In Iraq, and now Syria, US seeks secular outcome by… promoting sectarian division

Everybody is talking about Syria, which we can all agree is a mess. With rare exception, this site has not been covering Syria, but I must point out that Assad is fighting a jihadist-dominated rebel movement, and the US is continuing to insert itself by utilizing the “inclusion of some of the more radical forces… to assert a moderate authority in Syria”(pdf). How reassuring–not.

There’s an illusion that exists widely in the mainstream that the US is trying to build strong or moderate secular states we can all relate to. This neverending fantasy of a benevolent US role in nation building is perpetuated by the constant drumbeat of sectarian divisions in the Middle East, divisions the US does not shy away from fostering, as they seem to justify positioning our influence as a “moderating force.”

Let’s listen to Tom Friedman’s recent New York Times op ed about Syria,  Caution, Curves Ahead:

There is a strong argument for everyone doing more to end the Syrian civil war before the Syrian state totally collapses and before its sectarian venom and refugees further destabilize Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan…..

Why has he been able to hold on so long? Russian and Iranian military aid certainly help, but so does the support he still enjoys in key communities. Assad’s Alawite minority sect, which has been ruling since 1970 and constitutes 12 percent of Syria’s 22 million population, believes that either they rule or they die at the hands of the country’s Sunni Muslim majority (74 percent). The Syrian Christians, who are 10 percent, and some secular Sunni Muslims, particularly merchants, have also thrown in their lot with Assad, because they believe that either he rules or chaos does. None of them believe the rebels can or will build a stable, secular, multisectarian democracy in Assad’s wake. Why do we think they are wrong?

Some secular Sunni Muslims, eh? How many? Friedman tells us the Syrian Sunni Majority is 74%,  the Syrian Alawite community is 12%, and Syrian Christians are 10%. But that hardly explains the basis of Assad’s support. Friedman describes the secular Sunni Muslims who support Assad as “merchants.” Friedman ignores the fact that Syrians, like Iraqis before our invasion, lived, primarily, in a secular society.

Assad’s regime is secular. Saddam was also a secular dictator. The US supports and empowers sectarian actors, while claiming to seek democratic secular results. Why do we do that? Friedman won’t tell you.

When I first started blogging after the Iraq war one of the first things I heard from Iraqi bloggers was that, for the most part, Iraqis were not divided by sect. And whenever they claimed that, the neocon bloggers argued incessantly how wrong they were.

Watch the clip below of Chris Hayes’s, Iraq 10 years after. It begins with before- and after- maps of Baghdad, with the neighborhoods colored coded by sectarian groups– white being mixed. Note how the vast majority of pre-invasion Baghdad was white. 

Those days are over. Raed Jarrar explains how sectarian identity is now the “core component” of Iraq identity now– as the result of our war on their country, their culture.

Raed Jarrar: I’m actually half Sunni and half Shite, we call it Sushis,(laughter). From my personal experience I have never been asked in my entire life until 2003 if was a Sunni or a Shia, I had never seen someone been ask that question.

Chris Hayes: Growing up in Iraq.

Raed Jarrar: It was never a (inaudible) identity before 2003, after 2003 it is now. It’s the core component unfortuneately. The system of sectarian and ethnic quarters in the government created a complete different government system and that was introduced in 2003 during the government council, so Iraqis were chosen based on their sectarian and ethnic background for the first time in contemporary history.

Zainab Suwaij: At the same time I think the political parties played a big part of that… political parties the lack of security helped a lot in this kind of system. 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economyi

I am not going to argue here that the Assad government is tolerant of dissent or democracy. But let’s not delude ourselves about the alternative. As Americans discover, probably too late, the extent to which we’re financing radicals– many of them foreign– in Syria, let’s not pretend they’re secularists. A simple principle binds the American experience of the last 10 years: Neocon intervention facilitates sectarian division as a means to an end.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , ,

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  1. American says:

    The Free Syrian ‘revolt’, as everyone is who is anyone knows, was never a “people’s revolt”.
    Clean Break —Iraq, Syria, Iran……on it goes.

  2. I am glad you Annie/Mondoweiss speak the truth about this conflict in Syria.

    The destruction of Syria is really depressing and sad, not only the lives lost but the destruction of Syrian state itself.
    What bothers me more is that we in the western states have governments that fuel this violence and destruction and have justify their support for not rebels (as MSM and people like Obama like to call them) but sectarian terrorists with the bogus argument: that they fight for democracy.

    The american government participation in Syria, is ONLY related to Israel. In principle they want to kill off the resistance in the region (Hamas/Iran/Hezbollah/Syria).

  3. It’s been obvious for a while that the ‘West’ and Israel – using the services of Jordan and the Gulf dictatorships, and under the cover of the ‘Arab spring’ – are aiming for the Lebonisation of Syria. They want to see what was once a unified and strong state dissolve into a mess of tiny, sectarian, perpetually warring statelets. So it’s not that they desire regime change in Syria, so much as that they want to destroy Syria as a functioning state, and hence to deprive Iran of a powerful ally.

    Because these days, it’s always – always – about Iran.

  4. ritzl says:

    Using listed terrorist orgs/conduits to overthrow a marginally-objectionable, secular status quo in the wishful (wistful??) pursuit of replacing it with a secular status quo is a profoundly accurate description of our near-complete FP meltdown. Particularly because, as you say Annie, we’ve done and seen this before. We know the results.

    This smacks of the Israeli/Zionist/AIPAC/neocon counter-to-all-rationality, desire, as expressed/embraced within US government, to foment instability to Israel’s benefit, and our detriment; short- and long-term. The top-level policy seems to be, “Make more enemies. We can work with that.”

    Insane.

    It’s also interesting to note (as was pointed out here a few days ago), in this context, that Erdogan’s acceptance of Israel’s Mavi Marmara “apology” coincided, to the day, with a truce between the PKK and Turkey. Was this Obama’s singular diplomatic objective/achievement for this trip? The quid pro quo for his grovelling (h/t everyone) in Israel?

    link to aljazeera.com

    If so, it’s a hell of a price to pay in US security terms (not so much in US political terms). Reinforce the US-Turkey relationship (as dictated/defined by “what’s good for Israel” policy formulators in US government) by selling out/maintaining the equally legitimate, yet unendurably festering Palestinian conflict with Israel and it’s ramifications with a quarter of the planet?

