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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/11/12

There will be hell to pay for NATO's Holy War

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Cross-posted from Asia Times


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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is running out of rhetorical ammunition in the US's Holy War against Syria. Perhaps it's the strain of launching a NATO war bypassing the UN Security Council. Perhaps it's the strain of being eaten for breakfast routinely by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Hillary has just called on "Western powers" and their Arab stooges -- the NATOGCC compound [1] that passes for the "international community" -- to "make it clear that Russia and China will pay a price because they are holding up progress" regarding weaponized regime change in Syria.

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In non-newspeak, this means, "If you block our new war, there will be payback."

Howls of laughter in the corridors of the Kremlin and the Zhongnanhai notwithstanding, this shows how desperate the NATOGCC compound is to force regime change in Syria as a stopover in cutting off Iran's privileged connection with the Arab world. And this while Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- leading NATO's eastern flank -- itches to attack Syria but can't find a way to sell it to Turkish public opinion.

Into this incandescent context plunges WikiLeaks -- releasing a batch of very embarrassing emails against the Assad system and the NATO rebels as well. A possible side effect will be to inspire waves of so-called progressives all across the West to start supporting the Holy War on Syria. A realistic effect will be to show how unsavory both sides -- the police state Assad system and the armed opposition -- really are.

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Car bombing tourism, anyone?

It's useful to examine what price Washington itself, not to mention its NATO subjects, could be paying for this Holy War branch-out fought with -- who else -- the same bunch of "terrorists" who until yesterday were about to destroy Western civilization and turn it into a giant Caliphate.

Washington, London and Paris have tried -- twice -- to twist the UN Security Council into yet another war. They were blocked by Russia and China. So plan B was to bypass the UN and launch a NATO war. Problem is NATO has no stomach - and no funds -- for a very risky war with a country that can actually defend itself.

Thus plan C is to bet on a prolonged civil war, using the Far-from-Free Syrian Army (FSA), crammed with mercenaries and jihadists, and the band of opportunistic exiles known as the Syrian National Council (SNC).

The SNC has actually called for a Libya-style no-fly zone over Syria -- shorthand for a NATO war. Turkey also formally asked NATO for a no-fly zone. NATO commanders may be inept -- but they have a certain amount of experience with major embarrassment (see Afghanistan). They flatly refused it.

The SNC -- and the FSA -- could not be more un-representative. The "Friends of Syria" -- as in Hillary and the Arab stooges -- barely acknowledge the existence of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), the main indigenous opposition movement in Syria, composed of 13 political parties, mostly from the Left, Arab nationalists and including one Kurdish party. The NCB firmly denounces any form of militarization and totally dismisses the FSA.

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Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari -- a Kurd -- has warned that Salafi-jihadists of the al-Qaeda mould are moving into Syria in droves. Apparently this bunch still listens very closely to "invisible" al-Qaeda ideologue Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri; five months ago he issued these marching orders to jihadis in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It also helps that many of them are being weaponized -- via different networks -- by the House of Saud and Qatar.

For months everybody knows that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of al-Qaeda-linked Abdul Hakim Belhaj has been active in Syria -- as well as remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq now responsible for car bombings even in Damascus.

In the event of a post-Assad Syria dominated by hardcore Sunnis infiltrated by Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadists, guaranteed blowback will leave Afghanistan after the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad looking like a ride on Disneyland Hong Kong.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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