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West, Israel using 'Arab Spring' for regime change

July 20, 2012 14:56 IST

The US and Israel, using the guise of the Arab Spring, have decided that they have the authority and the mandate to change regimes for the people of the Middle East regardless of what the people think, says Seema Mustafa.

The Arab Spring is now perhaps the most misused term in the Middle East. It has been usurped by those who do not have the interests of the people of this region at heart, and is being exploited to justify terrorism as long as it against an Arab regime. The US and Israel, heading these 'operations' have decided that they have the authority and the mandate to change regimes for the people of the Middle East regardless of what the people think.

There is a set pattern that has come into place ever since the Egyptians marched into Tahrir Square to get rid of US backed Hosni Mobarak. The reversal for the Americans and its supporters in the West led to a major strategy shift, with the US moving in to overthrow regimes as part of a projected bid to bring 'democracy' to the region.

The huge propaganda machinery controlled by the Americans and the West has been brought into play to establish the pattern and convince the world that even force is commendable, so long as it is able to get rid of 'despots' and 'dictators.'

First, the media is used to establish that a regime is unpopular which is not very difficult to do given the fact that most governments in the Middle East are not democratic. Then, the propaganda machinery is used to establish that the unpopular regime should be removed to make way for democracy. And who better to do it than the democratic West led by the United States of America.

Of course, unlike Iraq where the invasion was blatant under George W Bush's 'shock and awe' program, the American establishment now prefers to cover blatant illegal military violence with the created fig leaf of 'people's support.'

This was evident in Libya where a few odd rebels were made much of by the West and the embedded media to justify the worst kind of military action on a sovereign country. Libya, they said was being 'liberated' from the 'brutal' Muammar Gaddafi, and such was the propaganda that even the Libyans who did not want others to change the regime for them, started questioning their own wisdom. The short end of the story was that Gaddafi was killed, brutally and mercilessly by the very persons who swear by democracy and justice, and who have set up a government that represents no one.

The Americans are perhaps more in control of Libya than they were under Gaddafi but the government that is being run from Washington has done little, and will do little, for the people or the country.

Syria has been under the US scanner since. And aided by friends like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey it started by first highlighting the ills of the current regime generally and President Bashar al Assad more specifically. The world learnt of his crimes, as the ground was steadily prepared to move to the 'he must go' argument. Criminal gangs and some rebel groups operating at the borders were armed and motivated to begin the 'rebellion' against Assad.

The hope was that these pebbles in the sea would lead to a tornado against Assad that could then be hailed as a peoples revolution and yet another example of the infamous Arab Spring. Unfortunately for the conspirators this did not happen, largely because the sophisticated Syrians had decided collectively that despite their anger with Assad they would not allow foreign forces to turn their country into a Libya. "Sure we want a change," was the consensus, "but we will decide what that change will be."

Russia and China stood in support for the Syrian government and its people's right to determine their own destiny. But those determined to wipe out any government that was seen to be standing against the West and Israel were not going to accept this. And so the 'terrorism' that is being hailed by Al Jazeera and other channels as a democratic movement was brought into Damascus and took a heavy toll of lives this week, with a suicide bomber killing top ministers and officials of the Assad government.

The people of Syria have remained indoors, aghast at this turn of events, and worried that they were about to lose their country and their sovereignty like Libya and Iraq. Al Jazeera meanwhile paraded a host of commentators, all outside Syria, to maintain that Assad's days were over even as it telecast pictures of a small group of chanting rebels as evidence of the 'movement' for democracy in the beleaguered country.

It is true that Assad is in deep trouble. And the fact that his security has been penetrated must be very worrying for him and his government. He is caught between a rock and a hard place with this suicide attack clearly taking away the little space he had for survival. The support from Russia and China is political and diplomatic, but the 'war' as it can now certainly be called has crossed these lines altogether. The Syrian government cannot hold out for long now, and as the people of this country know better than most, its fall will lead to the fall of Syria and the end of a polity as most knew it. There are not many options left for Assad as he will most certainly have to use force in Damascus and that will have an impact very different from Holms or Daara.

This violence intended to overthrow regimes in the Middle East, either through well armed and funded gangs or direct intervention by NATO and US military power, is definitely not intended to bring in democracy. After all the most undemocratic country of the region Saudi Arabia has the full backing of the US that talks of rights but is silent when these are violated on a daily basis in this oil rich nation. The intention is to sanitise the Middle East for Israel, and to ensure that issues such as the rights and homeland for the Palestinians are buried in the rubble of nations.

The intention is to control the oil rich world by installing puppet regimes, creating radical Muslim bogeys through outfits like the Muslim Brotherhood, and ensuring that the stereotypes created in the process always keep this region and its peoples feared and isolated and hence in control.

The invasion of Iraq, fall of Libya and the sponsored terrorism in Syria has legitimised the intervention of other countries in the affairs of independent nations. It has also further de-legitimised the United Nations and other such international bodies as they are incapable of enforcing the rule of law and protecting member nations.

It has demonstrated over and over again that the law lies with superpowers and not those who do not have the means to protect themselves and equality, sovereignty and justice are on the side of military and economic might killing and burying the concept of an equitable world order. The tragedy for the Arab people is that their governments have deserted them, preferring to embrace the unipolar rather than a multipolar order.

Seema Mustafa