February 19, 2012
China Comes To Syria's - And the West's Rescue
With regard to Syria the west has painted itself into a corner.
A significant part of the lauded democratic and peaceful protester the west intensely promoted turned out to be brutal sectarian fighters who, if they win, are likely to turn around and fight against western interests.
Now China is offering its help. It has prepared the ground for finding a solution very well. If it really can pull this off we are witnessing a major change in international Middle East policies with the role of the west diminished and with China established there as a new significant, though for now only "soft", power.
Al-Qaeda's role in Syria is increasing with the founding of a new al-Bara’ ibn Malik Martyrs Brigade ready for suicide killings. It uses the al-Qaida flag and its historic name points to anti-Shia sectarianism:
In the latter part of the Battle of Yamamah, when the opposition forces led by Musaylimah (referred in Islamic historiography as al-Kadhab or the Liar) were beginning to lose the battle they hid behind a gated garden. Prior to launching an assault on the garden, al-Bara’ ibn Malik stated: “يا أهل المدينة، لا مدينة لكم اليوم، إنما هو الله، والجنة” or “Oh People of al-Madinah, there is no al-Madinah for you after this day. There is only Allah, then Paradise.” Ibn Malik was hoisted upon a fellow soldiers shield to try and jump over the gate, which he succeeded. He sustained wounds, but was able to break open the gate allowing the rest of the Muslim army to defeat Musaylimah’s men. The episode would later refer to the “Garden of Death.”
There are three key points that should be highlighted from the above description of al-Bara’ ibn Malik: (1) he had an important role in defeating “apostates;” (2) his quote from above shows his willingness for martyrdom in the face of tough odds; and (3) he fought against the Persian Empire, which although Persians were not Muslims or Shi’a for that matter at that time one can imagine the symbolism of Ibn Malik fighting against the Persians.
This happened even after James Clapper, director of U.S. national intelligence, warned that the recent suicide bombings in Syria were done by al-Qaida. It is therefore likely that there are now several such groups, probably independent from each other, operating in Syria. Some in the western media are waking up to what we discussed here even nine month ago. The Torygraph's Peter Osborne warns the British government:
Think about it. Ten years ago, in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers, we invaded Afghanistan to eliminate al-Qaeda. Now the world’s most notorious terror organisation wants to join a new “coalition of the willing” in Syria (not just al-Qaeda: yesterday the Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir staged a march through west London in support of their Syrian brothers and the establishment of the Khilafah state).
Yet, in recent public pronouncements David Cameron has repeatedly spoken of the conflict in Syria as a struggle between an illegal and autocratic regime at war with what he likes to call “the people”. Either he is poorly briefed, or he is coming dangerously close to a calculated deception of the British public. For the situation is far more complicated than he has admitted. It is far from obvious, for example, even that a majority of Syrians are opposed to the Assad regime. Russia calculates that perhaps two thirds of Syrians are still broadly supportive, and it is worth recalling that Russia was a more accurate source of information in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq than either Britain or the US.
I hope that the Prime Minister and his Foreign Secretary, William Hague, know what they are doing as they allow Britain to be dragged closer towards further intervention in the Middle East. But judging from their public remarks they may be playing a game whose rules they do not fully understand.
But Cameron and others have painted themselves into the corner. After demanding regime change how can they now turn around and support Assad who is in the best position to fight the danger Peter Osborne is warning of? They will need help to get out.
There are signs that some western politicians now finally understand this. After the UN veto by Russia and China a "Friends of Syria" group was planned to be founded to prepare for unilateral regime destruction by proxy-force or direct attack. Those plans seem to have changed.
Tunisia, which will host the groups first meeting on February 24, invited not only the western and Arab League members but also Russia and China who had vetoed the regime change resolution at the UNSC. The exile regime change group, the Syrian National Council was not invited. It is unlikely that Tunisia would have done this without western agreement.
But who will solve the mess the west, by supporting an Salafi uprising disguised as democracy promotion, has navigated itself into. Russia is seen as pro-Assad and therefore not judged to be a fair negotiator in Syria.
In come the Chinese. They are surely seeing a role for themselves in solving this conflict. They prepared the field even several weeks ago:
Wu Sike, the Chinese special envoy to the Middle East, visited Syria recently and exchanged views with Syrian officials and opposition groups.
China also received a Syrian opposition delegation on Feb. 6-9.
