The bourgeois media, from the New York Times to Reuters, have gleefully though somewhat prematurely hyped stories of a “potential second Arab Spring” in Syria.
In August, demonstrations broke out in response to the lifting of fuel subsidies. The center of the protests has been in the southwestern Sweida province, where a majority of the Druze religious minority reside. The Western media is salivating because of reports that these protests have morphed into anti-Assad demonstrations with secessionist demands.
Behind-the-scenes discussions, not headlined in the press, have pointed out that the scope of the demonstrations has not yet reached a pivotal point either in size or in how widespread they are inside Syria. In addition, the Druze community is split. Many of its leaders still maintain support for President Bashar al-Assad and Syria’s central government.
More may lurk behind these protests. At the same time, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a coalition of groups, organized protests in Idlib province, drawing parallels to the 2011 events leading to the Syrian war. In addition, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), representing the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), overtly endorsed the protests.
Hardship in Syria, made in USA
There is nothing more deceitful than for the U.S. media and ruling-class warmakers to blame the Syrian government and President Assad for conditions that they themselves have created.
U.S. sanctions and ongoing direct military intervention continue to crush the Syrian economy, creating deep hardship for its people.
Even during the devastating Syria-Turkey earthquake, the U.S. lifted only a mere token number of the sanctions for just 180 days, after widespread international pressure. In fact, deadly sanctions were tightened under the Trump administration’s Caesar Act, which made rebuilding even more difficult. The Caesar Act continues under Biden.
Here are the facts:
- The U.S. and its proxy settler state of Israel have conducted hundreds of illegal airstrikes since 2011;
- U.S. troops and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces occupy close to one-third of the country;
- The West continues to fund Syrian Al-Qaeda enclaves, rebranded as Jahbat al-Nusra. As Jake Sullivan, national security advisor to President Joe Biden, said in an email to Hillary Clinton, “AQ (Al Qaeda) is on our side in Syria”;
- The CIA spent $1 billion a year during the earlier part of the war, primarily funding insurgent and terrorist training camps – the largest amount of its budget;
- The Pentagon has looted 80% of the country’s oil in eastern Syria, bordering Iraq, creating electric outages and strangling the economy.
At the same time the Sweida protests are being trumpeted, the U.S. is worried about the growing conflict and continuing instability in Syria’s northern and eastern area between the SDF, Turkey, and Arab groupings.
It’s reported that during this same period, the U.S. has illegally sent representatives to the area to broker agreements between the different parties. More is behind all of this.
The independent Syrian news source North Press reported, “Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller, (who visited the northern and eastern regions of Syria on Aug. 16), called on the U.S. to support the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and to preserve the ‘unique experience.’”
On May 7, the Arab League re-admitted Syria after 12 years of exclusion. This realignment was in defiance of U.S. wishes.
Regardless of the millions of displaced people and suffering that the war has caused, U.S. imperialism continues to look for ways to dismember and divide Syria in its effort to control Southwest Asia (Middle East) resources.
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