If you?re like many Americans, you probably have some vague perception of what is going on in Syria right now:
There is a civil war being fought there, and there is an ?evil? dictator who is killing ?innocent? citizens. Not only that, he is using chemical weapons to do it?something strictly prohibited according to the Geneva Conventions, the fourth of which was set in 1949?and several hundred Syrian civilians died on August 21 in the Damascus suburbs.
The Syrian Conflict
As is often true of conflict, there is no cut-and-dried certainty that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was the culprit behind the chemical weapon attack. There are other theories about who was responsible, most of which cite the fact that there was no real advantage for Assad in doing it.
In spite of this, the U.S. president?and many others?are stalwart in their belief there should be a consequence for the actions of the Assad, whether or not he released chemical weapons on the innocent civilians of Syria. That consequence is the unleashing of missiles aimed at Syria, for which the president is attempting to obtain approval by the U.S. Congress.
There is also the humanitarian angle: The United States feels an obligation to be the white knight in protecting the ?innocents? in Syria who are caught in the crossfire between two warring tribes, which is popularly reported in the mainstream media.
The Real Reason Behind U.S. Military Involvement in Syria
According to Paul Evancoe, a retired career Navy SEAL and author of numerous feature articles in national and foreign journals and magazines, as well as author of three novels, the real reason behind potential U.S. involvement in Syria is not about chemical weapons at all. Or about coming to the rescue of the citizens of Syria. It?s not about a brutal ruler?s battle with another tribal faction. It?s a struggle over natural resources and money, plain and simple. It?s geopolitics not benevolence.
Let?s move away from Syria for a moment and talk about Qatar. Qatar, which is the world?s largest exporter of liquid natural gas, wants to build a natural gas line through Syria. Assad says no, that he must protect the interests of his ally Russia, which is Europe?s top supplier of natural gas. Qatar is not happy about this, obviously, and wants to control Syria?s government?called a ?puppet regime??so they can install the pipeline, sell gas to Europe, and make lots of money. (To this end, they have spent about $3 billion to support Syrian rebels.)
Russia’s Involvement with the Syrian Conflict
Russia, on the other hand, supports the Assad regime. Not only have Syrian contracts with the Russian defense industry exceeded about $4 billion and has Moscow just signed a $550-million deal with Syria for combat training jets, but Russia also leases a naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus, giving the Russian navy warm water access. If Qatar is successful in getting natural gas into Europe, this will be a huge blow to Russia.
So where does the United States come into all this?
Let?s go back to 2009, when the Nabucco Agreement was signed by several European countries as well as Turkey. The agreement was that a natural gas pipeline would be run across Turkey into Austria?bypassing Russia to benefit Qatar. The problem with this is that Syria?Russia?s ally?stands in the way of Qatar making lots of money.
Here?s where the United States comes into the equation: The United States has a ton of natural gas?the largest known supply in the world, actually. Natural gas prices have been suppressed here to set up for the United States involvement in the European natural gas market at the same time as dismantling the monopoly Russians have held for years. If the United States can get rid of the Assad regime, it will be good for the Saudis or Qatar?and it will be bad for Russia.
The bottom line is that what seems to be a U.S. conflict with Syria is actually a conflict between the United States and Russia. Therefore, says Evancoe, there is absolutely no reason for the United States to get involved with the conflict in Syria. Evancoe doesn?t mince words: ?Let our enemies kill each other,? he says in reference to the tribal civil war in that country.
There is fear too that if missiles are launched into Syria, a full-on war could follow, with U.S. Military troops being deployed into Syria. More lives lost. All over a natural gas pipeline. Is it really worth it?
Article Written by Sue Collier, www.seogon.com, on September 6th, 2013