Syrian "rebels" are at strife at the meeting in Qatar

Posted: November 7, 2012 in International
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A four-day meeting of the Western-backed elements in the Qatari capital Doha, who seek to overthrow the Syrian government, began with a dispute on Sunday, after the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has called for a remodelling of the Syrian rebel leadership last week.

Last week, Clinton let the Syrian opposition unequivocally know, that the “Syrian National Council” (SNC), which was founded about a year ago and has been recognized by Washington as the “legitimate representative” of the Syrian people, has lost the support of the United States.

She reprimanded the leadership, which was previously supported by the United States,  as a band of insignificant exiles, who have not set a foot in Syria for decades, and she stressed, that Washington wants the contact with those, who are “fighting and dying” in the devastating civil war in the country in the Middle East.

In fact, it has become very clear now that the U.S. is determined to establish a “respectable” leadership with representatives of the various religious and ethnic groups of the Syrian people in order to cover up the bitter sectarian nature of the conflict as well as the increasingly important role of Islamist militias with relations to Al Qaeda, incited and boosted by Washington.

The Doha Conference began with a meeting of the SNC (Syrian National Council), which is sponsored by the Arab League and the Sunni monarchy of Qatar, and should introduce new members to repel the attempt by U.S. to take away their status as the opposition, which is supported by imperialists.

The “Syrian National Council” (SNC), largely dominated by the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has hinted that it rejects the U.S. approach, but it did not clarify whether it completely rejects the approach, or just rejects it in order to haggle for a better deal with Washington.

The U.S. State Department has indicated that it is willing to give the “Syrian National Council” (SNC) fifteen of 50 seats in the new leadership, which is cobbled together by Washington. This new leadership, the “Syrian National Initiative” (SNI), will hold a meeting in Doha on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to press reports, the head of the “Syrian National Council” (SNC), Abdelbaset Sieda, has rejected the U.S. proposal and said that the Syrian National Council must have at least 40 percent of the seats in the new “Syrian National Initiative” (SNI).

Clinton has announced the policy shift of the USA at a press conference in Croatia last week, and made it clear that Washington would choose for itself which leadership, as a transitional government and puppet, it wants to implement in Syria. She has also revealed that the “Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended names and organizations that should be a part of the managerial structure in our opinion”.

It seems that this announcement has hit the allies of Washington unprepared. The McClatchy Newspapers reported on Monday, that “the U.S. government has previously said no word of its intention to replace the council as the leading umbrella organization, told by diplomats from three countries”. “They said that their governments had learned of the initiative from the news.”

McClatchy quoted a Western diplomat, who responded to the question of whether Clinton’s remarks were really smart that they would select the people and organizations who should represent the new leadership: “The Syrians will claim that the Americans would predetermine the names… And I’m not even sure that the Americans will propose the correct people.”

Turkey, which has played the leading role in supplying the so-called rebels with weapons, training, training bases and other things so far, hastened reacting on the American shift and appointed a two-hour meeting between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the “Syrian National Council” (SNC) leadership in Ankara on Friday.

It is not clear whether the Sunni Islamist government of Ankara and the Sunni monarchy in Qatar, which is known to have supplied large quantities of arms to the Islamist militants in Syria, really do agree with the approach of the United States.

The new “Syrian National Initiative” (SNI) is also called the “Riad Seif-Plan”, after the main contenders for the leadership, selected by the State Department.

Seif is a Syrian capitalist who started his career as a textile manufacturer, before he took over the businesses of Adidas in Syria in the end of 1990s. He tried to establish a bourgeois party as an alternative to the ruling Baath party, and came into conflict with the Assad regime, as he objected to a deal about the largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the country by which became the property of a family member of Assad.

Confidential embassy-telegrams that were released by WikiLeaks show that Seif has regularly met with officials of the U.S. embassy in Damascus in order to inform them about his own activities and his analyses of the developments in the Assad regime. In other words, he is Washington’s man

Clinton gave an ultimatum to the “Syria National Council” (SNC) in her statement last week: It could “no longer be seen as the visible leadership of the opposition.”

This odd choice of words suggests that a “visible” leadership is needed, which is secular, completely bourgeois, and oriented to the West, serving as a front for the real forces that perform a war for a regime change in Syria. These forces are increasingly sectarian and Islamist: among them are many foreign militants with links to al-Qaeda that have flown to Syria from Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Chechnya and other countries.

This “visual” leadership would make it politically easier for Washington to intervene straightforwardly in the war in Syria, once the U.S. presidential elections are over.

The Russian government condemned the conference of the new opposition leaders in Doha and declared that Washington violated an agreement that was negotiated last summer in Geneva and pledged all parties to seek an end to fighting and a negotiable transition to a new Syrian government.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. State Department in a statement that it had “issued direct orders, what the Syrian opposition should do in order to establish a government in exile, and who should be involved in such a government”.

While Washington is working to set up a new opposition leadership in Doha, the brutal civil war that is raging in Syria gives the lie to all talks of humanitarian motives and a democratic transition.

On Monday, a car bomb exploded in a densely populated area of Damascus, killing eleven people, injuring two dozen others, many of them seriously. Among the victims were women and children. Another suicide attack occurred in Hama.

The official state news agency SANA reported that two civilians were killed in an explosion and ten others were wounded in an attack on a governmental development agency.

The “opposition”, according to their own statements, has attacked an outpost of the Syrian security forces, and said there we were 50 deaths. In a third attack near Damascus, two people were killed by a roadside bomb.

This wave of attacks would be condemned as terrorism by Washington, if they had taken place somewhere else in the region, but in Syria, Washington supports it. Previously, on Thursday, in a massacre, at least a dozen Syrian soldiers were captured and later killed by Islamic militiamen near Saraqeb in northwest Syria.

A video of the massacre, which was uploaded on the same day on social networks, showed how militiamen kicked and beat up the wounded soldiers, who are begging for their lives. They called them “Assad’s dogs” and forced them that they put themselves unarmed on a bunch, and then killed them with automatic rifles.

Source: wsws.org

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