Commentary: On the brink of civil war
Syria's revolution might turn into an ethnic and sectarian infighting -- to Al-Assad's benefit of course, writes Jamal Kanj
What started as a revolt against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad -- as part of the Arab Spring that swept the Middle East -- is quickly pushing Syria to the verge of a civil war. Meanwhile, Al-Assad continues to blame the frustration of the Syrian people on a foreign conspiracy. He is delusional.
In fact, his denial of the truth on the ground is what could eventually justify outside intervention.
Moreover, the reckless attempts by some in the opposition to turn civil protests into an armed insurgency have played into the hands of the Syrian dictator. In an open military conflict, using disproportionate force, Al-Assad has proven to be true to his father's brutal reign.
Syria's best trained and supplied army units led by Al-Assad's family members have been instrumental in "Big Brother" practices aimed at maintaining internal dominance.
After 15 months, it has become more apparent that brutality alone is not enough to silence Syrian voices demanding genuine change. Likewise, the armed opposition is incapable of deposing the Al-Assad regime.
The Syrian opposition should look at what happened in Libya. Until direct NATO intervention, the armed rebellion failed badly in toppling Muammar Gaddafi. NATO interference brought both wanton destruction and lucrative business deals for Western companies to rebuild what their governments destroyed in the first place.
Arming the opposition means splitting Syria between two entrenched, diametrically opposed military camps and paves the way for an unwinnable war with divisions along sectarian and ethnic lines. Naturally, and to preserve their gains, each side is likely to compromise national interest by seeking foreign support.
Outside players with conflicting interests are vying to support one side or the other. Iran's indifference towards the people of Syria has led it to support the regime. But Israel has a vested interest in prolonging the conflict to drain Syria, irrespective of the outcome. To accomplish this, Israel has enlisted the US to do its work.
In a 15 June article, America's leading Zion-Con doctrinaire Elliot Abrams, after a visit to Tel Aviv, refers to discussions with Israeli officials pressing for US involvement: "No country in the world roots with more energy than Israel for American success and American power. So when we refuse to use it, they shake their heads and wonder why... What is Washington thinking?"
The fact is that Israel "roots" not "for American success", but for the Zion-Cons' to hoodwink gullible US politicians to fight its wars, as they did in Iraq and are preparing for in Iran.
If dragged by Israel into another Middle East conflict, the US is disposed to becoming a willing military agent executing Israeli strategic policies in the region.
US politicians must heed warnings by top American military analysts that a Syrian venture would not be a jaunt, but long commitment in the quagmire of an emerging civil war.
Following Tuesday's Group of 20 Summit in Mexico, there is a ray of hope that the US and Russia will be working jointly on a zero-sum gain resolution to end the Syrian crisis.
Al-Assad and the opposition must seize the opportunity. The Syrian president needs to understand that his country is more important than his desire to maintain an inherited dictatorship; and the opposition must accept the country is superior to their vindictive ambitions.
The writer is author of Children of Catastrophe, Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America.