07/11/2012

America and Qatar al-Assad Syria

Mehmet Ali writes from Doha: Syrian rebel groups are in this city for days of intensive talks to elect a new leadership and give some direction to the insurgency in Syria.
Syria's next leader?
It has not come up with a credible leader to inspire the rebels and there’s no overall strategy or plan for a post Al Assad Syria. The SNC is to hold talks with the Syrian National Initiative which meets in Jordan. The goal is to establish a unified national opposition government.
Washington will give the lead to the Western response to the Syrian imbroglio, now that the presidential elections have taken place. Americans favour a secular government that could unite the various factions within the opposition. Since most of the militias fighting the Syrian army are linked to Islamist groups, that is a tall order. A secular regime is needed to avoid the country being split along religious lines. The last thing that a new Syria needs is a Lebanon type solution where various religious groups control territory. Syria is a multi-faith and multi-ethnic state in which citizens have lived together in harmony. Minorities, such as Christians, Armenians and others, fear a Sunni dominated state. They believe they would be discriminated against and would suffer the same fate as their brethren in Iraq. An added problem is that most minorities support the existing regime. Revenge taking could follow the removal of Al Assad.
Taftanaz fighting
Another goal for the US is to ensure that the new rulers in Damascus do not consider Israel to be their main foreign policy target. Qatar has been supplying weapons to the insurgents and has even called on the West to intervene militarily. Qatar supports both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in Syria. So Qatar’s agenda is to help an Islamist government take over Syria. A secular government would receive substantial US aid. Before it is disbursed, Washington would have to be sure that the money was going to the right people. A post made earlier today over on Stirring Trouble Internationally - A humorous take on news and current affairs.

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