March 29, 2014

Saudi Arabia And Pakistan Are Paying A Political Price For Leading The Talibanization of Syria

This photo is from a protest in Pakistan against US attacks on Syria that was held last September. Since then, Pakistan's government has provided weapons and training to the foreign terrorists in Syria who are kidnapping innocent people and massacring peaceful villagers because of their religious beliefs, or lack thereof, and their ethnicity.

The governments in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are controlled by the dumbest, and most short-sighted leaders in the Middle East. Naturally, they won't survive much longer. Their policy of supporting international Jihadist terrorism and religious extremism in Syria will backfire. Syria will not be another Afghanistan. Here are three simple reasons: the people of Syria are more educated, Syria is led by semi-competent leaders, and history is at a different point than it was in the 1980s. So Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are investing time, money, energy, and political capital in a losing cause. But, hey, it's a free world, so go for it. But a price will be paid.

Read the articles below for concrete information and analysis about the support for Jihadist terrorists in Syria by the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

An excerpt from, "Saudi Arabia woos Pakistan with $1.5 billion grant. Why now?" by Taha Siddiqui, The Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 2014:
Pakistan announced last week that it received a $1.5 billion grant from Saudi Arabia, which it termed a “friendly gift” and an “unconditional grant.”

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long had warm ties, but the no-strings-attached gift sparked immediate concern from Pakistani journalists, security experts, and opposition politicians, who question whether the grant is part of a behind-the-scenes deal for Pakistan to provide weapons for Syrian rebels.

“There are no free lunches in foreign diplomacy,” says Baqir Sajjad, a journalist at Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, which has published articles questioning the deal. 
An excerpt from, "The Saudis and Pakistan’s strategic shift on Syria" by Ahmed Rashid, Financial Times, March 5, 2014:
"At the behest of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan has made a strategic shift from its so far neutral position on Syria’s civil war – to one that portends to back the Syrian rebels and even provide them with arms through Riyadh.

Media reports say that the Saudis would buy small arms from Pakistan’s arms industry and that it would recruit more Pakistani retired soldiers and policemen for the Gulf state of Bahrain that has been facing long months of unrest as Shia protests against the Sunni ruling family have escalated.
The Sharif government has denied these reports, but western diplomats say the shift in Pakistan’s policy is real. Islamabad has maintained a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries, which makes any intervention in the Syrian conflict on the side of Saudi Arabia hugely controversial.

All the major opposition parties have already slammed the government for what its leaders called “a policy about-turn”’ and there is uproar that the government refuses to outline its intentions."  
An excerpt from, "The Talibanization of Syria" by Kevin Truitte, Global Security And International Policy, November 14, 2013:
There is a real threat that Syria will become the next Afghanistan. Sunni extremists from across the world have streamed into Syria to mix with Syrian rebels and fight in what they believe to be a holy struggle against an “apostate” Shiite/Alawite dictator. This has played right into the hands of al-Assad, validating his claims of rebels as “terrorists” and “thugs,” even though these were initially untrue and used to discredit the opposition. Syria is in the throws of a war that has no signs of slowing down and has extreme elements on both sides throwing money and weapons into their side’s survival. With Iran and Hezbollah fighting and financing the regime and its allied militias, and with Sunni Gulf States’ citizens funding al-Qaeda affiliated groups on the other, the violence and level of bloodshed will inevitably increase, and the country will continue to see strife and civil war.
An excerpt from, "For Pakistan, Siding With the Saudis on Syria Is a Bad Idea" by Saim Saeed, The American Interest, March 15, 2014:
Pakistan has a habit of renting itself out to other powers. But its latest transaction, supporting Saudi efforts to remove Bashar al-Assad in Syria, could be the most dangerous foreign policy “sale” the state has made yet.

Pakistan as a state has pretty much been available for rent since 1947, thanks to the conviction of its security establishment that only vast quantities of foreign money can buy an adequate defense against India. But the country’s latest transaction, supporting the Saudi effort to topple Bashar al-Assad in Syria, is potentially much more dangerous than previous instances of the old rental policy.