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The Qatari Role In Syria

By Ismail Salami

16 August, 2012

The Syrian crisis has been dragging on for over 18 months now with no imminently favorable results for the rebels.

There were early sparse peaceful protests here and there in cities but all vestiges of such protests are gone altogether. Instead, we see cities pass from hand to hand and people killed as part of ‘collateral damage’. ‘Collateral damage’ is not my favorite phrase. On the contrary, I find it odious. But who is really to blame for the human loss in Syria?

An absence of popular protests renders it rather far-fetched to relate the crisis to the manifestations of an uprising. For example, there has not been even one instance of self-immolation to reflect the acme of social despair and economic frustration in the country as in Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and elsewhere. This of course does not rule out the idea that there are certainly reforms to be made in Syria as in all parts of the world.

Despite an incredibly massive disinformation campaign waged by western media outlets to depict Bashar Assad as the 'Bad Guy' and the effluvium of money to the insurgents from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the USA and the UK to mention only a few, President Bashar Assad does not seem to be willing to step down from power and abandon it to the care of the Saudis or the Americans so they may install a West-friendly puppet regime to cater to a wide range of demands and tastes including those of the Zionists, the West and other Arab puppet regimes as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan.

There are reports that indicate the regime of Qatar has allocated USD 300 million as political incentives for Syrian officials to defect. Defection is indeed a very significant move and can gravely tarnish the image of any government and question the very legitimacy of it. So, the enemies of Syria are capitalizing on this effective ruse. Qatar’s envoy in Mauritania reportedly offered his Syrian counterpart an advance payment of one million US dollars and a monthly salary of $20,000 over 20 years in a bid to convince him to defect and publicly blast ‘the atrocities of Syrian government’. According to a report carried by Lebanese-based Al-Manar TV, Syrian envoy in Mauritania Hamad Seed Albni was also offered a permanent residence in Doha, but he declined the offer.

From a political point of view, the defectors can be shrewdly used to deal a lethal blow to a government by twisting the realities on the ground to the benefit of those who finance and support them and to the loss of the government from which they have defected. Syria’s former Prime Minister Riyad Farid Hijab, who fled to Jordan (a safe haven for defectors) last week, is typical of such a case. He made a public appearance on Tuesday for the first time since his defection and branded the Syrian regime as the ‘enemy of God’. He further said that the government of President Bashar Assad was “crumbling internally under the pressure of relentless fighting against rebels, and from betrayals by loyalists who want only to flee” (The New York Times, August 14, 2012). It is not yet known if he has defected out of his strongly internalized personal beliefs or if he has been lured into Jordan by Qatar-promised generous offers. Syrian rebels have been mobilizing Prime Minister Riyad Hijab and some ministers for the last four months, an opposition official told the Global Times after Hijab fled the country.

In addition to Hijab, some top officials have so far defected including Syrian representatives in the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, Abdel Latif al-Dabbagh and Nawaf al-Fares.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently made a visit to Turkey and discussed with Turkish officials how to support the rebels in Syria in order to “end the violence and begin the transition to a free, democratic Syria without Assad".

"We are continuing to increase pressure from the outside. Our number-one goal is to hasten the end of the bloodshed and the Assad regime," she said.

It goes without saying that the only goal the US is seeking to achieve is to put an end once and for all to a government antagonistic to Washington’s interests in the region.

Hillary Clinton said the United States and Turkey are considering imposing no-fly zones and other steps on Syria to help rebel forces.

"It is one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning," Clinton said. "Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that."

In fact, Lady Bountiful is making herculean efforts to tailor a western suit to fit the Zionists and the Wahhabis alike.

The naked truth is that any time the US steps in to force changes in a country, it certainly seeks to serves its own long-term interests. Look at Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The interests are not necessarily financial. They might be of intelligence and military interests only to be used later for expanding their colonialist pursuits.

Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian writer, Middle East expert, Iranologist and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.



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