Until recently, supporters of the Assad regime focused their media efforts on portraying their favorite dictator as a “bulwark” against American hegemony,Israeli ambitions, Islamist extremism and a stabilizing force in an inherently unstable region (phew, Superman didn’t have as many super-human challenges).
However, the favored narrative of the “anti-imperial” Left and “Hate-America-at-all-Costs” Arab camp has become all but impossible to maintain in the face of the Syrian regime’s increasingly barbaric oppression of the country; massacres in Houla and Daraya, an airforce dropping barrels of TNT on civilian areas, an army shelling bread lines, documented widespread and systematic torture and abuse of children, and a monthly death rate for civilians that exceeds the worst days of the Iraq war. And the “axis of resistance” myth doesn’t stand up too well when one considers that Assad has shelled every single neighbouring country with the exception of Israel itself.
And so regime supporters have had little choice but to shift their narrative; sure, Assad is bad,but his opponents are just as nasty or even worse. It’s also a favorite line for isolationists who advocate the West leaving the Syrian people to their bloody fate (the disgraceful Daniel Pipes being just one example).
And yet, when the actions and record of both sides in the Syrian conflict are studied in a balanced and impartial way, the inevitable conclusion is that, far from being just as bloody and barbaric as the Assad regime, the Free Syrian Army has infact proven itself to be the most moral armed group, in the history of Arab armed groups.
Groundbreaking Poll on the Syrian Opposition – Final Stake in the Heart of the Leftist Conspiracy Theories
A recent survey by the International Republican Institute which polled over 1000 Syrian opposition members seems to decisively put to rest the myth promoted by the Assad regime’s supporters, that opponents of the regime are motivated by narrow sectarian and hardline Islamist considerations. The ground breaking poll, which was discussed at length in the Washington Post, provides an invaluable insight into the views of those working to overthrow the four decade rule of the Assad family, and serves as a decisive and final nail in the coffin of all the “anti-imperial” Leftist conspiracy theories, which for months were claiming that the Syrian opposition were Saudi-CIA-Wahabi funded fanatics hell bent on imposing Zionist-CIA-Wahabi hegemony on Syria.
What immediately stands out from the results of the survey is the huge variety and breadth of opinions and positions that exist within the opposition. Were this a survey of pro-regime supporters, doubtless the magical number “99.9999%” would have come up on every single position and question.
It is hard to imagine a more useful article that opposition activists could Tweet or publicize than this survey. It provides the clearest idea yet of who the Syrian opposition is, and what they believe in.
It is interesting to observe the ever shifting talking points of the Assad regime’s “anti-imperial” Leftist friends. No longer able to claim with a straight face anymore that the son of the equally murderous Hafiz Assad is a “reformer” who just needs time to implement said “reforms”, the Left’s tone has now shifted remarkably; yes, Assad is a murderous tyrant, but his opponents are Saudi-funded and inspired Salafi maniacs who are even worse, and whose triumph in Syria would spell the demise of Western civilization as we know it.
Nobody exemplifies this trend of thinking better than the fear-monger- at-large, the Indian freelance writer Kapil Komireddi. I had previously written a blog post regarding the numerous inaccuracies and falsehoods in an article of his in the New York Times (a blog post which earned me an infantile insult from Kapil Komireddi on Twitter). Kapil Komireddi is at it again, this time peddling his fear mongering in Ha’aretz, in an article entitled “Rebels with an Anti-Semetic Cause”. In his article, Kapil Komireddi isn’t content with just mis characterizing the Syrian revolutionaries as blood-thirsty savages who dream of murdering Jews; nope, apparently a Kapil Komireddi article isn’t complete if the author doesn’t indulge his infantile chauvinism against Saudi Arabia.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of two of the United Kingdom’s most famous pop-culture creations; the James Bond films, and the sci-fi series Doctor Who. Both have survived and thrived through five decades of changing cultural tastes. The programs have stood the ultimate test of any institution; to outlast the life-time or active involvement of its founders or any principal individual.
Which, when you think about it, kinda sucks. Apparently, a series of movies about a fictional British spy and a show about an alien time/space traveler, are more durable than the political party that has ruled Syria for the exact same amount of time that those two entities have been in existence. The first James Bond movie came out in 1962, Doctor Who first aired in 1963, and the Baathists seized power in Syria on 8th March,1963 (a date drilled into the head of every single Syrian school child). And yet there’s no question whatsoever which institutions are stronger.
Conspiracy theories, the staple of many an angry blogger. Events in Syria have provided endless material for those inclined
towards paranoia and far fetched tales of collusion that would strain the imagination of the world’s best writers of spy thrillers. From the president of the Syrian junta who thinks that the United Nations, Organization of Islamic States and Arab League are all out to get him because of his “steadfast resistance” of Israel (said resistance consisting of him steadfastly refraining from firing a single bullet towards Israel), to the “anti-imperial” Left who have managed the remarkable mental feat of claiming that the man who killed 27,000 Syrians is a “victim”.
Discussions and debates on Syria are rife with numerous conspiracy theories, and so it is therefore fitting that we acknowledge and award the most fringe, lunatic and absurd conspiracies of the week, lest they and their ridiculous proponents be lost to mankind forever. And who better to name a conspiracy award after than the man to whom outlandish conspiracy theories are the bread and butter of his existence; the Marxist who wasn’t Marxist enough to prevent him from living in the USA since 1983, the man who pontificates at length on countries he’s never stepped foot in, the impotently and eternally angry, the Angry Arab, Ass’ad Abu Khalil.
Last week, the Turkish government gave the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad a much welcome birthday present, when they announced that henceforth, Syrians living in Turkey would either have to move away from the border provinces, move to inside the refugee camps, or move back to Syria. Syrians trying to flee the country’s mayhem into Turkey are being turned back, with the Turks no longer willing to take in any more refugees.
There are around 40,000 Syrians living in rented apartments in the Turkish areas near the Syrian border. The activists’ network in the area is vital to facilitating the flow of the wounded and defectors out from Syria, and in acting as a supply line for the medical supplies, fighters and whatever small amount of arms have been acquired for the FSA. Turkey’s decision will mean that this network will effectively be shut down, thus providing the embattled Syrian dictatorship with the breathing space it desperately needed in the north of the country.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Arabs living in the USA were quick to plead that the actions of a couple of dozen terrorists were not a true reflection of the beliefs of over a billion of the world’s Muslims. Racial profiling at airports was loudly condemned, and anyone who suggested that Muslims were inherently blood thirsty and savage was denounced as a racist. And yet, when it suits them, the intellectually bankrupt Left have no problem whatsoever, if it serves the purpose of “anti-imperialism”, in painting Muslims from Libya, to Egypt, Afghanistan and Syria with the same brush, as lunatic-extremist Jihadists who live to murder Americans.