ He believes the very survival of the Shia is at stake. [Elimination of Syria would eliminate Hezbollah] The Syrian civil war is spreading. This, not well-publicised advances or withdrawals on the battlefield, is the most important new development In Iraq, the Syrian civil war has reignited a sectarian conflict that never entirely ended. The destabilising of his country that Maliki predicted in the event of an opposition victory has already begun. The overthrow of Saddam brought to power a Shia-Kurdish government that displaced Sunni rule dating back to the foundation of the Iraqi state in 1921. It is this recently established status quo that is now under threat. The revolt of the Sunni majority in Syria is making the Sunni minority in Iraq feel that the regional balance is swinging in their favour. They started to demonstrate in December, modelling their protests on the Arab Spring

The feeling that the future of whole states is in doubt is growing across the Middle East – for the first time since Britain and France carved up the remains of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. ‘It is the end of Sykes-Picot,’ I was told repeatedly in Iraq; the reference was to the agreement of 1916 which divided up the spoils between Britain and France and was the basis for later treaties. Some are jubilant at the collapse of the old order, notably the thirty million Kurds who were left without a state of their own after the Ottoman collapse and are now spread across Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. [Israel has a close connection to the Kurds]

When the US invaded Iraq in 2003, it changed the overall balance of power and destabilised every country in the region. The same thing is happening again, except that the impact of the Syrian war is likely to be less easily contained. Already the frontier dividing the western deserts of Iraq from the eastern deserts of Syria is ceasing to have any physical reality.


Steve S.


Israel lobby pushing Syrian regime change/civil war like it did with Iraq as well:

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