Dmitriy Sedov
May 20, 2011
© Photo: Public domain

The current events confirm the forecasts made by experts, who became a skilled hand in analyzing the Western politics regarding the “undeveloped” countries. A week ago we wrote  that we may soon expect sanctions against Syria. On May 18, the sanctions were imposed.

President Barack Obama has announced that the accounts of Syrian president Bashar Assad and his six associates in the US banks will be frozen and the US citizens won’t be allowed to have any contacts with them.Obama claims this kind of “punishment” is needed because Assad used force against the peaceful protesters. In April the sanctions were imposed against the brother of the Syrian president – Maher al-Assad, the president’s cousin and the chief of the secret police service.

The sanctions against Assad as such are meaningless because he does not keep his money in the US banks. But the political context of this move is telling: a spokesman with the US administration said that time has come for the Syrian president either to conduct political reforms or resign. The sanctions have been imposed also against:

  • Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa
  • Prime Minister Adel Safar
  • Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar
  • Defense Minister Ali Habib
  • Chief of the military intelligence

Not everyday the US imposes sanctions against the president of an independent country. Even the heads of North Korea and Iran put on the list of sponsors of the terrorism have not been subjected to personal punishments. But Bashar Assad has joined the company of Muammar Gaddafi and Alexander Lukashenko by the will of the representatives of the “global ruling class”…  From now on, the Syrian president is the enemy of the US. The next step will be the demand that he should resign. The “Western poker” is played by the same rules.

Together with Washington US’ partner in “poker”– the European Union also imposed sanctions against Bashar Assad and 13 other Syrian politicians (the EU authorities have frozen their accounts in European banks and banned them to enter the EU). Brussels also promised to toughen sanctions if the situation in Syria gets worse.

The ghost of a no-fly zone, which will be created by the Western fighters for the rights of street protesters, is already approaching Syria.

The meeting in Brussels did not go smoothly though. Germany and France had to make pressure on Cyprus to make it support the sanctions. Cypriot politicians traditionally have good relations with the Syrian leadership.

Turkeyspoke against the extension of the sanctions against Syria. After the Turkish Prime Minister T. Erdogan met the US ambassador in Turkey, the spokesman with the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Syria should be given time for peaceful transition to the reforms. The Turkish politicians hesitated for quite a long time before they dared to condemn the use of force against the protesters in Syria. When they finally did so it led to complications in diplomatic relations with Damascus. Turkey is Syria’s neighbor, Turkish politicians understand better than any other foreign politicians what is going on there and fear that they may soon also deal with peaceful protesters.

Meanwhile, Bashar Assad has ordered the retraining of the policemen in “localization of the street riots”. He also said that Syria has overcome the crisis and the situation will stabilized soon. Right after that reports came about the suppression of the demonstration in the city of Tel Kalah on the border with Lebanon and the death of 27 people.

Israelis acting very carefully when estimating the “Western poker” in Syria. Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor says the situation with Syria is complex. "Syria is a neighbor, an enemy that does keep the border quiet," he said. "But it is supportive of terrorist groups from Damascus and is an ally of Iran.  "We are not in the business of telling other countries how to rule themselves," he said. "But what we see in Syria is part of a big wave throughout the whole Arab world. It has begun and we don't know where it will end."

Others, like the former director general at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, Alon Liel, worry about the rise of extremists in Syria, if Mr Assad goes. "If there is a change, I think it will be in the direction that we don't like," he said. "I don't see the possibility of the human rights activists taking over. It is only one segment of the rebels – there are Kurds, there are Islamists and the tribes and there are human rights Facebook activists. I don't think the Facebook guys will take over in Syria."

The Western “card-sharper” has started a risky game. Stakes have been made and the Syrian president should quit. What is “widdie’ in this game – nobody knows. Even the players do not know it because Iran, Palestine and other involved parties are standing behind them watching the game attentively.  “The managed instability” in Syria will definitely backfire on the West. It is enough to mention the rise of the Taliban fed by the US and Great Britain. Taliban is a never ending headache for its Anglo-Saxon parents and they do not have any cure for it.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
“Western poker” in Syria

The current events confirm the forecasts made by experts, who became a skilled hand in analyzing the Western politics regarding the “undeveloped” countries. A week ago we wrote  that we may soon expect sanctions against Syria. On May 18, the sanctions were imposed.

