As the Assad regime goes into terminal rictus one is still reluctant to make a move, however, a matter of grave importance demands our attention.
Syria has become a lake of blood, but only the childrenʼs blood is innocent for deep down below lie the unmeasured depths of the historic swamp. Assad, squalid though his family are, is not the cause of their suffering, he is a result.
The result of the Syrian peopleʼs decades long plunge into a secular western dialectic in which power, political power had been detached from financial power, that is to say political socialism and nationalism, two worlds which when joined together gave Germany Nazi-ism.
Nasser was the founding father of the destruction of the Arab world, one which left Arabia as Americaʼs gas station. The baathism, or secular socialism that swept Syria and Iraq, itself the vatican-blessed creation of a militant christian, proved irresistible to Arabs longing for modernity and the myth of independence. Soon in both countries the nationalism dominated and the socialism dissolved into modernity.
The Syrian people are themselves to blame for the totalitarian rule they put themselves under just as the Cypriot people are entirely to blame for the financial regime now collapsing over their heads. Both these nations thought the regime was going to make them rich and modern. Syria took politics without financial power, Cyprus took finance without political power.
Before the Syrian regime foundered it was sustained by three social forces. One: the fascist minority, the Shiʼa tribal family of Assad. Two: the passive Muslim middle class longing for domestic appliances. Three: the educated Muslims who hid behind an esotericised sufism or a collaborative modernity of ʻtolerance.ʼ
Deeper in the Syrian swamp of poverty lurked the pure (doctrinally) modernist Ikhwan al-Muslimun. When the uprising that led to the notorious slaughter of men, women and children – 10 to 20 thousand – the number is chillingly uncertain, the cause of their murder was the political naivety of the Ikhwan who in their stupidity believed that the Iranian revolutionary shiʼa stood against dictatorship. The Shiʼa begged the Ikhwan to wait – first Saddam then Assad, they promised! Determined to go ahead, the Shiʼa informed Assad and so he preempted the uprising.
Since the demise of Mubarak there has been an awakening of Ikhwanism from Tunisia to the Yemen plunging the Arabs again into deep darkness – the darkness of a past that teaches politics without financial power. The best definition of the miserable doctrine of the Ikhwan is that their perfect model of society is Herbert Hooverʼs America, i.e. corporation capitalism plus Prohibition. Usury without booze, oh yes, and women disguised as black post-boxes!
The present situation does demand intervention. The esotericised sufis have failed in their duty as teachers and guides. Inside the country we are witnessing the same crisis as befell Bosnia – heroic soldiers fighting for freedom on the battlefield and ruthlessly greedy politicians auditioning for power in Istanbul and Doha.
After the macabre choice of a christian, the impressive choice of Moaz al-Khatib looked like a step to integration. Alas, Qatar, terrified of its vociferous Shiʼa population, accepted the Shiʼa tolerant, or Shiʼa-soft Ikhwani representative as interim Prime Minister. Behind this man, Ghassan Hitto, stands the whole reawakening and reactionary force of the Ikhwan, already auditioning to take over a unified world Islam re-designed as Ikhwani capitalism complete with tolerance, human rights, banking and women in black bags – a price they would say is better than belly dancing.
The irony of all this is that just as the Arab world has abandoned Islam (by abolishing a collected Zakat) the United States has the highest national statistic in the world for new Muslims.
Istanbul must beware of its own internal integrity as a Muslim state as the excellent Prime Minister appears to be dangerously influenced by an Ikhwani cabal in danger of dragging this government into the same adventures which sank Dr. Erbakan.
Moaz al-Khatib must be re-instated on the demission ordered on the Ikhwani, Mr. Hitto.