The 21st Century Phenomenon


There is a substantial difference between the Arab uprisings, called by some “Arab Spring”, in the Western countries of Egypt and the Maghreb: Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, and the Eastern countries, the heartland of the Arab World, between the Mediterranean and IranSyria, Iraq, the Gulf Emirates, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. While in the countries West to the Suez Canal the uprisings were triggered, primarily, by internal domestic problems, in the Eastern Arab countries the the violence and riots are shaped by the larger conflict between Shiaa and Sunna, between Iran and Saudi Arabia (see – ABYSS IN ISLAM ).

The “Shiite axis” or the “Shiite-Arc” , as King Abdullah of Jordan preferred to call the Iranian allies and proxies when he warned President Bush from the outcome of the invasion to Iraq in early 2003, straches from Bahrain and the Eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, where a large community of Shiite immigrants, mostly from Iran, is living,. It goes on through Iraq, where the majority are Shiites, through Syria where Sunnis are the majority but a sect affiliated with the Shiaa, the Aalouites, rule the country and up to Lebanon, on the Mediterranean, where Shiites are, again, the majority (see – Baker-Hamilton report ).

On one side Iran is supporting its Shiaa allies militarily and politically. They finance so called Shiaa “opposition” groups in Bahrain (see – BahraIn 2011 Crisis), the Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia. They train Shiaa militias in Iraq and Lebanon while gaining influence and control on the local regimes and they support with weapon, experience and men power the Syrian regime (see – IRANIAN COBWEBS ).

On the other side Saudi Arabia is backing Bahrain and the other Gulf Emirates to crack down on any Shiite political activity, mainly in Bahrain. Sunni Muslims Brotherhood are the spearhead of the Syrian uprising, militias, some of them supported by Al Qaeda and other supported by Saudi Arabia, are fighting the Iraqi pro-Shiaa regime in an ongoing violent conflict inside Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites while Qatar and Saudi Arabia lead international effort in the UN and the Arab League to isolate Syria, to replace the pro-Iranian regime with a pro Arab regime with Sunni orientation.

Up to a year ago the epicenter of the Sunni-Shiaa rift was Iraq. Now the conflict widened, from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. It is no longer a Syrian uprising – it is a wide confrontation between Iran and the Arab World, between Sunnis and Shiites and between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is not a confrontation between democracy and Tyrany and the epicenter of the regional religious conflict is, nowadays, Syria (see – SYRIAN DILEMA ).

According to the Arabic TV Channel Al-Arabiya, on 03/12/2012, an Iraqi Sunni tribal Sheikh admitted to sending “hundreds of men and tens of thousands of dollars worth of arms and other aid” to Syria to support the rebellion against embattled President Bashar Assad.

Amide twin suicide attacks in Damascus, on 03/17/2012, an Arab diplomat told AFP that Saudi Arabia, which closed its embassy in Damascus this week, has started delivering arms to Syrian rebels, while its rival Iran is suspected of sending weapons to its Syrian regime allies.

Iraq, probably under immense American pressure, has informed Tehran it will not allow arms shipments to Syria pass through or over its territory, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Saturday. So far Iraq overlooked Iranian activity related to Syria, But the USA has said it was concerned that Iranian cargo flights over Iraq to Syria could be carrying arms to help Damascus crush protests.

The escalation in Syria is not only and not primarily about Syria but mainly about Iranian position toward the Arab world and the outcome of the Syrian conflict will determine whether Iran will seek nuclear military capacity, who will control the flow of oil through the Hormuz Strait and whether Saudi Arabia or Iran will dominate the Arab Middle East .

From the prospect of the Arab World the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians no longer define the Arab World – it is now the much greater conflict between Sunnis and Shiites and it is totally unrelated to the ‘traditional” conflict with Israel .  


* Related topics ;








Please Share...