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In 1957 the KDPS (Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria) was founded. The Syrian central government never recognized the Kurds as a separate entity, thus the KDPS remained an underground organization. In 1960 a number of its leaders were imprisoned. In 1961, after the dissolution of the UAR – United Arab Republic with Egypt, the Syrian government decided to “recognize the Kurds” as a separate entity and in the summer of 1962 conducted a special population census of the predominantly Kurdish province of Jazira. All of the identified Kurds were stripped of their Syrian citizenship and declared “aliens.” At the same time a media campaign was launched against the Kurds with such slogans as “Save Arabism in Jazira” and “Fight the Kurdish Threat.” These policies coincided with the beginning of Mustafa Barazani’s Kurdish uprising in Iraq and the discovery of oilfields in the Jazira province. In the summer of 1963, Syrian forces joined with the Iraqi military in attacking the Barazani-led revolt to reestablish an independent Kurdistan.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in last year’s so-called “Arab Spring” in Tunis, Egypt and Yemen, induced the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood to take their opposition to the al-Assad Alawite regime up another notch and the protests/riots began followed immediately by the al-Assad style ruthless oppression.
As the daily violence expands, and the death toll rises, one hears the cacophony of statements such as Secretary Clinton who said on March 27, 2011: “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.” But by November 18, 2011, Mrs. Clinton finally awoke to the fact that Bashar al-Assad’s so-called reformist attitudes were baseless. Speaking to ABC News, she reversed herself and said: “We heard what Assad said about what he wanted to do for reform. But when it came to it, in the Arab Spring and as people actually demanded some freedom and their rights, he responded, as we have seen, very violently.” Considering Syrian history in the past 30 years alone, one wonders why she is surprised.
Syria is the scene of an ongoing civil war of sorts between the Sunni majority led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the minority Alawite controlled regime led by the al-Assad clan with various minor religio-ethnic players scattered over the field. If the al-Assad regime falls, it is not merely the al-Assad family that is in trouble, the entire Alawite population can expect similar or worse persecution by the Muslim Brotherhood led Sunnis as they attempt to turn the clock back to a modern version of the Ottoman period. Bashar al-Assad is fighting for both Alawite dominance and survival.
Secretary Clinton and Co. must realize that life is not a Hollywood movie and Syria isn’t a western country. Syria is a serious mess and there is no happy ending in sight soon.
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