United Nations Ignores Al-Qaeda Link to Syrian Rebels

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“The draft resolution will have no impact whatsoever. It is a piece of theater,” he added.

Ambassador Ja’afari is defending his government’s indefensible actions, but he is right about the General Assembly resolution.  It is a meaningless gesture that does nothing to address Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s warning in remarks to the General Assembly before the vote that the “conflict in Syria is a test of everything this Organization stands for.  I do not want today’s United Nations to fail that test.”

The fact is that the United Nations can do no more with respect to the civil war engulfing Syria than the League of Nations was able to do regarding the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s. They are both proxy wars, with regional and international players arming one side or the other. In the case of Syria, there are at least four inter-related layers of geo-political-religious elements at work beyond the fighting among the Syrians themselves.

First, there is the religious and political battle being played out between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Iran is eager to maintain its sphere of influence in Syria through its alliance with Assad (who is affiliated with a Shite-minority sect known as the Alawites ruling Syria). Saudi Arabia and Qatar aim to roll back Iran’s ambitions for hegemony in the region and are supporting the Sunni majority in Syria in their revolt against Assad and the Alawites. Hence, Iran is beefing up Assad’s regime with arms and the support of its Revolutionary Guard.  Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding and providing arms for the opposition.

Second, al Qaeda is using the chaos in Syria to establish another Islamic jihadist beachhead.  As the New York Times recently reported, “Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists are doing their best to hijack the Syrian revolution…The evidence is mounting that Syria has become a magnet for Sunni extremists, including those operating under the banner of Al Qaeda.”

Third, Turkey, under the Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is serving as a transit point for the flow of arms to the opposition, including shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles known as MANPADs.  Erdoğan is evidently trying to revive Turkey’s Ottoman caliphate heritage by offering a seemingly “moderate” alternative to al Qaeda and other fundamentalist groups in leading the regional Sunni battle against the increasingly isolated Assad regime.

Fourth, there is the revival of U.S.-Russian Cold War-like rivalries. President Obama’s policy of trying to push a re-set button in the relationship between the two countries has backfired.  As evidenced by its intransigence at the United Nations, Russia is protecting the Assad regime to thwart the West and its NATO ally Turkey in their efforts to extend their reach through regime change in a region where Russia believes it has vital strategic interests.

Where does all this leave the Obama administration in its attempt to forge a coherent foreign policy vis-à-vis Syria? Once again, it is taking its cue from France, the United Kingdom, Turkey and the Arab League, with little regard for the larger strategic picture.

Just a few days ago, it was reported that President Obama had signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to get rid of Assad.  Apparently, the United States has been collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies. All of this is being done without any real idea as to whom we are supporting. In fact, our money and equipment could well end up in the hands of our sworn enemy, al Qaeda.  And Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, whom the Obama administration appears to be counting on to channel the opposition in a more “moderate” direction and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region, has proven to be an unreliable ally. Most notably, Erdoğan has tilted in a decidedly anti-Israel, pro-Iran direction.

Hopefully, after the protracted deadlock at the Security Council, the Obama administration is starting to come to grips with the futility of relying on the United Nations to confer some sort of international legitimacy on its foreign policies. We’ll have to wait and see. However, the administration still has to learn how to pursue the right policies in the first place to protect our vital strategic interests. Whether Assad stays or goes is less relevant to us than making sure that his stockpiled chemical weapons do not get into the hands of al Qaeda or other Islamist jihadists and that al Qaeda does not end up with a base in the heart of the Middle East.

Sometimes it makes sense to stay on the sidelines in a civil war and not risk the unintended consequences of actions that will cause more harm than good.This advice holds whether such actions are blessed by the United Nations or not.

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  • melvin polatnick

    Providing better equipped prayer halls for the poor will quiet the rebellion. Showers, meeting halls, gyms, and free snacks are needed in Mosques to raise the standard of living for the neglected. Each Imam must be provided with a large staff of spiritual counselors to sooth the minds of angry Wahhabi, Salafi-jihad, and Mujahedin. The more fortunate Alawite and Christians must share their wealth; it will help Allah shine his blessings on all Syrians.

  • ★FALCON★

    Anyone paying attention over the last two decades finds no surprises here. Democrats, al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood have been alligned at the hip for a very long time – they are simply open about it now.

    The 9-11 Commission was an utter joke – especially when you have Richard Ben-Veniste running interference and making sure the truth never comes out.

  • Bamaguje

    Hypocrisy of the highest order… Saudi Arabia promoting "freedom & democracy" in Syria which the Islamist kingdom is more repressive than Assad's quasi-secular Syria..

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      When Iran threatened the kingdom, did they really think there wasn't any way for the Saudi's to strike back?

  • Toecutter

    The UN is al Qa’ida. The UN is also nothing more than a twilight home and gravy train for aging Third World fourth-rate dictators. The best thing for the world would be for the UN to be dismantled and its bureaucratic, bludging hacks to be dragged out into the street and shot and their fancy suits burned!

  • mrbean

    Let them all kill each other, kinda like culling the herd. Muslims killing thousands of Muslims. I can live with that.

  • Katharina

    The FASCIST & WAR-CRIMINAL Saudi/Qatar royals, Obama & Cameron's REGIMES are lying – this has nothing to do with democracy or a religious war betwen Sunni and Shiites (but Obama is indeed the most dangerous agent in all this dirty but most evil game since he has hijacked the White House & America!). It's about ROBBING the OIL-RICH non-Arab countries, as in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and now Syria; whilst Arabicizing all non -Arabs especially Christians especially the Assyrians, and non-Arab Muslims like the Black Libyan Muslims, the Egyptian Muslims or the Alewite Muslim Syrians, and of course, would include sexually enslaving the women/girls in the most vile Saudi-Arabic veils. Islam is being used as a weapon through Jihadist terrorism as led by the most dangerous Muslim Brotherhood Jiahdists in Nazi-like propaganda to brainwash the Arab masses and the much ignorant world to support such unacceptable FASCISM. Ultra-nationalist Socialist Hitler mass murdered so savagely the Jews not ultimately because they were Jewish but to rob the Jewish’s massive wealth by using religion as a pretext and built a supremacist, violent, sexist and racist German Empire; where he used Christianity to brainwash the Christian German masses to religiously and racially hate the Jews (Jews is a race since ancient times as has been proven in the Bible unlike other religious followers of Christianity, Islam etc). And now the same in the Middle-East – a similar supreme, violent, sexist and racist Arabic Empire, Saudi-style is created bit by bit – just as Mohammed did through creating Islam, to rob in his first FASCIST conquest, the wealthy Jewish kingdoms, whilst mass murdering, raping, enslaving and Arabicizing them.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Failure is the only option. Obama and the demoncrats changed what side America was on. Having it blow up in their faces is Americas best hope.