The war in Syria that threatens to engulf the region has clearly become a religious war pitting Sunni Muslims against Shia Muslims. Having began as a secular rebellion, it has now become an almost exclusively sectarian war and, like most religious wars, has become extremely bloody and polarising with some Syrian Shia Muslims that had defected to the rebel cause in the early days now asking to be taken back into the government’s ranks.
But the question is; how did it arrive at this horrifying mess – especially considering that the war has been going on now for more than two years under the eyes of a watching world? Did it simply evolve into a religious war where the two sides became hooked on bathing in each others blood, or are there some other more manipulating influences behind the scenes guiding events?
The right-wing in the West are quietly (and not so quietly) rubbing their hands together as they sit back and watch the two great branches of Islam slaughter each other. Israel’s role in stirring the pot of extreme hatreds hasn’t gone unnoticed. They bombed Syria insisting that their sole aim was to prevent arms finding their way to Hezbollah yet it would seem that it would be more in Israel’s interests to actually support al-Assad and his allies rather than allow Israel’s arch enemy, al-Qaeda, to ultimately win the day in Syria and become even more of a threat to Israel than al-Assad or Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is an organisation that exists to defend against Israel’s expansionist ambitions of acquiring territory in south Lebanon up to the Litani River. On several occasions in the past Israel has attempted to invade and occupy this area under various pretexts. Israel usually claims that any hostilities between the two are usually started by Hezbollah. The reality, however, is quite different. In 2006, for example, Israel claimed that the war started because Hezbollah had captured and killed several Israel soldiers close to the border with Lebanon. What Israel failed to mention was that the capturing of the soldiers was in retaliation to Israel’s increasingly frequent low level flights over Lebanon; short of actually dropping bombs, one can’t imagine an act more provoking than any enemy aircraft flying at low level over ones cities in mock attack. Imagine the Israeli reaction if the roles were reversed and Lebanese attack aircraft flew supersonic low level sorties over Tel Aviv.
Syria and Israel have been relatively quiet for years since the illegal take-over of the Golan Heights during Israel’s war for territorial gain in 1967. Israel, as a direct result of its stance against al-Assad in the current war, can now be assured of conflict over the Golan Heights regardless of who gets the upper hand in Syria.
So, if Israel is prepared to risk years of relative calm on the Golan Heights and allow a Sunni-backed Islamist government to exist in Syria, one needs to ask; what’s in it for Israel?
The war in Syria is becoming increasingly ferocious as everyday passes and, as it does, both sides will become even more polarised which runs the risk of becoming an all-out regional religious war spilling into Lebanon, as it already has; into Jordan and also into Iraq where sectarian violence has long been a part of Iraqi life anyway but now increasingly so. But for Israel and the West all this is good news. It means that while the Muslims are fighting amongst themselves then they are not fighting Israel and the West. By fighting among themselves they are weakening each other and using resources that they may have otherwise used against Israel and the West. For every rocket that Hezbollah fires against Sunni rebels in Syria or Lebanon, it’s one less fired against Israel.
If and when the violence becomes so extremely horrific and eventually spills over the borders into the Golan Heights, the Israelis will then see this as an ideal opportunity to attack with so much force that, had they attacked without this war going on with all its attendant horrors, the international community might well have reacted against Israeli attacks. But now, with atrocities being committed by both sides in Syria, any attack by Israel against its enemies the instant either of the Syrian belligerents attack the Golan Heights or launch any weapon against Israel itself, will be seen as fully justified. And, of course, the US and their Western allies will be right behind them. It will be at this point that Israel and its Western allies will use all of its forces to ensure they prevail. Only the Russians and the Chinese will be in any position to prevent a global catastrophe.
The West’s unswerving loyalty to the Zionist cause has clearly allowed the situation to develop as it has. It has not evolved; it has been manipulated.