[Marxism] ‘The Middle East is already living World War III’

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 24 15:50:32 MDT 2018

On 4/24/18 5:34 PM, Chris Slee via Marxism wrote:
> 3. If anti-war protests broke out amongst that section of the Syrian population that currently regards Assad as the lesser evil compared to the rebels (this includes the religious minorities).

What folly.

As Leila al-Shami has pointed out, and as I did weeks earlier, ethnic 
cleansing is taking place on a massive scale. Cities like Homs that 
contained majority Sunni populations have suffered huge migrations out 
of Syria. They are being replaced by Alawites without regard to whether 
the city will ever have the same demographic density as before. We can 
be assured that Assad would be happy to see Syria made up of Alawites 
and all those Sunnis making more than $50,000 per year.

I cited Aron Lund on this:

	An additional consequence of Law no. 10 is that it will enable 
large-scale demographic engineering by reallocating appropriated 
property to new owners. This will not necessarily be sectarian in nature 
as the majority of both Syrians and regime-loyalists are Sunni. Rather, 
it will create large loyalist urban centers to underpin the regime’s 
power base and limit the return of refugees, who are largely not 
perceived as supporters of President Assad.

	In addition to remaking urban centers as areas of repopulated loyalist 
concentration, the strategy will probably also involve undoing the 
existence of impoverished Sunni-belts around Syria’s main cities from 
which so many rebels were recruited. Insofar as these poorer suburbs are 
currently depopulated due to rebel recruitment, casualties, and flight, 
the regime is likely to use Law No. 10 to appropriate the land (in many 
such areas, property rights were not well established even before the 
war) and to then prevent their resettlement if and when refugees return.

This means that Syria will have much more of a non-Sunni character in 
keeping with the sectarian master plans of the Islamic Republic. 
Needless to say, they have little use for Sunnis, even if they are 
Kurdish Sunnis whose leadership forged a non-aggression pact with Assad.

Once Idlib is ethnically cleansed, Assad will turn his attention to 
Rojava. None of this had to happen. If the Kurdish leadership had not 
been so short-sighted, it would have made common cause with the FSA. 
Instead, its feckless leader complained about Islamists when they were 
hardly a factor and absolved Assad from using sarin gas on East Ghouta. 
What a waste.

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