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Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have formed a Sunni alliance to counter the rising power of Shia-Iran.

And the battleground for this conflict is Syria, where the Sunni powers allied to the US, UK and France, are attempting to topple the regime of Bashir al Asad, who is allied to Iran, Hezbollah and –  yes, Sunni Hamas.

So, how does this work?

Well, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are all fighting protests in their own countries – and each are keen to portray the genuinely democratic movements as Shia extremists, especially in Bahrain where protests have been brutally put down by state police.

The Arab Spring which resulted in a democratically elected Islamist government n Egypt has inspired well-educated mainly young people to demand the right to be able to choose who should lead them.

Trouble is, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are not interested in democracy – in fact they will continue to portray this idea as un-Islamic, whilst leading  a crackdown on Shia-radicals.

As for Turkey, by stressing its Sunni credentials it is hoping to keep its Kurdish population onside, although the attacks by the PKK would suggest that Ankara may not succeed in the long run.

Ultimately, the attempt by the Sunni powers allied to the West to take control of the phenomena that is the Arab Spring can not succeed.

Nor will Iran’s attempt to put its own stamp on the protests.

For we are seeing a re-shaping of the political map of the Middle East, where the old order of dictators and monarchs are being replaced by democratically elected presidents.

It is also a landscape one, as shown by the example of Hamas, where there is no difference between Sunni or Shia.

As for Syria, well America managed to remain to Iraq and, and continues to remain in Afghanistan, despite facing  considerable resistance to their presence.

Nothing in President’s Asad’s statements or demeanour suggests that he is in a hurry to leave any time soon.

Which is of course to the detriment of those who look forward to one day being able to elect who will be their leader.