A bit of one-sided Western bs article ... one observation may merit some attention ...
Assad the outcast being sold to the west as key to peace in Middle East | The Guardian - Sept. 26, 2021 |
Another dynamic has helped lure Assad back into the fold: the rise of Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman, and the revamp he is attempting of the Kingdom - away from a rigid theological regime where clerics compete with rulers for power, to an Arab nationalist police state - of the type that Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi would have instinctively recognised.
An influential aide of a regional leader says Assad feels emboldened by the new attention. "The Saudis have sent their spy chief, and the Emiratis want to do business with him. And now the Americans and Jordanians. He has become impossible to deal with. He's been insisting that he won't compromise on Syria at all, and that all Americans have to leave Deir Azzour. He's even been demanding that he has a say in where they withdraw to."
In the north-eastern Syrian city of Qamishli, where the country's Kurds dominate local affairs, Assad's steady resurgence has not gone unnoticed. Here, he is seen as a pyrrhic victor of a war of attrition more than a strategist; his survival due to Syria's historical role in the region and the way the modern state was constructed by his late father, Hafez al-Assad.
After withdrawal, Trump shifts focus to Syria's oil fields | AP News - Oct. 17, 2019 |
Belligerence In Syria and Beyond | EuroTrib - July 18, 2021 |
War crimes in Syria: a shared responsibility | Syria Comment |
The Scourge of Wahhabism and Saudi Jihadist terror across the globe
Islamic Institutions in Arab States: Mapping the Dynamics of Control, Co-option, and Contention | Carnegie Endowment | (pdf)
Pro-state Islamic figures and organizations often have more agency and leverage than is commonly assumed, stemming from their role as intermediaries with society. Depending on their popularity and social capital, they can sometimes negotiate a quid pro quo in exchange for keeping quiet about politics, such as retaining some authority to speak on personal and social matters (though regimes have often encroached on these issues as well). Yet religious figures who have fallen under government control also have to manage their moral authority, straddling the perception that they are serving as mouthpieces for the worldly agendas of politicians rather than focusing on matters like faith and piety.
Beyond this, the line between official and nonofficial Islam is often blurred and fluid. A range of actors with varying degrees of proximity to the state make pronouncements about Islam, ranging from trained, official clergy to judges and lawmakers to media personalities who have substantial followings but whose formal knowledge of Islamic legal matters is often shallow. In some instances, the state has created, paid, and sustained new social and political constituencies whose role is to lobby and campaign for so-called Islamic reforms via legal and administrative changes.
This current phase of state intervention in the Islamic sphere is significant in its scope, pace, and sophistication, reflecting in part the immense political, social, and economic challenges Arab regimes have faced in the years since the 2011 Arab Spring--which have been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. In responding to the public health crisis and its economic fallout, many states' Islamic establishments, through control of public messaging, mosques, and distribution of welfare and services, have been mobilized as tools to burnish a government's legitimacy in front of anxious publics and sometimes deflect culpability through scapegoating.
State led co-option and control of Islamic institutions also stems from domestic military threats from radicalized Islamists and, especially, pressure from Western allies and patrons to tackle these threats as part of a broader rubric of countering violent extremism. This latter driver has created a useful incentive for Arab governments allied with the United States to package their oversight and regulation of Islamic institutions and discourse as reforms.
These reforms, which in some cases are targeted toward nonviolent Muslim critics of the regime, amount to a sleight of hand. Based on the faulty assumption that a supposedly incorrect interpretation of Islam is a primary driver of radical violence, the adjustments create the appearance for Western audiences of progress on counter-extremism while ignoring the more proximate sources of militancy, like Arab regimes' human rights violations, judicial and prison abuses, and corruption--all of which have in many instances worsened in Arab states. Put differently, for Arab rulers, the promotion of an allegedly moderate Islam through institutionalization and formalization means an Islam that presents no threat to their political survival rather than, as Western policymakers hope, an Islam that defangs violent radicalism.
From the diaries ...
Makkah Siege of 1979 - Turning Point in Saudi Arabia
AI assassination by Israel robot killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's chief nuclear scientist, should have been condemned by the International community respecting Human Rights ... and sanity.