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Letters from Tokyo
France, UK Want to Send Military Arms Directly to Sectarian Forces in Syria
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
France and the UK want to send Military Arms directly to Sectarian Forces in Syria.

France and the United Kingdom want to send military arms directly to so-called rebels despite the Free Syrian Army (FSA) being responsible for countless massacres. Also, the FSA often fights alongside Islamist forces which support al-Qaeda and other major terrorist networks. Therefore, religious cleansing, beheadings, hanging people in the open (applies to the very start of the crisis), car bombings, kidnappings, killing journalists, throwing people from buildings and bridges – and other brutal realities – including teaching children to behead Syrian soldiers – must be viewed differently in London and Paris?

If it isn’t viewed differently in both nations then this implies that it is being sanctioned by the political elites which are in power in France and the United Kingdom. It is clear that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and several Gulf nations have no qualms in supporting terrorism, sectarianism and sedition openly. However, the fact that two so-called democratic nations (the electorate never voted on this issue) can openly support the violation of sovereign nations based on power politics is equally alarming. After all, daily carnage continues to blight Afghanistan after more than 40 years of meddling and Iraq remains to be blighted by terrorism, sectarianism and the loss of sovereignty because of the behavior of nations like Turkey. Likewise, Libya is now a failed state whereby various militias control certain areas and now Christian missionaries face prison, torture and being expelled from the country – so much for democracy and a new beginning.

Iraq is also being destabilized further because al-Qaeda terrorists and other militant networks are utilizing the chaos in Syria in order to cause fresh mayhem against central forces in Baghdad. The United States lost many soldiers dying in Iraq but because of the policies of allies in the Gulf and Turkey – then the forces they were fighting against are once more rebuilding. Of course, the United Kingdom knows this full well. However, given the close relationship between the United Kingdom and the feudal monarchy of Saudi Arabia, then clearly selling military arms and supporting the whims of Riyadh must be weighed up carefully.

France and the United Kingdom therefore are trying to bully other European Union (EU) nations into accepting their “unholy alliance” with feudal monarchies in the Gulf. This applies to both nations stating that they may ignore the EU if their position isn’t supported. If this happens, then what is the point of having a collective political bloc and voting on such a position if fellow members will do what they please irrespective of the outcome? Clearly France and the United Kingdom are belittling the EU framework and political elites in the Russian Federation have also condemned this uneven approach to such a serious issue.

It is also disingenuous for France and the United Kingdom to claim that the Russian Federation and Iran are backing the government of Bashar al-Assad. After all, it is clear that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other nations throughout the Gulf are supporting the FSA and various Islamist terrorist groups which are affiliated with al-Qaeda or which sympathize with their worldview. On top of this, it is abundantly clear that many covert operations are going on in Lebanon and Jordan which links North Africa and the Middle East respectively. Meanwhile Chechen Islamist terrorists have a free reign in Turkey and Albanian dominated Kosovo and the nation of Croatia are involved in many ratlines. Also, the government of Syria is a sovereign nation and clearly the Russian Federation had ongoing contracts with the government of Bashar al-Assad. Equally important, unlike France and the United Kingdom which have cut ties with Damascus – it is abundantly clear that political elites in Moscow are open to political dialogue with all respective parties.

In the London Evening Standard it was stated that “Any attempt by Britain to arm the Syrian rebels would be a breach of international, Russia warned today.”

“Following talks in London with UK foreign and defence ministers, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov made clear Moscow would oppose any move to supply weapons to the opposition fighting President Bashar Assad.”

Lavrov commented about arming the FSA that “In our point of view it is a violation of international law.” He also pointed out that the most effective fighting force is the Jabhat al Nusra which is deemed a terrorist organization by America. Therefore, given the reality that the FSA often fights alongside the Jabhat al Nusra then clearly France and the United Kingdom are playing a dangerous game.

Austria and many European nations are worried about the stance of France and the United Kingdom because clearly even anti-Bashar al-Assad nations can’t paint a picture of a democratic FSA military force. On the contrary, the brutality of the FSA and various Islamist terrorist factions in Syria resembles the utter barbarity of what happened in Algeria during the Islamist uprising. Similarly, Iraq is also very concerned about the arming of terrorist factions in Syria because this is opening-up a new can of worms for the leaders in Baghdad.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann made it abundantly clear that he is opposed to lifting the military arms embargo. He stated that “I do not think you can solve a conflict that you are supplying weapons to…It usually just means that someone else delivers more weapons to the other side.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she had “a number of concerns about exporting weapons to the opposition because you have to ask if you are just fueling the conflict.” Merkel is also worried about extremists obtaining military arms from EU nations if the arms embargo is lifted.

Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Iraq, commented that “In case the opposition wins, there will be a civil war in Lebanon, divisions in Jordan and a sectarian war in Iraq. This will create a new haven for al-Qaeda which will destabilize the region.”

Hadi al-Amiri, the Iraqi Minister of Transport, also rebuked the enemies of Syria for destabilizing the region. He stated that “Ankara and Doha are supporting the armed opposition and arming jihadist groups in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra that is linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

Therefore, why are France and the United Kingdom ignoring the political leadership of Iraq? Likewise, despite Lebanon being divided politically it is known that many powerful political leaders in this nation are warning against increasing the military angle in Syria. This is based on the complex religious and political nature of Lebanese society. The last thing that Lebanon needs is to be sucked into a fresh bout of inter-religious clashes based on the whims of outside nations which will escape the real repercussions of regional instability and chaos.

It is obvious that many in the EU are alarmed by the bullying tactics of France and the United Kingdom. This can be seen by the Prime Minister of Finland because Jyrki Katainen is clearly feeling dismay over the strong tones being stated by political elites in Paris and London. He stated that “We have tried to build up a common foreign and security policy and I hope that we could strengthen it by having a common policy on Syria.”

In the meantime more videos have showed recent brutal massacres by the FSA and various Islamist factions. This applies to beheading people and other brutal methods of barbarity. Likewise, religious places of worship are being attacked and the sectarian nature of the opposition is abundantly clear. However, in places under the control of the Syrian government like the majority of the Damascus area; it is clear that the mosaic of Syria shares the same space. Similarly, all major religious leaders in Syria irrespective of religious affiliation are supporting political dialogue and the need to preserve the independence of Syria.

The above story was written by Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker.
leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

The above article is from Modern Tokyo Times.
http://moderntokyotimes.com



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. His website is at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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