The Many Conflicts of Syria

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While U.S. pundits may continue to quibble over the role of the Brotherhood within the SNC, the Syrians themselves have largely acknowledged it.  “They are saying that there are weapons in depots here (in Turkey) but they won’t release them to us because we are not pledging allegiance to them. They want us to follow Saudi Arabia or a big organization like the Brotherhood,” said one Syrian arms broker speaking to Time magazine.  “We are refusing this. That’s why the next batch of weapons has been delayed. Either we follow them, and get lots of weapons, or we don’t and die.”

The prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Syrian rebellion has led to yet one more conflict of interests playing out inside Syria, between the Sunni Arab regimes in the region. Currently there is no “upside” for U.S. interests in this crucial conflict, largely because the Obama administration continues to insist that the Muslim Brotherhood is an acceptable regional actor, and has put the U.S. on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood in the regional conflict between the Brotherhood and the old guard Sunni regimes. This is due to a misconception held by the Obama Administration, which views the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate Islamist opposition to jihadist forces represented by Al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have both expressed concerns regarding the growth of Brotherhood power in the region, while Qatar and the Turks have largely supported it.  The Saudis and their allies may have an interest in seeing some other force than the Brotherhood winning in Syria, which may lead them to back other forces, particularly if the FSA is subsumed by the Brotherhood-controlled SNC. Of course it is equally possible that they may see a Muslim Brotherhood-held Syria as a better option than Assad remaining in power.

The final conflict is between the Sunni and Shia.  A defeat for Assad would be a defeat for Iran, the leading Shia state, and in that sense the Syrian conflict can also be viewed through the lens of the Sunni-Shia competition and the Sunni states fear of an aggressive Iranian regime.  For many western analysts, this has been the conflict to which many are most attuned. Assad is an ally of Iran, and if Assad goes, Iran is weakened, ergo Assad should fall, whatever the cost.

In sum, the United States’ Syria policy has been deeply confused, in each of the numerous conflicts now taking place around Syria. In the fight for control of the Syrian opposition, the U.S. has backed the Muslim Brotherhood over overt jihadists, which insures an Islamist victor ideologically hostile to the United States over other more preferable actors. It has failed to recognize the interests at play for Russia, leaving the U.S. continuing to seek Russian complicity in a series of negotiations which are ultimately doomed to failure. Its desire for agreement with the Russians has led it to neglect the goal of ousting Assad and dealing a setback to Iran, which alienates the U.S. among the very rebels we seek to support. In dealing with Turkey, The U.S., through NATO, has both supported Turkey, while casting doubt upon its claims at the same time.

Ultimately as we began the piece by noting, the situation in Syria is made up of multiple interwoven conflicts. The U.S. has a coherent policy for none of them.

Kyle Shideler is a research fellow for EMET (Endowment for Middle East Truth).

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

    My my, you are learning. Sesame street was brought to you by this letter…..

    • Jesusinator

      G <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

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

        Oh look! The headers are here, now they're not. Now they're back!

        It's the magical headers!

        And you're still just here wasting time playing games instead of debating issues.
        Go tell that to your muslim friendly work office that you sit in.

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

    With English as a second language, you always fail to grasp American sarcasm.

    Yet, you always have the words to attack the things that don't deserve it. Like those horrible Jews that you call child killers.

    • Jesusinator

      So you think the Jews are horrible? It wasn't sarcasm roger. You use to link your profile with a youtube video called “USA a Nation of Cowards” <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

      • patriothere

        They are what they are.

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

          And so is the group using suicide belts and car bombs.

          • patriothere

            what freedom fighters?

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

            You consider suicide vests a step for freedom?

            Kind of makes it sound like you think the only freedom is found in death.

          • patriothere

            Sure. why not? Maybe the international community will sympathize with their plight when enough blood has been shed and put an end to the fighting and the occupation and make way for freedom and peace.

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

            Suicide vests are the lowest of the low. They show a total lack of regard for life.

            They are sloppy in that you can't target specifics and take out bystanders.

            For you to advocate their use is barbarism at it's most obvious.

          • Elisheva

            I have a vest I want to sell you Roger.

  • Alinsky Hero USA

    I knew Roger hated America.

    • Jesusinator

      Yep, and he calls himself an American <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

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

        Oh look the two of you are so happy together.

        Both muslim/muslim friendly 'hate' centered posters here.
        I'm not too surprised. Why not make up something else, like I'm 'anti-mars' or something?

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

    The comment speaks for itself.

    Just as your cry for jihad does.

    And the link to that video I like is this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gw4wTzyLX0

    People can decide for themselves what it means.

  • Alinsky Hero USA

    How would anybody NOT use two hands to use a bong???? It is not possible stupid.

    McVeigh and you would be best friends on navy's site.

  • Alinsky Hero USA

    Just showing that there is yet ANOTHER thing you are completely clueless about stupid.

    Just like you don't know any of the biblical rules for having sex because you have never had sex with a woman.

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

    Just because you are all knowing about praying to allah and holding a bong doesn't mean you're an expert at anything more than eating cheetos.

    And why do you always bring up sex? I'm not interested.

