More than a year has elapsed since the United States aligned itself with Syria’s Sunni-dominated opposition and the Middle East’s Sunni powers to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. While the United States pursues this goal in the name of the Syrian people, it is clear that its ultimate strategic objective is to render Syria, Shiite Iran’s most important regional ally, useless in its struggle for mastery of the Middle East. To achieve its goal, the United States is employing economic sanctions, political backing for the Syrian opposition and lethal military support to the Free Syrian Army and other Sunni-dominated armed groups, channeled through Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey — all American allies with considerable democratic deficits, especially in the realm of religious and ethnic minority rights. [Link]