    O’ to be a fly on the wall in these discussions.

    Thanks.

  5. Castellio says:

    Using civil war to “degrade the enemy” is the very intent of Israeli-American foreign policy. They are looking to weaken countries in a structural way for the long term. Sectarian influences achieve that. Its one of the reasons Israel supported the early Hamas.

    Friedman knows he is misrepresenting the situation in his presentation, and that Assad has genuine and deep support among Sunni’s. But democracy isn’t the point, getting Americans to enthusiastically support the bombing of Syria is the point.

    The US – Al-Qaeda alliance is proven, alive, and well.

  6. Here’s Jane Harman at AIPAC talking about promoting sectarian division in Iran:

    link to youtube.com

    Here’s Democracy Now! on the Guardian and BBC piece on James Steele in Iraq:

    link to democracynow.org

    If the inmates are fighting amongst themselves they won’t be fighting you.

  7. marc b. says:

    ugh. friedman. re-reading from that bound stack of toilet paper ‘from beirut to jerusalem’. he really hasn’t done anything original (for him) since then. are there any arabs who don’t climax/suffer under the whip? or who aren’t plunged/plunging into ‘venomous’ conflicts? this is political analysis as done by freud and streicher.

    the pertinent questions are why do ‘we’ keep arming militant islamists, and why have ‘we’ been talking about a fractured syria for so long? this has been in the planning stages since the real assad bit it. see cannonfire piece on recent assad assassination psy-op.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Watched that segment. Then Raed Jarrar appeared on Democracy Now also. The country is a fiasco with old boundaries broken down, hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced and hundreds of thousands injured. Little to no changes in better electricity, water etc. When you add up the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people killed during Desert Storm, then close to a million Iraqi people (500,000 reported children) killed as a consequence of sanctions and the Lancet reporting that 650,000 Iraqi killed by 2006 as a direct result of the invasion that adds up to close to 3 millions Iraqi people dead as a direct consequence of U.S. actions. I used to sob myself to sleep as a teenager asking why it had taken the U.S. so long to respond to the genocide during WWII wondering always wondering why people had not responded and I see so clearly that as Americans rush to the mall, yoga classes, some of course really struggling to pay the bills but many not so much that it has happened again and most people do not care. Peggy Gish (Art Gish’s wife) was in Iraq before the invasion and close to six years over the last 10 has lived with Iraqi families etc. Took reports in the spring of 2003 about family members concerned with what was going on in Abu Gharib (Seymour Hersh used some of Christian Peace Makers Reports about Abu Gharib) Peggy has reported that many Iraqi people believe that what the U.S. wanted in Iraq was chaos to break the system down, privatize the oil industry, cast Iraqi families to the wind across the globe and not have a working system in place….Chaos being the goal, structure broken down. When you read the plans at the Project for a New American Century and Securing the Realm it does not sound far off. Syria was on the neocons hit list….and the U.S. has been funding Syrian rebels that they really do not know who they are which has fueled the violence and the humanitarian crisis that has been taking place there now for two years. This is not new behavior for the U.S. we have fueled revolutions all over the world that have ended up killing millions.

    Former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer has written a great deal at his website “Non Intervention” about Syria and the rebels being closely affiliated with Al Qeada. Best coverage about Syria at Informed Comment, Non Intervention, and Going to Iran

  9. lysias says:

    I think a lot of it is that we’re doing the bidding of our Saudi allies, who oppose the Islamic Republic of Iran and want its Syrian ally gone. (I suspect Saudi demands explain the U.S. government’s over-the-top reaction to Wikileaks.) Plus, Israel always welcomes it when its Arab neighbors and potential enemies descend into chaos. Khalid Rashidi in his new book explains U.S. policy with respect to the Syrian civil war as acceding to the demands of Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    But I wonder what American public opinion would think if it were made aware of what Syrian Christians think (they were never permitted to learn what Iraqi Christians thought).

    By the way, another substantial minority in Syria that I understand support Assad are the Druze.

  10. Citizen says:

    Hey, look at this way: US government has been extending the US core value of diversity overseas. Just kidding. Interesting and timely article, Annie.

    Divide and conquer. Our hand in Syria is just another phase of war on Iran, along with the draconian economic sanctions. We started that war by proxy, using Saddam H’s military might for eight years, remember? PNAC’s key regime-change targets: Iraq, Syria, Iran.

    Remember who were our buddies in Afghanistan, when the USSR was there?

  11. Edward Q says:

    “Were the Neocons responsible for the destruction of Yugoslavia?” Some or all of them probably supported the intervention. As far as I am concerned the Clinton administration had an imperialist foreign policy. Have you noticed how little difference there is between Bush and Obama? At any rate, Iraq and Yugoslavia do not make a good comparison. Serbia had a fascist government with the goal of ethnically cleansing neighboring territories of non-Serbs. Annie Robbins point is that Iraq did not have these extreme sectarian conflicts until the Americans occupied their country.

  12. Your last sentence explains it all. “Neocon intervention facilitates sectarian division as a means to an end.”

    The more the US stirs trouble in the Middle East, three things happen…. Sectarian viloence increase, the state is weakened and Israel is happy.

  13. Inanna says:

    Thanks for this piece Annie. I’ve been an ardent anti-Assad person for decades. But the prospect of these Islamic goons taking over fills me with fear. I know many Syrians (and many of my cousins are married to Syrians) and I fear that the same thing that happened to Iraq will happen to them.

    As for Sunni support for Assad, it’s hard to measure. But certainly Assad could not survive without some measure of support from the Sunni community. There are clues though. The Sunday Times reported that of the 10,000 National Defense Militia personnel in the Homs area, 4000 were Sunnis. The NDF is a paramilitary force that apparently does the grunt work of keeping public order and safety. Many women are joining these militias too.

    link to thesundaytimes.co.uk

    While I would love to be rid of the entire Assad regime, I don’t want an Islamic replacement and I don’t want the continued deaths and suffering. I’d like the violence and everyone to stop shipping in weapons to end and a vote to happen so that Syrians can figure this out for themselves.

    • thanks inanna, yes i agree completely.

