-Press TV (watch video)
mercenaries in Syria operate on behalf of the Israeli regime and the
West, aiming to break up the Middle East and spread sectarianism, an
analyst tells Press TV.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri recently called for support for
the foreign-backed insurgents in Syria in their fight against the
government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, despite a temporary truce that took effect in Syria on
Friday, the insurgents launched attacks in several areas, killing dozens
of people and injuring tens of others.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people,
including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the
Damascus blames the West and some of its regional allies, including
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, for arming and funding the insurgents.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, an author
and Islamic Studies expert, from Madison, to further discuss the issue.
Barrett is joined by two additional guests: Sheikh Omar Bakri, a Salafist activist from Tripoli; and Omar Nashabi, with Al-Akhbar newspaper, from Beirut. The following is a rough transcription of the interview with Barrett.
Press TV: Why do you think that the Syrian government even agreed, to begin with, to this ceasefire?
Barrett: I think the Syrian government has a lot of tough
choices in front of it. In the long run, the Syrian government knows
that it’s going to have to reform; but right now, it’s fighting a
destabilization campaign which is being led by the US-Zionist axis of
evil, as we might term them, with support from Saudi Arabia and,
unfortunately, Turkey, which looked like it was going to be an honest
player in the Middle East just a year ago.
Of course, a ceasefire is a good idea. It’s Eid al-Adha. Eid Mubarak
to everyone. Muslims should not be killing fellow Muslims any time and
especially not on Eid al-Adha. Naturally, the idea of a ceasefire is
As I understand it, the Syrian government entertained or accepted
the idea of a ceasefire, and the first party that rejected it was one of
these groups that called themselves an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The idea of an al-Qaeda affiliate which claims to be fighting for
Islam, to be destabilizing an Islamic country on behalf of the Zionists
and the American empire is kind of laughable.
I think one of the reasons that they won’t honor a ceasefire for Eid
is that al-Qaeda is essentially an infiltrated organization that
operates on behalf of the empire rather than fighting against it.
If you look at who al-Qaeda has actually killed over the
years, they’ve killed almost entirely their fellow Muslims. In these
embassy bombings in Africa that they claimed credit for, they killed
almost entirely Muslim Africans. In the fighting that they’ve done
against the Russian empire, they ended up killing a lot of fellow
They’ve killed very, very few Americans and Israelis.
Al-Qaeda, of course, did not have anything to do with the 9/11
attacks. That was an inside job run by people in the US and Israeli
Al-Qaeda is really a manipulated group that serves to smear Islam.
It’s created a negative brand name that only about seven percent of
Muslims like, and the other 90 percent-plus don’t like. It’s
destabilizing the Middle East on behalf of Zionism and the US empire.
That’s what we’re seeing in Syria today. When it rejects a ceasefire
for Eid al-Adha, that just shows us that this group is really not much
more of a Muslim group anymore than the people who are pretending to be
9/11 hijackers in Florida were actual Muslims. These were people who
were well known to be taking drugs, visiting prostitutes and so on...
(In response to rhetoric by previous guest speaker, Sheikh Omar
Bakri) He’s kind of insisting that al-Qaeda is a wonderful Sunni group
fighting on behalf of Sunnis; is a perfect example of the sectarian
nature of this group.
These people are tasked by the Zionist and the empire with spreading
sectarianism in the Muslim world, that is breaking up Muslim countries
into different sects and different nationalities.
Of course, al-Qaeda is mainly about sectarianism and it’s part of
this crazy takfiri ideology of this tiny minority of extremist Muslims
who say that anybody who doesn’t believe exactly what we believe is an
evil apostate that could be killed - an evil unbeliever. This is
Press TV: Looking at the situation now, the Syrian government
said that it was going to abide by the ceasefire. Of course, we know
that there have been attacks and now the opposition is claiming that the
Syrian government is actually the one that broke the truce.
Your perspective, from a political perspective, do you think that it
would be in the interests of the Syrian government, on the one hand, to
say that they would stand by a ceasefire and then breaking it
themselves? Let’s look at this, from your perspective. I would like to
hear your take.
Barrett: As I understand it, the Syrian government did some
serious reflection before they accepted the ceasefire proposal. There
was some dissidents within the ranks of the Syrian army. There were
people who thought that a ceasefire would be in the interests of those
fighting against the Syrian government.
But in the end, as I understand it, the Syrian government did accept
the ceasefire, and that it was first broken by these people claiming to
One never really knows precisely what’s happening on the ground in
these kinds of situations. The first casualty of war is always the
truth. The narrative, as I understand it, that makes the most sense is
the way I described it.
Again, I think that stabilization in Syria, calming things down,
ending the killing, ending the suffering and bloodshed that the other
guest referred to is in the interests of the Syrian government and in
the interests of the people of the Middle East.
It’s not in the interests of the people in the region to have the situation deteriorate and fall apart into bloodshed and chaos.
I agree that the Syrian government does need to evolve and become
more representative of its people. There’s no question about that. The
way to make that happen is not through a divisive civil war pitting
different Alawites against Sunnis, against Kurds and so on, breaking it
up into little pieces.
That’s exactly the... Israeli plan, to destroy the
Middle East by breaking it into tiny little pieces along ethnic and
sectarian lines. That’s exactly what these al-Qaeda people are working
for. If one didn’t know better, one would think al-Qaeda was a brand
invented by the Israelis themselves.
In fact, it may have been because Bernard Lewis, the Zionist
strategist and Orientalist, has been talking for years before there was
al-Qaeda, for decades, actually, about needing to create a group modeled
on the Ismaili assassins of the Middle Ages to destabilize the Middle
East on behalf of Western intervention.
I think that stability is obviously in the interests of the people
in the Middle East and in the Syrian government. So, I think that they
did accept the ceasefire. It’s the forces of destabilization that have
rejected it and broken it.
Press TV: What is the key to bringing peace to Syria, your perspective?
Barrett: I don’t know if there’s a single key. I think we
have to get back to the spirit of Islam. We’re in the Eid al-Adha
holiday right now and we need to think about the spirit of unity.
“Tohid”, which is the absolute Unity of God, is reflected in the
unity of creation and all of God’s creatures, all Muslims and all
people. We shouldn’t be splitting off into different sects, hating
people who don’t believe what we believe.
We need to reach out to people from other sects. As Muslims,
especially, we need to reach out to other kinds of Muslims who don’t
think the way we do, and cross this kind of divide, and end this kind of
crazy sectarian conflict that’s being sponsored by the enemies of the
Middle East, the enemies of Islam, the people who want to break it up
into pieces. We really need to start talking to each other instead of
killing each other.
Labels: al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, ceasefire, eid, Israel, Kevin Barrett, middle east, Oded Yinon, Press TV, syria