Sunday, August 19, 2012

After Assad, Could Syria Turn From Ally To Iran's Bitter Foe?

In a Friday post, Barry Rubin suggests: Which Way for Syria? Listen to the Sermons:
A friend of mine listened to the sermon given at the Ramadan evening prayer in a village near the north Syria town of Idleeb August 7. The closer one gets to ground level in the Middle East, the crazier things become. Sure, by the time the Western-educated, suit and tie wearing leader sits down with the Western reporter everything sounds calm and cool. But the earth is boiling. Just as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood blames Israel for a jihadist attack on an Egyptian military base in Sinai — the Egyptian military, more pragmatically, attacked the jihadist camps — the grassroots leaders and rank and file are easily incited into murderous frenzy.
And the extent of this frenzy is illustrated by that August 7 sermon in Idleeb. There are a number of points Rubin underscores in that sermon.

Here is one of them:
The upheavals in Syria are not to be defined as a just revolution against a local dictatorship but rather as a conspiracy of Iranian Zoroastrians [the pre-Muslim religion of many Iranians], Zionists, France, and America. Here we have hatred not only for Jews and Christians but also Iranians. Yes, a revolutionary Islamist Syria would be anti-Iranian but also anti-everyone else. And by denying that Iranians are even Muslims, the preacher is strongly suggesting that it is right to murder them as apostates. Conspiracy theories lead to further wars. Enemies are not just those with whom you have a territorial or other dispute, but are enemies of God who must be wiped out to the last man, woman, and child. Such people are not going to accept U.S. mediation or patronage, and nothing the Obama Administration could do would ever win them over.
Read the whole thing.

Rubin writes that this one preacher does not represent the entire Syrian opposition, but it does illustrate an interesting point.

Iran's concern for Syria is more than just about the possibility of losing a close ally or a strategic channel to its Hezbollah puppets in Lebanon.

That same Islamization that Iran brags about, may very well turn its valued ally into a determined nemesis.

Hey Iran: welcome to your Arab Spring!

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