Sunday, February 12, 2012

Links for 2/12/11

Former CIA officer questions EU motives in Syria -, 6/23/11
          This piece relays the opinion of Robert Baer, a former CIA operative stationed in Syria turned author and pundit, who sees the Syria situation as one of regional political warfare, with the Arab Gulf states, Israel, and Turkey pitted against Iran, Syria, and the Hezbollah faction in Lebanon.
"We've taken sides in the Middle East. We've taken sides with Israel and with the Sunnis, from the US to the Dutch and the French. It's part of our cultural and historical background," he said.
Baer added that France, the former colonial power in Lebanon and Syria, is mainly interested in protecting its old friends, the Maronite Christians in Lebanon: "They don't want to see the roof blown off Lebanon because they still feel responsible for the Maronites. They are tightly wrapped up in Lebanon."
He noted that Turkey is also trying to weaken the Shia alliance in order to become the pre-eminent power in the region. "I'm still talking to my Syrian contacts and they are quite convinced that weapons are coming in [to the opposition] not just from the Sunnis in Lebanon and through Iraq but also from Turkey."
The EUobserver article also adds reporting from an unnamed EU diplomat in Brussels, who stated, "We have reports that Wahhabists [radical Sunni Islamists], who are not necessarily controlled by any state, are coming into Syria from Iraq and from Saudi Arabia to create chaos. Inside Syria, there are snipers shooting at demonstrators who are not controlled by Assad but by the deep state, and other snipers who are shooting at both demonstrators and police."

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