Monday, September 09, 2013

Why you should give a Shi'ite about Syria

I know so many want a “quick read” on Facebook or blogs about where I’m shopping and vacationing, this won’t be that. I have put a lot of thought and research since the President announced he was in favor of U.S. strikes on Syria on whether I thought this was a good idea or not.  I have formed some opinions and just want to share why I feel the way I do – and that can’t be done in a two sentence update. 
If you find yourself busy with every day life, I offer you my primer on what is going on “over there” and why I feel the way I do about any military action on our part.  This is very unofficial list of the cast of characters, in the briefest possible explanations:
Sunnis – Muslim sect that believes that the leader is to be selected or elected.  They follow the Hadith (further expounds on the teachings of Mohammad).  They are followers Sharia Law & Finance.  Since they support Sharia Law they tend to be more rigorous followers.  Nations that are a majority of Sunnis are:  Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and African Countries (approx. 80% of all Muslims).
Shia or Shi’ites – Muslim sect that believes that the leader is both a spiritual and political leader and they are a direct descendant of Mohamed.  The leader is an Imam.  They recognize twelve Imams so far, and the 12th disappeared and will return as the Mahdi who will set the world right with justice.  In order for the return of the Mahdi, the world must be in commotion.  Iran is the country with the largest majority of Shi’ites.
Most countries in the Middle East with ‘uprisings’ going on stem from Sunnis and Shi’ites fighting against each other.

Syria – The country has a majority of Sunnis, but their leadership is Shi’ite.  This is the largest problem in the country and why they are in a civil war against each other.  Recently vast stores of Liquid Natural Gas have been discovered on the shores of Syria.
Russia – Most of the oil that is sold in Europe and China comes from the Russian pipelines and their company Gazprom.  Russia would like access to the Syrian LNG to sell to Europe and China. Russia recently forgave all debt from the island of Cypress on the conditions that Cypress not allow any foreign countries to land their planes and refuel on their island.  Russia is backing Assad – the president of Syria -- so they can form an alliance for the LNG.
China – recently signed agreements for gas and oil from Russia.  They are also letting Russia install production plants in China.  China would like access to the LNG as well.  A new pipeline will allow oil to flow two ways, to Europe or China (controlled by Russia).
Saudi Arabia & Qatar Sunni.  They are working together.  Qatar has large resources of LNG.  Qatar would like the ability to pipe their gas to Europe as well, but the country of Syria is in the way and won’t authorize a pipeline thru their country.  These countries are supporting the opposition or rebel fighters in Syria so that they can throw out the current president, Assad, and install their puppet president that will allow the gas to flow.  This would also undercut Russia’s dominance – therefore Russia is supporting the president Assad and by default the Shi’ites.
Al-Qaeda—getting their backing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Islaamic terrorist organization.
Hezbollah – Shi’ite terrorist group based out of Lebanon.  They are backing president Assad.
Hamas – Sunni terrorist group based out of the Gaza Strip.  (usually you hear about Israel fighting against Hamas)
Exxon Mobil – Exxon Mobil was the largest single donator to President Obama’s Inauguration, at $260,000.  This is after a very rocky 1st term which found both the administration and Exxon suing each other, mainly over the President ending deep water drilling in the Gulf.  But the kicker to me was the fact that in May of 2013, Exxon signed an agreement with Qatar for LNG production and distribution to foreign markets.  It would be so much more efficient if the gas did not have to ship from Qatar to Texas and could just be piped north thru Saudi Arabia and Syria.
So this gives me a few questions: 
  1. Why are they (Exxon) signing agreements for foreign distribution of oil and gas when Qatar cannot get the overland pipelines secured for the delivery?  
  2. Is U.S. military action against the Assad regime in order to facilitate Exxon’s agreement with Qatar? 
  3. Was there prior assurance that the U.S. Military would step in and open a way for a new puppet government in Syria to allow a pipeline? 
  4. Is this a quid pro quo for the Gulf drilling shut down?   
Basically I see the problem as two religious factions fighting between each other on who has the right to rule whom with outside government forces intervening to protect and promote their own interest in the oil and gas in the area. 
“What about Assad gassing his own people,” you might say.  I may have a cold heart, but dead is dead. Does it matter if it is with a bomb, a missile, or gas.  I am not advocating this fighting in any way, I just feel that the media is playing on emotions that this is far worse than what has been going on over there every day.  Why now, after 100,000 deaths, do we all of a sudden care?
I call this Selective Compassion.  If you are going to get upset about governments treating their people unfairly then why wasn’t something said about Darfur?  Or Rowanda? Or… I could go on and on.  The first time I was aware of selective compassion was in the Oklahoma City bombing.  After songs and tributes and fundraisers for all of the remaining survivors, 3 months later there was major flooding along the Mississippi.  It wiped out as many people, disrupted as many lives, yet it was mentioned for a day on the news and people moved on.  Sometimes when I hear even local newscasts about someone whose “life was taken in a tragic accident and you should donate to this bank account because the wife was caught so off guard that they need help with expenses, it just isn’t fair, there are young children, you must help out,” I often picture in my mind some other wife walking out of UMC Trauma where her husband just died wondering how she is going to cover the expenses and take care of her children too, yet nothing will be said for her.
So after years of watching this in the news what I take from it is:  The media is selective in who they want to get upset about and when.
In case you were still wondering where I stand:
  • I do not feel there should be U.S involvement in a religious civil war in other countries. 
  • I certainly don’t think we should be getting involved in a war against Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah.  
  • Europe will support Assad as well because if they don’t, Russia will turn off their gas. It gets cold in Europe in the winter.  They’ll do what Russia wants them to do. 
And since when do we want to fight on the same side as Al-Qaeda?  Google the You Tube video of Syria rebel drinking the blood from the heart of someone they just killed.  Yeah, it’s pretty gruesome. Those are the people we would be alongside fighting with if we choose to go against Assad.  These are tribal barbaric people.  Stay far away.
And lastly, there have been reports for several years on the number of terrorist from Hamas and Hezbollah that are entering into our country through our southern border.  I believe there are people in place now within our own country ready to inflict damage against us should we militarily strike.  No longer are we warding off ships in the ocean, they are the enemy within.  We haven’t even touched on cyber war possibilities that could cripple us as well.
I certainly do not feel that the U.S. should be in any military involvement if it helps Exxon Mobile and Qatar make more money.  In fact, if this is in any way a quid pro quo, it’s got to be criminal.
I do feel we ought to open up our own drilling on public lands and become energy independent and let those guys all turn their sand into glass in a blaze of glory.
Those are my opinions and why I feel that way. 

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