      The Sunday Times reported that of the 10,000 National Defense Militia personnel in the Homs area, 4000 were Sunnis.

      i could only get access to the first paragraphs (firewall), but if there are 4,000 sunni NDML in homs alone that speaks volumes. i have no double many of those people have issues w/assad’s regime but the alternative seems horrendous. but more importantly, it just rubs me the wrong way identifying all individuals by sect. friedman breaks it down which was why i asked “How many?”, but i don’t think it’s fair or right to divide people that way if they are secular. it just seems like it should be a personal matter unless someone wants it to be known otherwise. especially in a secular society.

      i have heard, and i assume it is correct otherwise so many foreign troops wouldn’t be necessary, that over 50% of the country supports assad. i don’t think this is because they all ‘like’ him or the regime. i think it is because they do not want to live under the rule of foreign backed salafists. i don’t think that is a sunni/shia decision. it’s just a modern person decision. if the fanatics rule syria will be set back, way back, and that is if they are lucky. the most likely situation is the country will be split up. a nationalist might likely support the regime for that reason. i just want this to be over, in a positive way. it’s so very sad.

      • American says:

        “i have heard, and i assume it is correct otherwise so many foreign troops wouldn’t be necessary, that over 50% of the country supports assad. i don’t think this is because they all ‘like’ him or the regime. i think it is because they do not want to live under the rule of foreign backed salafists. “”….annie

        This has been my understanding from the beginning, based on European reporters on the ground at the beginning of this .
        As far I can see only two countries in the region have an interest in upsetting Assad and Syria….Suadi and Israel ..for all others except Hezbollah who got some alleged support from them it’s just more trouble. Israel naturally because of Iran and they blame Syria for keeping Hezbollah supplied with arms. Saudi is somewhat harder to figure in exactly what ‘result’ they are looking for in the end but they didn’t send Price Bandar to Syria to coordinate the rebels for no reason. What Saudi is most afraid of is the Arab Spring…gawd forbid the demand for political reform spread and threaten their thrones. There are so many twist and turns in the Syrian conflict it’s been hard to follow unless you stayed on it every day and I haven’t. But the Assad regime was always criticized for it’s treatment of “political’ dissents, not for any sunni/shitte persecutions.
        My impression, because as said I haven’t followed this, so it’s just impression….is that this started off as a ‘political’ revolt against Assad’s stated policy when he took over of …..”concentrating on Syria economics *before* addressing any political system reforms”. Those who were demanding ‘political reforms’ weren’t willing to wait for that and ginned up a revolt….BUT…when Saudi saw this, combined with the Arab Springs that had happened and not knowing where this ‘political’ revolt may go, they threw some curveballs into the mix by inserting radicals like Islamist and foreign fighters–which turned the revolt into a mismash of something else. I am not convinced the US had a hand in actually starting or provoking or plotting this, I ‘m not convinced so far that Israel had a ‘direct’ hand in it either. They likely ‘supported it’ in non direct ways they could as a good idea if Syria fell according to their original Clean Break Plan so they could get a hopefully US brokered or controlled Israel friendly government.
        BUT now the whole thing has gone sideways for all interested parties…..no one knows what will emerge if the rebels win….will the political rebel wing ascend or will the radical Islamist related rebels ascend?
        It may be that the US will intervene because it now thinks it has to because it has all ‘gotten out of hand” and is spreading beyond Syria’s borders …..and the US is thinking that even if the Saudi sponsored rebels take power that Saudi will ‘control’ them for the sake of the US-Saudi alliance. Whatever the US does, if it does anything, is going to be a salvage operation at this point. Even if the political reformers won power and the US tried to support them then that’s another problem cause Saudi would not be pleased with that…political reform being exactly what they are opposed to in the ME. I don’t know how the political reform wing would deal with Israel if they assumed power, it would probably be another deal where the US would give them aid to make nice with Israel—–and if the Islamist assumed power I can’t see Saudi making them make nice with Israel.

  14. Eva Smagacz says:

    Annie, the destruction of established societies is something that will take generation to repair, keeping societies poor and internally conflicted, and not able to take charge of their natural resources. This is as true in Africa as it is in Middle East.

    Increased lawlessness plays into the hasbara that Arab societies are backward and barbaric.

    And what they are undoubtedly, is lawless and dangerous since Western interventions.

    This sad story from the Scotsman :

    “THREE British women are recovering in the Libyan city of Benghazi after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted earlier this week.

    Two of the women are sisters of Pakistani origin and were ­assaulted in front of their father. They were all members of a pro-Palestinian aid convoy bound for Gaza who were travelling through Libya.

    (…)

    Huseyin Oruc of IHH, a Turkish humanitarian relief organisation which negotiated the release of the kidnapped group, said the women were attacked and robbed. He said their alleged abductors included a taxi driver and a group of men in military ­uniforms.

    (…)

    The five had been travelling with a convoy taking ten ambulances to Gaza. With sea routes to Gaza cut, they had opted to drive the ambulances through Europe to Morocco, and then along the North African coastline to Gaza.

    The convoy was stopped at the Libyan border with Egypt by Egyptian officials last week, and after waiting a week the five decided to fly home, driving 200 miles to Benghazi and arriving in the early hours.

    A group of armed men at an army road block captured the five, subjecting the women to an hours-long ordeal before being found. Police say one of the women was found with her captor 40 miles from Benghazi, where she was freed and her ­attacker arrested.

    Officials said four men had been arrested in connection with the incident.

    (…)”

  15. Rusty Pipes says:

    Thank you, Annie!!!

  16. Qualtrough says:

    The Soviet Union supported a government promoting a secular society in Afghanistan. The US made sure that was destroyed. Iraq under Saddam was a secular society. The US made sure that it was destroyed. Libya was a secular society, the US did its level best to make sure that it was destroyed. And now the US is working on destroying Syria and its secular government. Anyone see a pattern here?

  17. Reds says:

    It’s amazing how dumb or willfully ignornant the Media is on syria.

