Thierry Meyssan's latest writing for Voltaire Network is not free of conspiracy theory but he transcended his obsessions enough to deliver in the following passages what is the clearest explication I've found of what's really at stake in Syria. From Geneva 3: Toward peace in Syria without armed opposition; February 1, 2016:
Indeed, at the beginning of the [Syrian] war, the opposition was represented by intellectuals whom the CIA had corrupted during the preceding years, and by the Muslim Brotherhood, who had been working for Langley since at least 1953. This is no longer the case. The intellectuals, who had the capacity to govern, were obliged to leave their place to warlords recruited and financed by Saudi Arabia.
But the Saudi kingdom is a tribal régime which accepts only relations of a tribal "lord-vassal" nature. It therefore chose its warlords according to their ethnicity or their tribal origin. After several years, even those who originated from urban families returned to tribal behaviour. By doing so, they are now no longer representative of anyone but the nomads of the Saudi-Syrian desert.
As for the Muslim Brotherhood, they were unable to hold onto power in Tunisia and Egypt. Consequently, they are not considered by Washington to be capable of governing a country.
The nomination by Riyadh of a President and a spokesman for the Negotiations Committee, chosen among the ex-Ba’athist ministers, was not enough to mask the real presence of tribal warlords.
This, by the way, is one of the lessons of this war – the unnatural alliance of the Western powers and the Saudis has hit a cul-de-sac. What was tolerable for the Saudis in their own country is not so abroad. The expansion of Wahhabism is now causing problems for Europe on its own territory, and the advent of tribalism in the Near East would be a catastrophe for all, since it would mean the "somalisation" of the region.
This was without doubt the objective of the Straussians, but it is no longer the goal of President Obama. It cannot be stressed strongly enough that modern states are absolutely incompatible with tribal societies, which is what led all modern states to settle their populations.
[...]If Thierry has figured out Obama's goal will he please let me know but aside from that and what seems to be his acceptance of criticism that Leo Strauss' views support American expansionism, the above passages don't linger in the weeds. He goes straight for the jugular of the hypocrisy that palmed off globalization as civilization.
The chief beneficiaries of globalization have taken to whining about their hypocrisy come home to roost in the form of tribalism. So now a British reporter for the BBC thunders at Saudi Interior Minister spokesman Maj. General Mansour al-Turki that Saudis poured tens of billions into supporting al Qaeda, and al-Turki placidly rejects the International Community's criticism of Islamic Values. But it was perfectly okay with British Commonwealth citizens, and Europeans, and Americans, when the values were inflicted with the full complicity of those citizens on societies across Africa and Asia.
Now the result is arriving by the boatload on the shores of Europe while EU leaders beseech the citizenry to be tolerant and globalists scold those Americans trying to hang onto the last vestiges of their republic.
Into this muddle made from greed, lies and indifference step Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad, who are absolutely clear on the differences between tribalism and civilization. Get out of their way, if you don't fancy tribal warlords telling you how to live.