Iran's Achilles Heel

BERLIN/DAMASCUS | | syrien

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) - Since the defeat of the UN Security Council Resolution on Syria, Berlin has been insisting on the overthrow of its long-term cooperation partner, Bashar al Assad. The German foreign minister declared in harmony with the other western powers that the Syrian president "no longer has a future." This is a president, whose repression apparatus had used torture to prepare prisoners for interrogations by German officials and is currently held responsible for large-scale massacres. What remains uncertain is to what extent pro-western countries are furnishing weapons to the armed contingents of Syrian rebels, who, according to reports, are responsible for a massacre of dozens of Christians in the city of Homs. The civil war in Syria that seems inevitable falls in line with western geostrategic plans aimed at isolating Iran. This has been confirmed by reports from correspondents in Israel. The Syrian conflict provides a good example of how Berlin uses the issue of human rights arbitrarily, but very effectively. Even though the German government is posing as the protector of the Syrian opposition, whose oppression it had facilitated over the decades through its cooperation with the Syrian secret services, Berlin is still deporting Syrian refugees.

Anti-Assad "Contact Group"

According to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's declaration last weekend at the Munich Security Conference, the Russian-Chinese veto of the recent UN Security Council draft resolution on the Situation in Syria was "a wrong decision and a decision against the people" of Syria.[1] Russia and China had just blocked a resolution in the deciding body of the United Nations. Since the West used the Security Council vote creating a "No-Fly Zone" over Libya to legitimize an aerial war on that country, the same can be expected in conflicts, in the near future, where the permanent members of the Security Council have divergent interests. With this artistry of interpretation, any resolution could probably serve to justify going into combat. Westerwelle has now announced his intentions to form a "contact group" to coordinate the West's and its Arab allies' anti-Syrian activities, thus adding a “new dynamic” to the conflict.[2] As was confirmed by numerous statements at the Munich Security Conference, which drew to a close yesterday, Europe and the USA still agree that the Assad regime must be overthrown.

Bloody Slaughter

What remains uncertain is to what extent pro-western countries are furnishing weapons to the armed contingents of the Syrian rebels. For months there have been reports of the Qatar Emirate being militarily engaged in Syria.[3] If this proves to be true, it would be a repeat performance of what took place in Libya, where it was also being alleged that the rebels of the country were fighting all alone against the Gadhafi regime. However, today it is widely known that not only western secret services but also the Qatari military were providing decisive support from the beginning in the war on Gadhafi. In Syria, all indications now point to both sides being involved in deadly attacks on the civilian population. Even the report of the Arab League's monitor mission listed not only attacks carried out by the military, but also terror attacks by the rebels, for example against a civilian bus and a freight train. Information from Homs, according to the report, indicates that the‭ ‬French journalist was killed by a mortar round fired by the opposition. Yesterday, Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clément Jeanbart, reported that the rebels had killed several dozens of Christians in Homs.[4] "Extremists and mercenaries" are infiltrating into "Syria from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Libya or Pakistan." Islamist militias have killed at least 2,000 civilians. The victims were "often (...) tortured, mutilated, and then murdered."

The Last Arab Ally

The civil war escalating between the Assad regime, until early 2011 a close western cooperation partner,[5] and the insurgents, the current western partners, falls in line with the West's geo-strategic plans against Iran. According to a press report from Israel, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas are clearly distancing themselves from Iran, and Syria, "Teheran's last Arab ally," weakened by the insurgency against Assad, is now too preoccupied with itself. The former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy is quoted referring to Syria as "Iran's Achilles heel" and demanding a reduction of Iranian influence in that country. A weakened Iran would open "enormous opportunities" for the West.[6] The complete overthrow of the Assad regime possibly would not even be necessary. Its international isolation, through supporting one party to the civil war, may suffice. This objective has already been attained.

Political PR

The human rights theme used by Berlin and the West for political PR - a novelty for Syria - has been facilitated by the constellation of forces in the Syrian conflict. Human Rights circles had disapproved of West Germany's intensification of its cooperation with the Syrian secret services only a few years after the 1982 Hama massacre. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7]) These services had strongly repressed the opposition inside the country and a few years ago aided Berlin in interrogations of suspected Islamists. In 2002, officials from the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and from the domestic political secret police were allowed to interrogate the German citizen Mohammed Haydar Zammar in Damascus, after he had been prepared through torture.[8] The 2009 German Syrian deportation agreement, enabling Berlin to deport political refugees to the Assad regime, had also been protested.[9] Human rights organizations have been protesting against all of the measures - to no avail. However, some of these organizations are eager to serve as "human rights" fig leaves for western foreign policy operations. Last weekend, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, spoke at the Munich Security Conference. "Shame" was the word he used, not to describe the long-standing cooperation between Germany and the Syrian torture regime, but to describe the Russian-Chinese veto against the UN Security Council draft resolution supported by Berlin and the West.[10]

No Right of Residence

At the same time, the German government has demonstrated over the past few days that its alleged engagement on behalf of the Syrian opposition is nothing more than a cynical PR maneuver. At the end of January, it explicitly refused to enact a formal moratorium on deportations of Syrian refugees. This means that the deportation agreement reached between Berlin and the Assad regime remains in force. Just last week, four Syrian refugees were deported from Munich to Budapest, from where they had departed for Germany. As the Bavarian Council for Refugees reports, two of the deportees had fled out of fear of being drafted into the military and having to shoot demonstrators. "They were afraid, they, themselves, could be shot, if they disobeyed orders. Therefore, to avoid being mustered into the army, they decided to flee."[11] In Germany, whose government vociferously poses as the avant-garde in the struggle for human rights, this motivation is insufficient to obtain the right of residence.

Further background information to Germany's Syria policy can be found here: Repression - The Common Denominator (I) and War Threats against Syria.

[1] Außenminister Westerwelle zur gescheiterten Syrien-Resolution der Vereinten Nationen; www.auswaertiges-amt.de 05.02.2012
[2] Westerwelle will Syrien-Krise mit einer Kontaktgruppe lösen; www.abendblatt.de 05.02.2012
[3] see also War Threats against Iran (II)
[4] www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org 05.02.2012
[5] see also Eine Frage der Taktik
[6] Gerede über günstige Gelegenheiten; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 04.02.2012
[7] see also Repression - The Common Denominator (I) and Der gemeinsame Nenner Repression (II)
[8] see also Oktober 2001 and Deutsch-syrischer Herbst
[9] see also Im Hungerstreik
[10] Harsche Kritik bei Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz an Syrien-Veto; www.net-tribune.de 05.02.2012
[11] Vier syrische Flüchtlinge aus Stadelheim nach Ungarn abgeschoben; www.fluechtlingsrat-bayern.de