    For example,

    When this first started our media(mainly NPR) said there were no radical Islamist and the “so called” syrian regime was saying such to tarnish the rebels. Than came suicide bombs in which our media(mainly NPR) said used “bombing” of top officials and seemed to focus away from the fact their was suicide bombs. Than came the Human Rights reports(our media loves these guys when they attacking our enemies but will pair them with a right wing think tank when they talk about us or our ally). That the Rebels were in a sense doing the same human rights violations as Assad. Because of this and the U.S. could no longer hide or omit such they switched from FSA(Free Syrian Army) to the SNC(Syrian National Consul) including the Islamist. Than the U.S. and west as been on a campaign to arm the SNC against the Islamist. But what’s omitted is the U.S. arms the Saudis and the Gulf states who than arm the Islamist. So if the U.S. wanted to weaken the Islamist they could always get the Saudi’s and Gulf states to stop arming the Islamist. But nope by allowing the Saudi and Gulf states to arm the Islamist it gives the U.S. the ability to cry out about arming the more moderate Rebels and it allows for the U.S. to denounce the Islamist while secretly supporting them. It also allows the U.S. to use the excuse if Assad falls to take control of the Chemical weapons.

    It becomes a win/win for the U.S. if Assad falls. If the Islamist take over the U.S. can sanction the country and take over their chemical weapons and still fund the secularist against them. If the Secularist win the U.S. now has a puppet ally in which they take over their chemical weapons.

  18. Dan Crowther says:

    I can’t believe MW struck the comments of Keith, Ellen myself and others. Absolutely can not believe MW struck already posted comments that dealt directly with the similarities of US’s role in the syrian catastrophe and the US’s role in the destruction of other multi ethnic states.

    The MW code: lay everything at the feet of zionists and neocons, anything else is unwanted, simply because it does not emphasize the role of Jews. This place sucks now. Salaam Alaikum

    • dealt directly with the similarities of US’s role in the syrian catastrophe

      no it did not, your yugoslavia diversion was the first comment in the thread and a big argument was ensuing about milosevic which included lots of unpublished comments you never saw. for the most part it had nothing to do with syria or iraq it was a complete highjack. it ignored all the points in the article and didn’t address them at all.

      A simple principle binds the American experience of the last 10 years: Neocon intervention facilitates sectarian division as a means to an end.

      you wanna fight another war, on another topic, do it downthread.

      The MW code: lay everything at the feet of zionists and neocons

      the article upthread doesn’t even mention zionism. but come to think of it what does dividing people into ethnic enclaves have to do with zionism?

      i don’t pull these article out of a hat. it actually take time. you didn’t, in the least, address anything i wrote. iraq was a neocon war. the plan to divide the ME into ethnic states is a neocon plan (go look at the new middle east map).

      not only that, did you even open the last link in the article upthread??? did you open any of the embeds?

      The US, for a variety of reasons — largely the warmth of relations with cash and oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the domestic influence of Israel – finds itself enlisted with the Sunnis in this spreading conflict. This is not the kind of entanglement Obama’s Washington could have wished for; it is the sort of thinking that the neocons have worked for.

      you think they haven’t? source it. do you thinl raed jarrar’s head is up is arse and it was just a coincidence the US implemented a policy in iraq of division of secs from day one? did you watch the video.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        YOUR ARGUMENT IS FALLACIOUS ANNIE

        “A simple principle binds the American experience of the last 10 years: Neocon intervention facilitates sectarian division as a means to an end.”

        Try 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years…… That was my point. Most of the “Realists” that get fellated here daily could have been called “neocons” while they were in power.

        You shouldn’t be given permission to write on these issues.

        I’m out.

        • Ellen says:

          Dan, you completely hijacked the thread with BS and falcious statements. It was successful in sucking some like myself in who could not let the fringe revisionist history stand. The hijack worked!

          I have absolutely no problem with our posts being deleted.

        • Keith says:

          DAN CROWTHER- “I’m out.”

          Bite your tongue! Are you going to leave me here alone? Calm down. The first thing you need to realize is that none of our comments make any difference anyway. Our comments were deleted? So what. It doesn’t happen often. Shouldn’t take any of this too seriously in any event. Were here to have a little fun, nothing more. Sometimes it works out, other times not so much. At least Annie isn’t calling for a humanitarian intervention in Syria. She was, however, unfair to you, misrepresenting your brief reference to past imperial interventions. Things did get a little out of hand when others joined the fray. These things happen and in the long run its not a big deal. I am far more concerned with the consequences of neoliberal globalization than with anything said on Mondoweiss.

      • Keith says:

        ANNIE- “…it had nothing to do with syria or iraq it was a complete highjack. it ignored all the points in the article and didn’t address them at all.”

        A couple of comments are in order. First, as I previously indicated, I thought that the article was good overall (I know you were addressing Dan). You emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of this semi-covert intervention. Bravo! Unfortunately, your final comment about this being a “neocon intervention” was both inaccurate and what precipitated the “diversion.” What once was a neocon game plan involving 7 countries now appears to be official policy being implemented opportunistically by the Obama administration. Calling it a neocon intervention implies that Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, et al are the culprits, Obama a helpless victim, the image of the shinning city on the hill frayed but intact. In other words, implying that these imperial interventions are Israel’s fault, the Zionists tainting our humanitarian empire. So Dan was properly commenting on that one aspect of your article, not thread-jacking.

        Both Dan’s and my initial comments were relatively brief, only becoming longer in response to Ellen’s lengthy regurgitation of imperial propaganda regarding the US/NATO assault on Yugoslavia. Dealing with liberal imperial apologists is a lot like dealing with liberal Zionist apologists. Here we go again, I thought. Had I realized that I had previously responded to Ellen in the past, I would have shortened my final response. No matter. Unlike Dan, I’m not particularly concerned that our comments were expunged. I have no desire to revisit Yugoslavia other than to point out that when a Democratic President makes war he can always count on loyal liberal support and ideological solidarity. And Obama can always count on some folks making excuses for him and his administration, finding good intent where none exists.

        • Taxi says:

          The posts that were removed were informative posts, nevertheless.

          Moving them downpage would have been the middle path?

        • Ellen says:

          Keith, good points. However, I think most would not call me a “liberal.” As for being an imperial apologists? Hmmm….that is hardly the case. Like I said, there are no innocents regarding the breakup of former Yugoslavia. It was going to happen anyway. It was only a matter of how and time. But the idea that the West, under the guise of Nato, assaulted Yugoslavia is simply bizarre revisionism. Talk to some former Yugoslavs.

          (As for Kosovo….you’ve got a case.)

