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Two hideous alternatives ?

Reader comment on item: Thoughts on the Syrian Downing of a Turkish Warplane

Submitted by Axel (Germany), Jun 25, 2012 at 08:27

Dear Mr. Pipes,

I sincerely believe that there cannot be such an ambiguity towards the two parties in the Syrian conflict. On the one side we got the Sunni islamic "rebels", who are supported by Al-Quaeda, Saudi-Arabia and the newly islamist Egypt under the Moslem Brotherhood (the parent organization of Gaza's Hamas). Those "rebels" are hellbent on turning Syria into yet another islamic caliphate, where shariah reigns and minorities such as the Syrian Orthodox Christians or the Alawites are persecuted, robbed, raped, driven off their land and ultimately killed. The islamist rebels are also entirely hostile towards Jews and Israel.

In case that they win, Syria's huge and modern stockpile of weapons - incl. missiles and rockets of all shapes and sizes as well as chemical and biological agents - will be used in either a direct war against Israel or passed on to Hizb'Allah, Hamas, Al-Quaeda and other islamic jihad (western lingo: "terror") organizations.

Whereas on the other hand we find Assad, a secular Alawite, and the Baath Party, a secular and modernist semi-socialist party and ideology, which has kept the ethnically diverse Syria at peace for decades and guaranteed freedom, incl. religious freedom, and moderate wealth and prosperity for all its citizens. One of the most striking symbols for Assad's regime is that women in Syria do not have to wear hijab, niqab or burqa right now -- under the islamist rebels, they will be forced to do so, and the whole of Syria will become a new Iran or Afghanistan. What's more, Assad has also kept the peace with Israel for decades, though technically the two nations are at a state of war. But Assad and the Baath Party got no interest in a war with Israel, as they know the stakes -- and though they might not like the Jews, they are no radical ideologues like the islamic rebels, who would risk the fate of Syria and the lives of its citizens without thinking twice about it, if they got a chance to attack Israel.

My conclusion is therefore - and this is not only my personal opinion, but also the assessment of many Israeli analysts and IDF generals - that we have to take sides in this conflict and clearly support Assad. You may not like him on a personal level, in fact I do not think he's a sympathetic man, but given the choices we got, Baath Party or Islam, I will take the Baath party in a heartbeat. It's the best for Syria, and the best for Israel. By the way, Turkey needs to be thrown out of NATO. While it might have been a Cold War requirement to have Minor Asia as a western forward base against the USSR, the world has changed, the evil empire is no more, and the islamist Turkey of today has little to do with the secularist Turkey of the 1960s.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

We agree on suspending or evicting Turkey from NATO but otherwise you put a far too rosy gloss on the brutal totalitarian dictatorship in Damascus that is allied with the greatest danger of the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, I cannot agree with you that it serves our interests to support the Syrian regime.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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