In his article “The Revolt of Islam in Syria” (Jerusalem Post, December 12), Jonathan Spyer — senior fellow at the GLORIA Center — points out compelling information about the new Western-backed leadership in Syria.
The bottom line: if this is Syria’s new government, then Syria now has an Islamist regime.
This is happening with the knowledge and collaboration of the Obama administration and a number of European governments. It is a catastrophe, and one that’s taking place due to the deliberate decisions of President Barack Obama and other Western leaders. Even if one rationalizes the Islamist takeover in Egypt as due to internal events, this one is U.S.-made.
As Spyer points out, U.S. and European policy can be summarized as follows:
To align with and strengthen Muslim Brotherhood-associated elements, while painting Salafi forces as the sole real Islamist danger. At the same time, secular forces are ignored or brushed aside.
The new regime, recognized by the United States and most European countries as the legitimate leadership of the Syrian people, is the Syrian National Coalition, which has also established a military council.
Spyer’s detailed evidence for these arguments — much of which comes from raw wire service reports, for which praise is due to Reuters in this case — is undeniable. And if we know about these things, there is no doubt that the highest level of the U.S. government does as well.
Why is this happening? Because Obama and others believe that they can moderate the Muslim Brotherhood and this will tame the Salafists, despite massive evidence to the contrary. This is going to be the biggest foreign policy blunder of the last century, and the cost for it will be high. It should be stressed: such a strategy is totally unnecessary; the alternatives have been ignored; and the real moderates are being betrayed.
Here is some of the proof for these assertions:
– “The founder of the Free Syrian Army, former Syrian Air Force Colonel Riad Asaad, is notably absent [from the leadership]. General Mustafa al-Sheikh, the first of his rank to defect to the rebels, is also not there. Sheikh is known for his fierce opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. Hussein Haj Ali, the highest ranking officer to defect so far, was similarly absent.” These men are all anti-Islamists.
– “A Reuters report on the new joint military council calculated that the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies account for about two-thirds of the 263 men who met in Antalya and formed the new body. Salafi commanders are also there.” In other words, the Islamists will get the overwhelming share of weapons provided under U.S. sponsorship, Turkish oversight, and Qatari and Saudi financing. And the United States has not objected to the arming of Salafist super-extremists as long as they aren’t affiliated to al-Qaeda.