          If you are interested in the background of the break up and the western propaganda around the war as it happened, this is an excellent history (written as it was unfolding from someone who understood much.)

          link to amazon.com

          Back to Syria: The West (which includes Israel) has no good intent for that country.

        • You emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of this semi-covert intervention. Bravo! Unfortunately, your final comment about this being a “neocon intervention” was both inaccurate and what precipitated the “diversion.”

          you’re wrong. i emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of neocon intervention, which it is. i never claimed that was the exclusive or sole point of american intervention per se. the article, in case you didn’t notice, was not an all round analysis of events in syria, in the least. (believe me, i have much more to say about syria, much more, which i evaded completely) my article was about one aspect of american intervention, which i specified in the last sentence, over the last 10 years. and clearly emphasized as pertaining to iraq and syria. furthermore, it doesn’t speak to ALL american intervention in syria( or iraq, and yes oil matters), which anyone following current reports is not a done deal. for example:

          link to theamericanconservative.com

          (and make sure to open the wsj link). the post was about ME policy re culture byway of identifying everyone by sec, almost constantly. either in the press (friedman) or in terms of explaining the conflict and certainly wrt iraq policy. and it’s not that simple, at all. the divisions are not solely sectarian (politics matter!) and friedman knows that hence he pays limited lip service byway of ‘merchants’. and now american intervention is being discussed in the same way. we’re being directed to think about the conflict in syria in the same way. and who does that ignore?

          we don’t talk about american culture that way with every single person broken down by religious factions. that was the point and it should have been clear from the blockquotes and the interview w/raed jarrar. and it was completely ignored by dan and before you know it you’re talking about nazi germany (yes you) and people are arguing over milosevc’s guilt! hello. way to completely ignore the topic i was writing about.

          now if you look at what’s going on inside the obama admin (which i didn’t in the article, because it was not the topic of the article) it’s seems pretty clear he’s not solely taking the advice of neocons (or we would probably attacked iran by now and he would have been falling all over himself listening to kristol and friends and we’d already have a no fly zone over syria). this was about one aspect of the conflict and the way americans are being directed to see and hear and think about our interventions there. and what’s the point of yapping about ‘secular intent’ when every single person’s identity is limited by sect? there are actually quite a lot of secular muslims (and arabs). they’re around, they really are. the conflict in syria involves them, but right now on the ground the problem is, for the most part, they are not in control of the opposition (and everyone knows it).

          now you guys can go ahead and yap about Yugoslavia til the cows come home, downthread.

        • yes taxi, had i had anyway of doing that i would have. i just got pissed.

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “you’re wrong. i emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of neocon intervention, which it is”

          Since the last of the neocons was forced out of the Bush administration in 2005, I’m hard put to see how you can call this a “neocon” intervention. Who’s in charge now? This is more proof by labeling. You use the term “neocon” twice in your post. The first when you label some bloggers “neocon bloggers.” The second was the last sentence when you labeled US/NATO/etc intervention as neocon intervention. You have provided neither evidence nor argument to show that this imperial intervention should be described as a neocon intervention, yet get all huffy when Dan challenges you on this point.

          As for your final link to the Henry Precht opinion piece, let me begin by pointing out that we are responding to what you wrote, not to some link. You only provided the quote in rebuttal to Dan. Furthermore, his statement that “This is not the kind of entanglement Obama’s Washington could have wished for; it is the sort of thinking that the neocons have worked for,” is yet more projection and labeling. Yet another attempt to shift the blame for administration policies onto someone else, the neocons being a useful target. Yeah, they once were in government, made a lot of plans, still have influence, however, Obama doesn’t work for them, does he? No one is forcing him to do all of this if he doesn’t want to. And since he is doing it, apparently he wants to. It’s his policy now, neocon influence notwithstanding.

          “yes taxi, had i had anyway of doing that i would have. i just got pissed.”

          Yes, you have an extremely thin skin. You were challenged on one point, however, additional commenters got involved and the discussion got diverted, albeit unintentionally. Things happen. Apparently, I can’t respond to Ellen without you taking it personal. Am I complaining that all of our comments got deleted? Nope. Things happen. But you are still pissed.

        • keith: You emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of this semi-covert intervention.

          me: you’re wrong. i emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of neocon intervention, which it is. i never claimed that was the exclusive or sole point of american intervention per se. the article, in case you didn’t notice, was not an all round analysis of events in syria, in the least.

          i’m just wondering if you can see a distinction in what you said and what i said. i didn’t call this a neocon intervention, you did.

          Since the last of the neocons was forced out of the Bush administration in 2005, I’m hard put to see how you can call this a “neocon” intervention.

          again, i didn’t call it a neocon intervention, you did. but if you’re “hard put” to find neocon influence in DC you really do not have to look too far. there are little things like think tanks (WINEP and AEI being two, or you might check out the ‘analysis’ in the pdf i linked to upthread from institute for the study of war btw, that is an ‘about page’ link. it may behoove you to open it. shocking as it may seem to you, the embeds matter, they are not random.)

          keith: As for your final link to the Henry Precht opinion piece, let me begin by pointing out that we are responding to what you wrote, not to some link. You only provided the quote in rebuttal to Dan.

          when i embed “some link” into 9 words, it means the context is in the embed. it’s not random and they exist for a reason. i don’t just link to things for the heck of it keith. now unless you can find any other reference to neocons in Precht’s article, then understanding my meaning is thru the source i provided. and let me point out, you are not responding to what i wrote, you’re responding to what you assumed i wrote.

          you have a choice here keith, you can either choose to understand my meaning, or not. but you may find some clues in the embeds.

          keith: Yet another attempt to shift the blame for administration policies onto someone else, the neocons being a useful target. Yeah, they once were in government, made a lot of plans, still have influence, however, Obama doesn’t work for them, does he? No one is forcing him to do all of this if he doesn’t want to.

          no, no one is forcing obama to do anything. i guess i am really not clear who you think i am ‘shifting’ blame to. you talk about “the neocons” as if they are 3 or 4 guys. they aren’t. neocon influence is all over DC and it’s infused into a lot of our legislation and policy decisions (including WH decisions i would imagine). that’s why neocon think tanks and the lobby exist. they are not benign. no one is forcing anyone, just like no one forced the US to invade iraq.

