Alex Jones may understand globalism, but like most Americans, he definitely doesn’t understand Syria.
I like Alex Jones. While there are some who may not like his brash and bold combative crusade against globalism and the media elites on his show INFOWARS; I find him to be just an eccentric patriotic American frustrated and fighting for its sovereignty and founding principles. Love him or hate him, Alex Jones, and the rest of the independent media, plays an important role in keeping the conglomerate media honest, but yesterday his severe lack of knowledge of the middle east and sectarian issues in Syria came to the surface in spectacular form.
Here’s the clip:
What did he get wrong? Just about everything.
The clip was in regards to the recent bombing by the US Coalition against Syrian Allied Militias advancing near the al-Tanaf base near the Jordanian border.
The blue area designates areas controlled by the “moderate” “vetted” rebels supported by the United States via the train & equip program the U.S. government has been sponsoring throughout the conflict. The red designates areas under the Syrian Government’s control.
As you can see from the map the important aspect of territory is the highway connecting Iraq and Syria. The U.S., Jordan, and their proxy “rebels” do not want the Syrian government to reconnect a land route to Iraq. The main reason is because they fear Iran finally having a direct highway to support the war effort in Syria. (To date they have always had to go via air since ISIS controlled the other accessible land routes to government controlled Syria)
This is the real reason that the US attacked the allied Syrian militias, to prevent Iran/Iraq from helping Syria in its fight against ISIS and the extremist factions of the rebels. Once they open up a corridor, the supply lines and support on the eastern front will cement victory for Assad and the Syrian government, but that’s not the big mistake and misunderstanding Alex Jones and other Americans often make regarding Syria. It’s the sectarian alliances and why they exist.
Islam is Not a Monolith
Early on in the clip at about the :30 second mark Alex Jones makes a statement that “Assad is Sunni.” This is completely incorrect. Assad is of the Alawite sect of Islam. It’s not Alex’s fault. Like most Americans they don’t understand Islam and its various denominations. In my opinion this is one of the most fundamental flaws plaguing the American people’s understanding of terrorism and the conflicts in the middle east.
Most Americans are familiar with the different denominations in Christianity. You have Catholics, Protestants, Jesuits, Mormons, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians etc.
In Islam there are different groups as well. There are Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Druze, Ismaili etc. And within the Sunni sect of Islam there are different “fiqs” that handle the jurisprudence and interpretation. Those are Hanbali, Shafi, Hanafi, Maliki, etc. Most people in America think “Muslim is muslim, Islam is Islam”, and that’s not true. These different sects and their interpretations play a fundamental role in understanding the politics in the middle east, and the conflicts at large.
Why Assad is allied with Iran, Iraq, and Hezbollah.
As I mentioned earlier, Alex Jones made the critical error of saying Assad is Sunni when he is really Alawite. Alawites are considered “real muslims” by the Shia sect due to a very famous fatawa (religious decree) by Musa as-Sadr. He was a highly revered Iranian/Lebanese cleric in the 1970s. This was an important moment for the Alawite sect of Islam who had constantly been regarded as apostates/non-believers by the hardline extremist doctrine of Sunni Islamic clerics. Most notably Ibn Taymiyyah, a prejudice and bigoted cleric from the 1300s. It was Ibn Taymiyyah’s ideology that would later be used by ibn Abdul Al-Wahhab to found the movement behind the Saudi clan’s rise to power, and also the basis for ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ideology.
Understanding the fact that Iran (large majority Shia) recognizes Alawites as muslims, as does Hezbollah (which is a spinoff of Musa as-Sadr’s Amal Party in Lebanon) and that Saudi Arabia’s ideology does not should help to explain the Syrian sectarian conflicts much much easier. This is why Iran / Iraq (another mostly Shia country), and Hezbollah are the allies Assad called to help him in his fight to keep Syria together.
Syria is a mostly Sunni nation, and there are many Sunni who support Assad as Syria is a secular country. Most Syrians, see themselves as Syrians, and not by their religious denomination, however the extremist part of the Sunni sect does not see things that way. They see Christians, Alawaites, Shia, Druze, and others who don’t follow their puritanical interpretation of Sunni Islam, and this is what Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Turkey have supported. The same root ideology as ISIS, and the same root ideology as Al Qaeda.
All of those countries leadership adheres to the hardliner sectarian doctrine, against Alawites, Shia, Druze, and Christians and thus they fund and finance the Sunni extremists inside Syria that share those same bigoted viewpoints. They don’t like that Iraq is now a Shia controlled country after Saddam (a Sunni ruler ruling over a Shia majority country) was removed, and thus they wanted to topple the Alawite leader. Seeing the issue coming forward from the extremists in the geopolitical arena Assad called in the only allies that recognized him as an equal human being. Iran, Iraq, and Hezbollah. Russia also joined in as Syria was one of their old cold war allies holding their deep-water port in the Mediterranean.
The Syrian Civil War, isn’t really a civil war. It’s a sectarian battle between secularism, mutual respect versus the bigoted perversion of Sunni Islam propagated by Saudi Arabia dating all the way back to ibn Taymiyyah.
The United States as well as Britain made a critical mistake in choosing allies in the middle east. They chose the extremists, and from September 11th, to Afghanistan, to ISIS, that choice has cost them valuable lives, resources, and endangered their own civilians.
Now in Syria their alliances with “moderate rebels”, the Gulf, and Turkey, has them holding the very hands of the ideology that has killed their own innocent people in the U.S. with Al Qaeda, Europe with ISIS, as well as the middle east itself with their “vetted allies”.
With every arms deal, every train and equip program, every barrel of oil bought, or air strike against the Syrian government the United States and the American people have no idea that they are destroying the real ally they never knew they should have picked in the first place.
Secularism and mutual respect regardless of faith.