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    05 February 2006

    US Gov't tactically Using the Cartoon Controversy

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    [UPDATE] Juan Cole agrees with most of my analysis below:
    The Beirut violence follows that of Damascus on Saturday, where a mob attacked the Danish and Norwegian embassies and attempted to go after the Swedish and French embassies. The Baath government in Syria is secular, and normally rules with a heavy hand. But the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is extremely powerful among the 80 percent of the population that is Sunni Muslim, and it forms an underground dissident opposition. It seems to me more likely that Muslim radicals took advantage of the protest to incite a mob than that the Syrian Baath deliberately unleashed arsons on the Danes. Washington and other anti-Syrian Western powers cynically played power politics with the incident, accusing the Syrian government of having the embassies torched, something that seems unlikely and for which there is no proof.

    Reuters reports, ' Syria's grand Mufti Badr Eddine Hassoun, told government newspaper al-Thawra that the attackers did their country harm. "We feel sorrow that these people who were driven by passion reached the stage where they have undermined our dialogue with the Norwegian and Danes," he said. '

    But he does not agree that the Saudis were provoking the rioting, he argues that it has been festering in the Muslim Danish communities since September and spread slowly to the Middle East as more papers published the Cartoons.

    ::

    The US had to get into the controversy over the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which appeared in several European newspapers beginning in September 2005 (4 months ago). As usual the US took this opportunity to blame Syria for the wave of rioting and general violence that has swept across parts of the Middle East; Burning Danish Embassy, burning Danish flags in Lebanon and Syria, boycotts in Saudi Arabia, protests and a possible assassination of a catholic priest in Turkey, and spreading out to Libya and Indonesia, and they'll blame Iran if one of their embassy's goes up as well (this list goes on...). But this accusation against Syria only adds up when you use the logic that has been used by Sec. Rice and her team of neo-con brain surgeons. The same logic that makes you "surprised" when Hamas wins a majority government in Palestinian elections.

    Point is: This doesn't add up.

    Syria's government is secular and in the minority. They do not have the influence to reach any state outside of the Middle East (note here that Saudi Arabia does have this influence). However those Muslim Brothers have the numbers in Syria (on the order of 60+%) and they look to Saudi Arabia not Damascus. In fact, many protesters rioters were waving the Saudi flag. But that would be to hard for the traditional media or the government to check for wouldn't it? Or maybe it’s all part of their plan?

    Bottom line, this has all been orchestrated by the Saudi clerics or even government (is there even a separation in Saudi Arabia?), as argued here by Soj (from across the ocean).

    Who the F are these people in our government who continue to replace simple logic and basic facts with instigative politics and untested ideology. It really should be stopped.

    Posted by Geoff

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