        • susan1 says:

          Israel is a ” Western ” country is it , Ellen, despite it ‘s clear geographical location in the Middle East, despite the fact that HALF it’s population is of Arabic Jewish origin ? I can see Israel on the map in front of me, and Israel is definitely in the Middle East! Perhaps you might go to the link in this post in which some very definitely Middle Eastern Jews in Israel , i.e. Not western, talk about their decidedly middle eastern/ Arabic jews discuss their culture and political outlook. I know it is always hard for you to face the truth , Ellen ! GOOD LUCK!! link to palestinechronicle.com

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “i didn’t call this a neocon intervention, you did.”

          Say what? This follows a block quote where you quote yourself saying: “i emphasized that the sectarian conflict was an intended consequence of neocon intervention, which it is.”

          Are you arguing with yourself? Perhaps you need to take a break and clear your mind.

        • keith, since you disagree with my statement (Neocon intervention facilitates sectarian division as a means to an end.) i take it you disagree that sectarian conflict is an intended consequence of neocon intervention, is that correct?

          i don’t need to ‘clear my mind’. just say it, that, according to you, neocon intervention (winep/aei/ISW etc) do not intentionally intervene utilizing the advancement of sectarian conflict (or the idea wrt the press/propaganda/narrative framing) either in an advisory capacity or anything else. just say you disagree with that so i can clearly understand where you are coming from.

          thanks

    • American says:

      “anything else is unwanted, simply because it does not emphasize the role of Jews.”….Dan

      Jews have not to my knowledge been emphasized on MW in relation to Syria….there has not been any ‘direct’ connection of Israel or Jews to Syria even in major European papers or by experts that I have seen. There has been speculation that Israel is pleased about their Clean Break second peg going down…or were pleased …..until they saw that some Islamist and other radicals might end up in charge.
      Jews weren’t emphasized in annie’s article….so you complain when the discussion is about Jews/Israel and complain even about articles like this that aren’t centering on Jews or Israel?
      If you want people to talk only about your one great conspiracy theory you need to do it on a site dealing ‘only’ with that subject…there are some out there.

  19. Bumblebye says:

    The film linked is by a German film maker, shown on our (UK) Channel 4 News:
    link to antonyloewenstein.com

    It looks at several groups active in the city of Aleppo, and seems to be ‘neutral’. It is also harrowing. Shows two very young child medics who work with the remnants of the health care professionals. One does not survive.

  20. American says:

    The MW code: lay everything at the feet of zionists and neocons”….Dan

    Like the Dan Code of laying everything at the feet of ONE Giant All Encompassing Coordinated Conspiracy of US and World Elites.
    You are too lazy evidently or mentally incapable of actually using “history” or analyzing separate events to understand there is no One Size Fits All Conspiracy. There have always been ‘various’ interest groups, for ‘various’ reasons, behind ‘various’ events…sometimes they cooperate with other groups and sometimes they don’t.

    We ‘realist’ have asked you and Chomsky a thousand times to show us the ‘payoff’ to the US that you claim is behind the “Israel’ colonization of Palestine……you haven’t cause you can’t cause there isn’t one. There is no ‘pay off’ to US elites in what Israel is doing except a’ Political Payoff’ to US politicians.

    The typically simple minded like yourself will trot out some example like the ‘US Weapons Industry Elite’ profiting from the Israel scheme in having 3 billion of weapons bought from the USA by Israel and/or having Israel selling US weapons to other countries they are restricted from selling to. Let’s see if you can do math and just how ‘fact” resistant you are. First, obviously is the fact that the 3 billion in taxpayer funds given to Israel to purchase arms from the US weapons industry could even easier be given to the US pentagon to purchase more weapons for the US. Second, we could even sell those same weapons to other countries like Saudi who bought 39 billion in US weapons without any US taxpayer aid. Third, is the fact that Israel is a competitor in weapons sales with the US Weapons Industry….Israel ‘sells’ all of the weapons it’s own weapons industry produces, the $ amount of weapons it sells, $7 Billion in 2012, obviously exceeds the 3 billion they get for free from the US aid. Many of the arms they manufacture and sell themselves incorporates US technology given to Israel by the US—technology that if not shared with Israel would mean countries would have to purchase it from the US weapons industry. Fourth, the fallacy that Israel sells US weapons for the US arms industry that it is forbidden from selling to certain countries—NO, it does not sell “US weapons for the US Arms industry as a ‘middle man’—-once again…it sells it’s ‘own’ weapons to countries on the US no sale list some of which have US technology in them that we have ‘shared’ with Israel. Israel is in fourth place in weapons sales world wide behind the US, Russia, and France. On top of that is the fact that due to congressional largess for Israel it has favored trade and ‘import’ status with the US to the extent that with cheaper labor and no tariffs they have captured the smaller weapons market in the US because they are cheaper—resulting in problems like the US small weapons and accessories industry not even having the production industry to provide the US military with enough bullets for the Iraq war and having to purchase them from Israel.

    There is also NO financial benefits to any US elite businesses or businessmen. Israel does $20 billion in trade and profits from it’s occupation of Palestine because Israel is the main and only entity that Palestine can trade with or through, virtually ALL of what Palestine needs and gets has to come from Israel. If any US Elites are getting rich off the Palestine occupation it is because he or they is a US Jew living in Israel and doing business with or providing a service to Israel in their occupation, construction on Palestine land or some occupation related other venture. There are no US corps like WalMart or Ford or Dell Homes or Exxon or Microsoft or JP Morgan operating in Palestine for profit or cheap labor.

    There is also no US ME Imperial Domination *benefit* to the US in supporting Israel as everything it does make it even MORE difficult for the US to actually control the ME.
    There is no US access to ME Oil protected or ” guaranteed” by Israel — it is the ‘opposite’, their aggression and constant shit stirring in the region makes it even more unstable.

    Annie’ backs up her’ work with ‘facts’ or at minimum informed expert opinions….. you don’t, and when asked to furnish proof of your One Great Conspiracy and the Great Satan who does ‘everything’ for One Same Elite Reason you fly into a huff and call everyone else stupid.
    Well, we aren’t the stupid ones buddy.