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

    Just because you are all knowing about praying to allah and holding a bong doesn't mean you're an expert at anything more than facing mecca and eating cheetos.

    And why do you always bring up sex? I'm not interested.

    • Alinsky Hero USA

      I know you are not interested, otherwise you would know the biblical rules for sex.

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

        Here, it's a quick guideline to your muslim rules on sex.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkhWfabSFkQ

        • Alinsky Hero USA

          Don't send me your cartoon porn. Freak.

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

            Only a muslim freak would consider it porn.

            Does looking at a naked goat offend you?
            It wasn't shaved, it has all the clothes God intended for it.

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

    He wasn't naked, he was wearing a goat hair swim suit.

    • Alinsky Hero USA

      The man Roger, stop pretending you didn't just sent a naked picture of a man to this site.

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

        All these comments, and you have avoided discussing a single issue. You are a troll.

        Go back to the basement and use both hands on your bong for all I care.

        Muslims, and those that advocate violence such as yourself and wee are killing people in Syria and you'd rather try talking to me about naked men?

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

        All these comments, and you have avoided discussing a single issue. You are a troll.

        Go back to the basement and use both hands on your bong for all I care.

        Muslims, and those that advocate violence such as yourself and wee are killing people in Syria and you'd rather try talking to me about naked men?

        • patriothere

          Well you are wrong. Muslims are not killing people in Syria. The assad regime which is not muslim, is killing people in syria.

          • patriothere

            The assad regime is killing people in syria. Not muslims.

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

            Are the people of Syria Hindu's?

            You could try to actually challenge what I say.

          • patriothere

            The people of syria are christians. Assads regime is a godless regime. A secular regime. An alawite regime.

            You are wrong troll!

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

            The people of Syria are backed by Iran and fall into line with their clerics.

            You can't make this stuff up, you're not bright enough.

            So, who writes this for you?

          • patriothere

            The people of syria are backed by Russia. Not by Iran. You are wrong. The peopel of syria are christian and druze and muslim and are oppressed by a godless secular alawite regime. So it is a secular regime killing muslims and druze and christians and shia and sunni etc.

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

            Iran has troops in Syria.
            You just stick to your talking points and be a good dependable rented mouth.

            No one pays much attention to you anyhow.

            Why?

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who are being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out.

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

            Of course muslims are killing people in Syria. It's not Baptist missionaries.

          • patriothere

            Assads forces are godless and secular. It's not cartoonish as you put it.

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

            They are muslims.

            They sure are not Christians.

          • patriothere

            There are thousands of christians in syria so you are wrong. Assad forces are godless and secular alawites. You are wrong.

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

            And you haven't shown them to be the ones fighting and slaughtering.

            You are wrong.

        • Alinsky Hero USA

          Lying and using hate speech agaist Muslims will not distract from the fact that you are sending pictures of naked men to people on this site.

          The only thing you ever talk about is personal attacks on WeeTodd and sex with goats and sending picture of nude men.

          Try to have a normal debate on the issues for once.

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

            When muslims live and act on surah 9, it's not hate speech.

          • patriothere

            But when jews live and act on deuteronomy it's ok?

            You hypocrite!

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

            You haven't shown that anyone is acting out on Deuteronomy.

          • patriothere

            Yes I have. read deuteronomy. Look what is happening all over the world.

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

            Only you only see that with muslims, they think Moses was a prophet but don't listen to a thing he said.

  • Jesusinator

    oh I get it. It's ok for you to twist comments

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

      No, you twist them.

      I just lay them out in their entirety.

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

    Deny what statement? This one?

    "<DIV style="FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt"> <DIV style="FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt"> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style="BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px"></DIV>"

    • Jesusinator

      This one:Roger 165p � 6 minutes ago No, you know I'm not for the things that made this country great.

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

        Oh, look magical headers went and disappeared again!

        I wonder if it has anything to do with the way you cut off the entire quote to look bad. Nah, can't be.

        • Jesusinator

          Monkey, go to bed.

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

    Do the goats do monkeys?
    I hope for your sake they do. Otherwise you're going to be really out of sorts again in the morning.

    You make this way to easy. What a 'wee' small little tiny tiny little man.

    • Jesusinator

      Monkey, reply

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

        You didn't reply.

        Did the monkey forget to get out the talking points and attack something he doesn't understand?
        Does patriothere know you're working his shift?

        • Jesusinator

          good monkey. one more time

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

            One more time you prove you have nothing of substance to add to any important debate.

            Just an empty hate filled bigot.

          • Jesusinator

            You listen well monkey <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

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

            So, you're not even pretending this morning.

            It used to be cute, watching you pretend intelligence. You don't even think you can fool anyone now.

          • Jesusinator

            Are you happy I let you out of thecage so you can comment Monkey? <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

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

    As if you even have control over the other trolls in your office.

    You can call me monkey all day long from your goat barn. I don't care. The only monkey trapped here is you, and you're trapped by your muslim friendly hatred and bigotry.

    Now, I can get back to other stories where people actually care about issues. You never have.

  • stevefraser

    Now matter what, it isn't gonna turn out well for Israel, O's target in the ME.