President Barack Obama has announced that the accounts of Syrian president Bashar Assad and his six associates in the US banks will be frozen and the US citizens won’t be allowed to have any contacts with them.Obama claims this kind of “punishment” is needed because Assad used force against the peaceful protesters. In April the sanctions were imposed against the brother of the Syrian president – Maher al-Assad, the president’s cousin and the chief of the secret police service.

The sanctions against Assad as such are meaningless because he does not keep his money in the US banks. But the political context of this move is telling: a spokesman with the US administration said that time has come for the Syrian president either to conduct political reforms or resign. The sanctions have been imposed also against:

  • Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa
  • Prime Minister Adel Safar
  • Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar
  • Defense Minister Ali Habib
  • Chief of the military intelligence

Not everyday the US imposes sanctions against the president of an independent country. Even the heads of North Korea and Iran put on the list of sponsors of the terrorism have not been subjected to personal punishments. But Bashar Assad has joined the company of Muammar Gaddafi and Alexander Lukashenko by the will of the representatives of the “global ruling class”…  From now on, the Syrian president is the enemy of the US. The next step will be the demand that he should resign. The “Western poker” is played by the same rules.

Together with Washington US’ partner in “poker”– the European Union also imposed sanctions against Bashar Assad and 13 other Syrian politicians (the EU authorities have frozen their accounts in European banks and banned them to enter the EU). Brussels also promised to toughen sanctions if the situation in Syria gets worse.

The ghost of a no-fly zone, which will be created by the Western fighters for the rights of street protesters, is already approaching Syria.

The meeting in Brussels did not go smoothly though. Germany and France had to make pressure on Cyprus to make it support the sanctions. Cypriot politicians traditionally have good relations with the Syrian leadership.

Turkeyspoke against the extension of the sanctions against Syria. After the Turkish Prime Minister T. Erdogan met the US ambassador in Turkey, the spokesman with the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Syria should be given time for peaceful transition to the reforms. The Turkish politicians hesitated for quite a long time before they dared to condemn the use of force against the protesters in Syria. When they finally did so it led to complications in diplomatic relations with Damascus. Turkey is Syria’s neighbor, Turkish politicians understand better than any other foreign politicians what is going on there and fear that they may soon also deal with peaceful protesters.

Meanwhile, Bashar Assad has ordered the retraining of the policemen in “localization of the street riots”. He also said that Syria has overcome the crisis and the situation will stabilized soon. Right after that reports came about the suppression of the demonstration in the city of Tel Kalah on the border with Lebanon and the death of 27 people.

Israelis acting very carefully when estimating the “Western poker” in Syria. Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor says the situation with Syria is complex. "Syria is a neighbor, an enemy that does keep the border quiet," he said. "But it is supportive of terrorist groups from Damascus and is an ally of Iran.  "We are not in the business of telling other countries how to rule themselves," he said. "But what we see in Syria is part of a big wave throughout the whole Arab world. It has begun and we don't know where it will end."

Others, like the former director general at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, Alon Liel, worry about the rise of extremists in Syria, if Mr Assad goes. "If there is a change, I think it will be in the direction that we don't like," he said. "I don't see the possibility of the human rights activists taking over. It is only one segment of the rebels – there are Kurds, there are Islamists and the tribes and there are human rights Facebook activists. I don't think the Facebook guys will take over in Syria."

The Western “card-sharper” has started a risky game. Stakes have been made and the Syrian president should quit. What is “widdie’ in this game – nobody knows. Even the players do not know it because Iran, Palestine and other involved parties are standing behind them watching the game attentively.  “The managed instability” in Syria will definitely backfire on the West. It is enough to mention the rise of the Taliban fed by the US and Great Britain. Taliban is a never ending headache for its Anglo-Saxon parents and they do not have any cure for it.