  21. MK_Ultra says:

    Paint me blue and call me a cynic but the US couldn’t care what religious faction takes over in Libya so long as whoever it is, fits comfortably enough inside its pockets. Of course, being “secular” would lend a bit more credibility to the narrative of regime change for the sake of democracy [insert laugh].

  22. susan1 says:

    Hold on a minute, all of a sudden you are now interested in Syria ?. Only now , two years on , you are sounding the alarm about Syria? Rather hypocritical don’t you think , considering any attempt to bring the subject up for real discussion on the very website was .dismissed as ” hasbara .” If you can see how the outside ” intervention” ie meddling in Syria’s affairs has only served to intensify the civil war in that country, then why not apply the same lesson you have learnt to the Israel/ Palestine mess ? In fact, sectarian division between Jews and Arabs was the very thing entailed and promoted by the disastrous Oslo Peace Accords , a ” a peace treaty ” foisted on both the Israelis AND the Palestinians , a peace treaty , the main aim of which was to re- partition the land belonging to both peoples , and to begin a process by which both parties and the conflict could be ” contained” ( particularly the Palestinian population under military occupation). This process of course being known as “conflict resolution”. A process by which actual progress towards peace could be suspended indefinitely , also a process dis-empowering both Israelis and Palestinians from coming to an accommodation over their future by themselves, a future determined BY their own leaders, without outside interference. Dan Crowther’s comment above makes a great point, about the destruction of Yugoslavia , and the hypocrisy of those that became cheerleaders for Western meddling in the Balkans, meddling that only served to make the conflict bloodier and more protracted than it needed to be. Something people don’t realise about the Balkans conflict is that in 1989 only months after the Communist bloc had begun to crumble , the Americans sent a delegation to Belgrade to challenge the Serbs about human rights in Kosovo, an act which meant the Americans were interfering with the INTERNAL business of what was then a unitary and sovereign state. Years later, the media and the pro intervention cheerleaders had the nerve to claim that the West had simply ignored the Balkans. Not true at all, as soon as they had the opportunity to interfere in the fragile sovereign state of Yugoslavia, the West was in there already , after the fall of the Communist bloc , gleefully ratcheting up the pressure on Yugoslavia regardless of how American, and later the Germans and the E.U, intervention would only intensify the conflict by bolstering secessionist claims by Bosnia, Croatia et al, while simultaneously serving to bolster the Serb nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic ( a very bad idea) An important point about Yugoslavia is that the Communist bloc era had afforded protection to Yugoslavia , in the sense that the Western powers couldn’t interfere in the Balkan state’s internal affairs. In any case, where are the Neo- cons now Annie? , is it not the case that the your President is a Democrat , like Bill Clinton ? ( Bill Clinton being the one who persuaded the Bosnian Muslims to reject a perfectly reasonable peace plan , meaning the conflict returned to the battlefield during which the vast majority of the killing took place, including a massacre of muslims in Srebrenica , a massacre which seems to have been a brutal response to an earlier massacre of at least one hundred SERB civilians living in the are around Srebrenica, Srebrenica being the town Muslim militias launched attacks on Serb militias and civilians in the early days of the Bosnian civil war. ) Where were the neo – cons in Yugoslavia ,or in Syria today, Annie? All I see is the deleterious effects of American, European so called ” diplomacy”. It has been the pattern for decades , regardless of “neo- con” input . It is merely the Great Powers of the day enforcing their right to meddle in the affairs of other smaller, less powerful nations or peoples , whilst simultaneously competing with the other Great Powers for global hegemony and influence. By the way , I have always wondered how America, Britain could have got away with the Iraq Invasion/ war if people had only come out and opposed the Balkan intervention , particularly in 1999 when Nato made ” Humanitarian War” ( imagine that ! HUMANITARIAN MILITARISM, yes Tony Blair tried to convince us there was such a thing ! he did it at least twice, in the Balkans and over Iraq ) in Kosovo ,( incidentally ,prior to the Nato bombing, Aid Agencies WARNED that such intervention would bring about a humanitarian catastrophe , a warning predictably ignored by Nato politicians ). Perhaps people might not have been so easy to fool when it came to claims about WMD and the necessity of invasion and war in Iraq if only people hadn’t been so apathetic in 1999 , and no, I don’t believe apathy is the ” natural state “,( as Gamal seemed to misunderstand a comment I made about apathy on another thread) of many Westerners, opposition to the Vietnam war demonstrated that people in the West were not always apathetic. In any case ,it seems even bigger trouble than Syria is brewing over North Korea at the moment. The Americans , ever so thoughtfully , decided to increase paranoia exponentially in the North Korean regime by spending this last month flying a whole fleet of stealth bombers over South Korean territory and conducting on the ground military exercises with their South Korean ally, infuriating North Korea . Russia is warning that the North Korean situation could spiral out of control. Another triumph for American ” diplomacy” ! Lets hope it is just more sabre rattling. Wishing you all a Happy Easter !

  23. Yes, what an achievement by the liar neocon warmongers who conspired to set up the illegal US invasion of Iraq: destruction of a secular society.

  24. Blank State says:

    Hey, now theres a constructive debate on MW! Lets see if we can bicker amongst ourselves while the fox raids the henhouse. Smart.

  25. Taxi says:

    Re: Syria.

    After the Syrian army being somewhat restrained for the past 24 months, I have it on good authority that the Russians have privately given the Syrian government the green light to go all out against the islamist extremist in Syria and their supporters elsewhere by this coming June, even though a move like that greatly risks a regional war.

    I surmise from this that the Syrian government is ready to drag a reluctant israel into a military confrontation, thereby bringing in Iran and also an eager hizbollah into the fray. Israel thinks it can safely fight wars with its neighbors using islamic proxies and not the idf – hence its “reluctance” to get directly involved – being mindful here that now its enemies have the firepower to place the israeli civilian population before, and not behind, the idf.

    I also surmise that behind closed doors, America is dragging its feet regarding ‘sharing’ the mideast loot with the Russians and the Russians have now run out of patience and want to show America a fact or two, a reality or two, regarding America’s waning hegemony in the mideast.

    Fasten your seatbelts brothers and sisters.

    • Taxi – - You think Hezbollah is “eager” to get involved in the civil war in Syria?

      • Taxi says:

        Jesus crumbs james canning! I ain’t talking about a “civil war in Syria”, I’m talking about a wider regional war that could be ignited by the Syrian army’s scorched earth policy against the Salafists.

