Skip to comments.Syria’s Assad May Be Losing Control Over His Deadly Militias
Posted on 09/15/2013 5:35:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Most of the proregime militias around the country are regionally based and funded by local businessmen or religious leaders eager to curry favor with the government and shore up their own protection networks... shabiha has its origins in the loose-knit smuggling and organized crime networks of Latakia province, the coastal enclave where Assad's Alawite sect dominates. These days, shabiha are just as likely to be Sunni, Kurdish or even Eastern Orthodox Christian as Alawite, says Lund. Some gangs have been organized into Popular Committees, a kind of armed neighborhood watch with independent leadership and few centralized directives other than to defend the regime in whatever way they deem necessary. In many cases this means setting up roadblocks, taking bribes, charging protection money, looting the homes and businesses of suspected rebels and otherwise raising funds to cover their costs by dint of their weapons. "When these gangs can't get financing from the government they start extorting the local communities," says Lund. That enables them to keep fighting, but it also means they are less beholden to Assad. "The government has more important things to do than put a stop to it." ...Bashar Assad's success in keeping them reined in when he inherited the presidency from his father is now being undone, says the businessman who spoke to TIME on condition of anonymity. "[Assad] is telling his friends, 'I managed to contain these groups for over 10 years. Now that they are unleashed, I can't stop them."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
It’s called an alibi.
It does not matter. Iran will not allow a Salafist govt in Damascus.
Iran is jihadist, so that’s a distinction without a difference.
Nonetheless, if there were a danger of the slammite brohood taking over MY town and the only weapon I had to stop them with was sarin gas, guess what......
He had the army. The only “militias” were Christians and minority Muslims (alawites like Assad and some Shiites) defending their neighborhoods.
All of these Middle Eastern countries are disparate groups clumped together by random lines drawn by dead English guys. The only way a ruler can hold power is by either crushing ethnic groups or bribing them. Or both. Since none of these countries have a national identity as soon as the iron grip is loosened they go back to their tribal identities. We’re seeing this played out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
Iran's jihadism has killed around 300 Americans. Sunnis have killed about 10000. While Iran's nuke program should certainly be destroyed, I can't get too worked up about the Iranian regime's perpetual stream of rants, which don't differ materially from the stuff coming from Sunnis, with one key difference - Sunnis act upon their rhetoric far more frequently than Shiites do.
>> “Sunnis act upon their rhetoric far more frequently than Shiites do.” <<
For sure! - And more drastically too.
I think it's a mistake to over-emphasize this as the reason for conflict. A big problem was that the majority ethnic or religious groups tended not to take kindly to the creation of nation states for minorities they had traditionally invaded and slaughtered at will prior to colonial rule. Indonesia, for instance, annexed lands the predecessor Javanese empire never had control of, including West Papua and East Timor. To set up a state for Alawites would have meant immediate war after independence. The whole point of letting overseas territories have their independence was to end the steady stream of casualties and the minimal benefits from European-style colonialism, which re-invested government revenues from the colonial territories in colonial infrastructure instead of building Taj Mahal-type white elephants in the metropole like the Mughals.
Your point is well taken. My purpose was not to blame dead English guys but to emphasize the lack of national identity in most residents of the Middle East.
Oh, 300, so it’s okay then.
Al Qaeda in Syria gets funded by various rich sheikhs in the Gulf, meanwhile Al Qaeda in the Sahara gets funded by Iran. The Sunni-Shiite dichotomy is a false one.
It's like trying to set up a single nation containing Jews and Germans after a thousand years of Holocausts.
Two evils are fighting each other. I'm inclined to side with the lesser of two evils. The number of dead Americans inflicted by each denomination is the way I keep score. Another interesting factoid is that sudden jihad syndrome stateside is exclusively a Sunni phenom. The Shiite on the street really isn't all that hostile to Americans. Sunnis, on the other hand...
At the governmental level, we always side with the Sunnis. Because the Gulf Arabs offer politicians a lot of post-retirement perks, involving sinecures, stipends and all kinds of cash kickbacks. The media probably gets a lot of loving from the Gulf Arabs to secure favorable coverage. Academia is clearly chockful of Sunni Arab-funded endowments for Islamic/Middle Eastern Studies chairs (as well as for other subjects).
But with the Germans thinking that they hadn’t taught the Jews a thorough enough lesson.
More government-sponsored propaganda?
This is getting more and more like the good ‘ole USSR.
And - Obama has lost control of his mouth as well as his train of thought.
Working with a group of Muslims I ask what mosque they attend, They said there NONE! Chicagoland has one or more in every town! They said Detroit has some and if they went to the wrong one they would be spotted beaten! Some of the rituals are different and easy to detect.
All the mosque around Chicago are Sunni, and there are many,many.
Meanwhile the rebels fight each other.
There is Hezbollah but they do not answer to Assad
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.