[Marxism] Syria maps

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sat Oct 15 01:43:34 MDT 2016

Problems with "pipeline theories".

1. As the article Louis sent from Porter clearly demonstrates, Qatar's 
vague pipeline idea was blocked by Saudi Arabia (most of the 
conspiracist left don't realise that Qatar and Saudis hate each other). 
A little more on this aspect:

"Qatar has *not even been able to export its gas to neighbouring Bahrain 
and Kuwait* owing to Saudi opposition. What are the chances it could 
have constructed such a pipeline across 1,500 kilometres of Saudi 
territory to Jordan and on to Syria?
Qatar has no problem exporting its gas, in liquefied form, to Europe and 
the Far East, to a diversity of customers, with no dependence on risky 
overland pipelines. But if Doha had wanted that much to build its Syrian 
pipeline, it would have been easier to make the Assads an offer they 
could not refuse, rather than sponsoring an uncertain and ruinous 
A quick look at a map demolishes the notion of Syria as a key gas nexus. 
Syria is a dead end: any pipeline to Europe would have to go onwards via 
Turkey. Iran has a border with Turkey and already sends gas there; it 
has no need to go via Syria, nor should US officials have had to devote 
much concern to blocking such a pipeline."

2. That bit from above "if Doha had wanted that much to build its Syrian 
pipeline, it would have been easier to make the Assads an offer they 
could not refuse." Oh, but Qatar is a "Gulf state" and therefore an 
"enemy of the resistance front state led by Assad," I hear you say 
right? Wrong. If the Qatari-Assad fall-out was over some pipeline 
floated in 2009, funny how the Assad and al-Thani families were still 
best mates, and Qatar (like all the rest of the Gulf) came out strongly 
n support of Assad in 2011 (until the level of mass killing just got too 
much for their restive populations to stomach), from 

Indeed, the first response of the three regional powers who later emerge 
as the key backers of the Syrian resistance – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and 
Turkey – was to use Assad against the revolution.

For example, on 3 April 2011, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani 
sent a letter to Assad declaring Qatar’s support for Syria amid 
“attempts at destabilization” 
In late March, United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed 
bin Sultan al-Nahayan likewise called Assad to reaffirm that the UAE 
stands by Damascus 
Qatar’s close ally, Erdogan’s AKP regime in Turkey, likewise offered 
Damascus support, only with the mild proviso that Assad carry out some 
of the “reform” that he had promised.

The Saudi Arabian monarchy made similar robust declarations of support 
to the regime; on 28th March 2011, “Al-Assad received a call from Saudi 
King Abdullah, whereby the latter expressed the Kingdom’s support in 
what is targeting us from the conspiracy to hit its security and 
stability” clarifying that “the Saudi Kingdom stands by Syria’s 
leadership and people to put down this conspiracy” 
(http://syria-news.com/readnews.php?sy_seq=130662). Indeed, even as late 
as July, just as Qatar was finally suspending relations with Damascus, 
Saudi Arabia stepped in with a long-term 375 million riyal (US100 
million) loan to Damascus 
(http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MH11Ak02.html), while Kuwait 
threw in another 30 million Dinars 
(http://www.dp-news.com/pages/detail.aspx?articleid=90956); this rivalry 
between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, we will see, played as much a role as 
the later antipathy either felt towards Damascus.

Even when the Gulf Cooperation Council did finally urge an end to 
“bloodshed” in Syria and called for major reforms on August 6, 
expressing their “sorrow” about the situation, they still stressed their 
support for “preserving the security, stability, and unity of Syria” 

Notably, this was no different to US policy; responding to questions in 
Congress regarding the different US reaction to events in Libya, where 
NATO was then intervening, and Syria, Hillary Clinton responded: “There 
is a different leader in Syria now [meaning Bashar, as opposed to his 
father]. 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” 

3. On the question of Saudi Arabia/ISIS. Discussion above clarified that 
Andrew was not suggesting the Saudi regime supplied ISIS, but rather 
some Saudi "princes". Very important to understand that, not only in 
Saudi, but also elsewhere in the Gulf (especially Kuwait), the private 
networks that have supplied Islamists in Iraq and Syria (including 
Nusra) have come from *oppositionist* sections of the bourgeoisie. In 
Saudi Arabia, many are locked up, and the when the Saudis last year 
executed the young Shiite opposition leader and three of his followers, 
they also executed *43* alleged Sunni jihadist oppositionists (I say 
alleged, because if we don't believe in the fairness of Saudi courts, as 
we shouldn't, I reject the idea that we can just say "well they were all 
al-Qaida terrorists anyway"). Other Gulf states have also ramped up 
their laws to stop funding for "terrorists" in Syria. The UAE actually 
drew up a list of Syrian "terrorist" organisations that included almost 
the entire Syrian insurgency. Only because of Kuwait's relatively 
liberal political atmosphere does more of the private (oppositional) 
funding come from there. And yet, while these anti-monarchial, 
oppositionist forces in the Gulf have backed Islamists in Syria, 
including Nusra, I doubt even many of them have backed ISIS: in fact 
good research has established that only 5% of ISIS funds come from 
anywhere outside Iraq/Syria.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Andrew Stewart via Marxism

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