Those meetings were followed this weekend by a visit of the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun in Syria where he did not only talk with Bashar Assad:
Zhai also met with representatives of concerning opposition groups in Syria, namely Syrian National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, Popular Front for Change and Liberation and Syrian State Building Movement.
The representatives, who met Zhai respectively on Saturday, told the Chinese delegation that they value the important role that China has played in solving the Syrian issue, and is willing to maintain close communication with the Chinese side.
They also introduced to the Chinese envoy their propositions in solving the Syrian issue and said that they are against violence and external intervention.
It seems that Chinese foreign diplomats, who now suddenly appear on AlJazeerah, do not only speak better Arabic than the western ones but are also much more knowledgeable about who to talk to and how to find a compromise.
If China can somehow find a solution here then we have seen a major change in general Middle East policies. The French, British and the U.S. have for the last century been the decisive powers in the Middle East. With regard to Syria the west has painted itself into a corner by supporting the wrong side of a conflict. It can not escape from that corner but by waging a war that would be against its own interest or by letting the Chinese solve the problem.
If their diplomacy finds a good solution for Syria the Chinese will have won major standing with regards to future conflicts in the Middle East. They could then even help to find a way to tame U.S. aggression against Iran, another conflict where the west also paints itself into a corner and is on verge to launch a major catastrophic war against its own interests.
Posted by b on February 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM | Permalink
A most important post. Another way of putting it would be that the west is playing the "old" game - trying to re-incarnate the anti-soviet regimen. Except this time things are ( and have been for a long time now) breaking along sectarian lines instead of political lines - a fact that the west seems to be totally tone deaf to. The west will continue digging this hole until the Chinese come along and decide to fill it up.
Posted by: anna missed | Feb 19, 2012 3:05:43 PM | 1
Now we have the Hollywood whore Angelina Jolie calling for miiltary intervention in Syria? Why isnt this phony jew calling for intervention in Gaza? Getting really sick of the fake NGO's posing as 'humanitarians' while serving as soft power regime change hammers for the zionists and freemasonic new world order.
Posted by: blue beam | Feb 19, 2012 3:23:49 PM | 2
Angelina is evil, pure and simple. A psycho.
Anywho... Just wanted to throw a link here from my post yesterday, that so called attack on protestors at a funeral in syria
pure baloney, horse hooey, whatever?
I don't want to use foul language.
And a shout out to brian, who left me links...
If your about, thanks kindly for them all
I was a tad short on time to respond to everything it is either post or respond and I am big on getting info out
but do appreciate you leaving that stuff
Posted by: Penny | Feb 19, 2012 5:21:35 PM | 3
'They could then even help to find a way to tame U.S. aggression against Iran, another conflict where the west also paints itself into a corner and is on verge to launch a major catastrophic war against its own interests.'
You really think an attack on Iran, which I am utterly opposed to, is really against western interests? I'm not sure how you can say that. Consider the fact that western banks are utterly threadbare, crippled with huge debts, and have no way of restoring short term productivity (and growth). In this situation it seems only logical, though no less suicidal, for NATO powers to consider war as the last remaining revenue source (regardless of the scale of the gamble that this involves). Judging by the spending and warmongering taking place, I can only assume that the size of the debt is so staggering as to be unsolvable by traditional means: increasing export led growth by creating actual 'things' instead of financial abstractions and services. If this is so, then what we are seeing is the slow unravelling of the US as it struggles to maintain dollar dominance. (after all, this was the reason why the US invaded Libya and even Iraq - both were making noises about transitioning out of the dollar).
Can you perhaps explain your reasoning in relation to the above comment?
Posted by: WenlockJakes | Feb 19, 2012 5:43:12 PM | 4
A comment about Chinese language skills. I was in China recently where I met a Chinese diplomat based in France. So far as I could judge, his French was entirely fluent. However, he spoke English with an accent that I didn't pick up at first since it was entirely unlike most Chinese English speakers. Then it clicked for me - he was speaking English with a French accent!
Posted by: not important | Feb 19, 2012 6:22:18 PM | 5
so it seems there's life beyond the West (well, after all China is at the Us' west)
about time other actors assumed a role in international politics; or maybe we should say: about time someone revived international politics, as opposed to crusading, destroying states, etc
I think the West will redouble its efforts on Syria (on its destruction, that is), rather than see the Chinese's political standing rise in the Middle East;
Posted by: claudio | Feb 19, 2012 8:00:26 PM | 6
Be careful what you wish for......