        • Taxi – - The Syrian gov’t is unlikely to want Israeli military intervention in the civil war. Granted, Israeli involvement offers or would offer PR opportunities.

        • Taxi says:

          Israel is already sending arms, money and medicine to the Syrian salafists – using them as proxy, just like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and USA are.

          You honestly don’t think Syria’s got an ‘israel card’ in its bag of strategic tricks?

          Also, define civil war. Then see if it fits the current Syrian conflict.

        • i wouldn’t call it a civil war either. and i wouldn’t call it a sectarian conflict.

          re israel, here’s a bizarre link from a turkish writer

          Thinking the Unthinkable: Can Israel Remove Syria’s Assad?

          link to english.alarabiya.net

        • seafoid says:

          They can’t seem to get the Syrian opposition to unite on anything.
          It’s a mess. Why should Qatar have anything to do with Syria?

          Bring the Shaam back to life.

        • Taxi – - Do you prefer calling the situation an insurrection? Revolt?

        • Taxi says:

          James,
          The conflict in Syria started off as a legitimate revolt but within a week it was usurped/hijacked by violent outsider mercenaries hellbent on breaking Syria in the mode of Libya and Iraq.

        • Taxi says:

          From Annie’s link, a Saudi funded propaganda sheet, alarabiya:
          “Jerusalem will surely make good on Netanyahu’s promise of compensation to the families of the Turkish dead, and it is certain that when it does so, Turkish-Israeli relations will undergo a renaissance.”

          LOL – no less than a renaissance eh!

          Turkish bottle-blondes are now on Saudi payroll. Yes ‘they’ live in desperate times indeed.

    • Taxi says:

      Okay let me put it another way: Putin and Obama are meeting this June to discuss the mideast, to determine who controls which parts of it. As it stands, the Syrian territory is still under the umbrella of the Russians and the Americans are trying to yank it to their side using the Salafists. The Russians have now given a green light to the Syrian army to go all out and crush the Salafists (scorched earth policy) so that the Bashar government can remain in power and the Russians can have a stronger hand to play at the June negotiating table.

      In other words, we’re gonna be seeing a heckalotta more killing in Syria between now and June – a degree of violence that may very well spark a regional war.

      • @Taxi – - Can you name one country Vladimir Putin wants controlled by Russia, in the Middle East?

        • Taxi says:

          Is that a serious question, james – you playing dumb here? Do you know anything about the machinations and ambitions of empire? Ever heard of the concept of ‘strategy’?

      • MRW says:

        Why Washington Wants ‘Finito’ with Putin – F. William Engdahl
        link to dprogram.net

        Salafism+CIA: The winning formula to destabilize Russia, the Middle East by F. William Engdahl
        link to voltairenet.org

        The assassination of the most respected Sufi religious leader in Dagestan, Russia’s volatile Caucasus, comes as Salafist jihadists in Libya murder a US Ambassador who was actually a key player in ousting Gaddafi and bringing the Salafist Muslim Brotherhood and Jihadists into power. Throughout the entire Islamic world today, a wave of hate is being unleashed in the name of Islamic fundamentalism that could bring a new world war. This is the consequence of the Greater Middle East Project put in play in 2010 and earlier by the Washington-London-Tel Aviv axis. Manipulating religious fervor is an explosive cocktail as F. William Engdahl shows here.

        “Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.”

        CHECK THE MAP. A war sprouted in the Caucusus is a launching point for Iran. China fears the same.

        • Taxi says:

          People forget that the Mujaheddin, who are really Afghani salafists, used to be best friends with the CIA. Looks like the Mujaheddin and the CIA have patched up their differences since 9/11 and it’s business as usual again – mutual benefits guaranteed.

          Realpolitik on steroids, huh!

          We need to change the saying ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ to ‘the enemy of my enemy is my frenemy’.

    • Taxi says:

      To understand the unblinding level of intelligence of the writers of wikispaces that dear susan1 has linked us to, just check out their I/P page:
      link to 2012middleeast.wikispaces.com

      • omg that’s hysterical. i don’t know where to begin! The Palestinian Muslims grew very angry to the point were they had what was called a Religious strike, where they destroyed many Jewish farms and homes, effectively killing their means of surviving.

        !!!!!

        i have no idea who cleared susie’s comment (3 days late). it certainly wasn’t me. this is the kind of stuff that normally doesn’t see the light of day on MW, but i suppose it does have a certain entertainment value.

        • Taxi says:

          “i don’t know where to begin!”
          You can say that again, Annie! LOL! That page should be printed as a ‘Zionist History For Dummies’ paperback.

          I was not only “entertained” by the bubble-gum diction, but I found it hilarious that an outraged wikispaces member kept butting in right in mid-paragraph and in red ink, no less! Marvelous function!

        • Cliff says:

          How don’t you know, annie?

          And why did IL48′s comment about ‘Pallywood’ get through?

          Who decides?

          I have several pending too.

        • how don’t i know who cleared it? because if there’s a function that informs who cleared a comment i don’t know about it. because it’s not worth a group email to ask. there are probably pages and pages of pending comments cliff.

  26. jon s says:

    I’m surprised Mondoweiss hasn’t picked up on the natural gas find, and it’s impications. It’s being talked about here as a “game-changer”:
    link to haaretz.com

    • Hostage says:

      I’m surprised Mondoweiss hasn’t picked up on the natural gas find, and it’s impications. It’s being talked about here as a “game-changer”:

      LOL! We’ve talked about the natural gas fields here in the past. FYI, if Lebanon disputes the boundary, you can assume that the Palestinians might eventually follow suit as well. After all, Israel and the US are always touting the idea that the boundaries can only be established through negotiations and the coastal region north of Acre was allocated to the Arab State under the UN partition plan, e.g. compare:
      * link to alarabiya.net
      * link to images.nationalgeographic.com
      * link to unc.edu

      Even friendly states have a history of disputing their maritime boundaries in such cases:
      *NORTH SEA CONTINENTAL SHELF CASES
      link to icj-cij.org

    • Sumud says:

      It’s being talked about here as a “game-changer”

      Runaway trains are called “runaway” for a reason. There’ll be no “game-changers” now for Israel, just a spectacular crash.