Déjà vu: Syria Battles the Axis of Evil Once Again
By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 18 April 2015
On 29 March 1949 the Syrian Army Chief of Staff, Husni al-Za'im, led a bloodless military coup d'état of the nation with the aid and assistance of the newly formed CIA of the US. The deposed Syrian president Shukri al-Quwatli had fallen victim to the US Empires early ventures in the Middle East: al-Quwatli had courted independence from French colonial rule early in his tenure and sought the assistance of the US Empire, principally in the form of military aid, but was rebuffed.
Shukri al-Quwatli's quest for full and meaningful independence from the French, and his subsequent shift from looking to the West for support and refocussing on the Middle East, in attempting to create a regional power block, were not the primary reasons for his downfall. His demise was principally the result of his objection to the construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline in Syria which eventually connected the oilfields of Qaisumah in Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean port of Sidon in Lebanon. Ocean going oil tankers routing through the Suez Canal or round the Horn of Africa were both notoriously slow and costly.
- Syria did, of course, gain nominal independence on 17 April 1946 but remained largely under the control of its former colonial master, France and the growing US Empire, until Hafez al-Assad gained power in 1970.
With al-Quwatli removed from office and the West's puppet, al-Za'im, installed, the project was swiftly ratified by the new military Junta and on the 10 November 1950 oil began flowing through the 1210 km pipeline into the storage tanks at Sidon, Lebanon. The US Empire and its vassals had secured the lifeblood of its economies for the next 25 years.
However, when Hafez al-Assad assumed the role of president in 1971, after ridding the country of Western influence in the coup d'état's of 1963, 1966 and 1970, the nation looked even further to the east, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In a deal forged during the heat of the cold war between the West and the East, Hafez al-Assad secured financial assistance and military equipment in exchange for leasing its warm water Mediterranean port of Tarus to the USSR Navy. Five years later the Trans-Arabian Pipeline west of Jordan, i.e. the section that traversed through Syria and onto Lebanon, ceased operations and Hafez al-Assad became firmly implanted in the cross hairs of the US Empires gunsights.
For the next 29 years, until his death on 10 June 2000, Hafez al-Assad survived and thrived in the face of deep and bitter hostility from the US Empire for cutting off the Trans-Arabian Pipeline and, more importantly, for courting the USSR: a situation that has remained extant during the presidency of his son, Bashar al-Assad, to this very day.
There can be no doubt whatsoever that Saudi Arabia and most Western nations would welcome the recommissioning of the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, regardless of its limitations by modern day standards, to reduce the costs of oil transportation. Similarly, Jordan is equally as keen for the pipeline to be resurrected so they can reduce their oil transportation costs too. However, it is Israel and its port of Haifa, the original destination of the pipeline until political instability precluded it, that would welcome it the most. Israel is fully aware of the strategic significance of having a major oil terminal on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Nonetheless, oil is still a minor consideration today, much like it was during the latter part of the 20th century, as Syria's continued alignment with the Russian Federation and its geo-political and military strategic significance remains.
The US Empires' vassal state of Israel is an expansionist aggressor using a 'divide and rule' strategy to entrench internecine warfare among the sectarian groups of the Arab population.
It is common knowledge that along Syria's north eastern borders, through the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to Iran, a conduit of supplies for the marginalised, disenfranchised and ethnically cleansed Palestinians in Israel and the Hezbollah people of southern Lebanon continues to provide both these groups with support. Thus, the regular incursions by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), in particular among the Palestinian settlements within Israel and the Hezbollah populated areas of southern Lebanon, as well as the Golan Heights in eastern Syria and eastern Jordan, are all part of the Israeli expansionist policy to subjugate the local people and acquire more territory, by force if necessary.
- Israel, and most of the US Empire, have classified elements of the Palestinian and Hezbollah groups as terrorists.
It is also common knowledge that the Israeli regime have established links with, and are actually providing material support to, the al-Qaeda Nursa Front (AQNF) in Syria, a terrorist organisation working in association with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). More than 1000 Syrians, most of them terrorists from the Nursa Front, have received medical treatment in Israel and have then been returned to the Israeli/Syrian border in the Golan Heights to resume their nefarious activities. Israel is clearly undermining the democratically elected and legally constituted government of Syria.
- Israel, among over 40 other countries, have classified both AQNF and ISIL as terrorists.
In essence, Israel has adopted the US Empires selective interpretation of the term terrorist in its quest for regional hegemony. The fact that it promotes internecine warfare among sectarian groups of the Arab population to secure, maintain and expand its influence in the region proves beyond any doubt that its geo-political doctrine has eschewed peace and stability for chaos. Clearly Syria, and by extension Iran, both being aligned to the Russian Federation, represent an obstacle to progress in the West's unrelenting march to the East. The question is not one of how long have Israel and the US Empire been supporting terrorists in their quest for regional hegemony in the Middle East but how long the Arab people are going to let them get away with it.
That Syria have repelled the Axis of Evil once before is a matter of record: how long it will take them this time remains to be seen.
- Study the past, if you would divine the future.
- 孔子, (Kong Zi, aka. Confucius)