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Feb 19, 2012 8:49:52 PM | 7
Great essay, b, but I'm not sure that the Salafists/Al Qaida are a bug in western policy and not a feature. Aiding Islamists against governments opposed to western hegemony is a VERY old policy. They supported the MB in Egypt against Nasser. The The Mujahideen against the USSR, Chechen Islamists against Russia. Nor have they learned their lesson after 9/11. It continued with Lebanese/Palestinian Islamists against Hezbollah. Hamas against the PLO (and quite possibly Gaza Salfists against Hamas). And now, of course, Libya and Syria. 9/11 didn't change everything after all.
In fact, even the blowback terrorism is a feature of sorts, since it keeps the sheeple in line, docile and submissive.
There are probably elements of the US government opposed to this idea, but my guess is they are outnumbered. Most of them want a Sunni coalition against Iran. Since most ordinary Sunnis in the Arab world actually like Iran and Hezbollah, they have to empower the most extreme elements.
Pity about the blowback.
Posted by: Lysander | Feb 19, 2012 10:56:21 PM | 8
still cant believe anthony shadid is gone. syrian govt has to be held partly responsible for this senseless loss. why was shadid forced to sneak in and not given an upfront syrian visa? yet barabara walters was given one- and a big intv with assad himself. then ABC predictably had it edited to make syria look bad. syria gives the stealth infiltrator IDF israeli spy, nir rosen a visa (despite jazeera leading the coup agitprop against Syria!)
anthony shadid, one of the few neutral, ARAB anti-"arab terrorist hate spewers" in the MSM doesnt get a visa, and so is put in a position of having to sneak in and dies due to the circumstances. maybe that stupid syrian govt should be overthrown! next thing you know, they'll invite Angelina & Brad in to do publicity in shigur.
Posted by: blue beam | Feb 20, 2012 1:28:33 AM | 9
China's Mideast envoy urges negotiations over regional issues
JERUSALEM, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Middle East envoy Wu Sike said Sunday that China is willing to play a constructive role in bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to peace negotiations.
Wu, on a visit to the region, met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzhak Molcho, head of Israel's negotiating team to the Amman exploratory talks with Palestinians earlier this year.
Wu noted that Israeli-Palestinian peace process should remain the focus in the Middle East, despite latest changes of international or regional situation.
Wu also discussed Syrian issue with Lieberman. Negotiation was the only way to solve the crisis in the Middle East, he noted.
Considering that military actions would damage the region's stability and Syrian people's benefits, Wu said that China supports peaceful solutions, brought up either by the Syrian government or the opposition groups.
Wu visited Syria last October and met several leaders of opposition groups. The leaders were against foreign military interference on Syria, which they believed would be counter- effective, Wu told Xinhua during an interview later.
How have I missed this early intervention by the Chinese?
Posted by: b | Feb 20, 2012 2:03:26 AM | 10
You were detracted by the trolls?
Posted by: juannie | Feb 20, 2012 5:20:46 AM | 11
Excellent analysis, hope it works. Enough with US bullying the World.
Posted by: Sandra | Feb 20, 2012 9:39:33 AM | 12
syrian govt has to be held partly responsible for this senseless loss. why was shadid forced to sneak in and not given an upfront syrian visa?
i am not sure he was forced to sneak in.
The Syrian government, which limits international journalists' access to the country, had not been told by The Times that Shadid was there, the newspaper said. He had been inside Syria for a week collecting information for a story on the Syrian resistance, it added.
perhaps it was a tactical choice by the nyt
Posted by: annie | Feb 20, 2012 10:18:04 AM | 13
certainly shadid applied for a visa first and had to resort to sneaking in? at any rate, the Syrian UN Ambassador brown nosing CNN's Christiane Amanpour recently (despite ABC hit piece on them w/ BaBa Walters earlier). they'll let her & Angelina types in before the shadids.
that govt can be very dumb at times (like Iran allowing Ahmedinjad to spout stuff that serves Israel and damages Iran). Or maybe there's something we dont know?? If you know what I mean...!
well, here's more propaganda posing as journalism from the usual suspects, its why MSM is behind internet restrictions
Posted by: BlueBeam | Feb 20, 2012 1:31:48 PM | 14