If you've been watching the news lately, you've likely heard about the ongoing civil war in Syria. As the story goes, it is a clash between two opposing forces: a the dictatorial government of President Bashar al-Asad on one side, and the Syrian people who are fighting for freedom and democracy on the other.
It's a heart-wrenching story of good versus evil with one major flaw: it is simply untrue.
What is Really Going on in Syria?
Unlike many of the other pro-democracy protest movements throughout the Middle East that sprang up with largely peaceful mass demonstrations in major cities, the first protest to take place in Syria was an armed uprising in the small town of Daraa. Unsurprisingly, the violence provoked a response by the Syrian military and police forces.
The militants quickly organized themselves into a group known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which from the beginning had Western support. The election of the FSA's military council was attended by representatives of a number of Western countries, including the United States, Britain, and France. (Reuters, December 8, 2012)
But the FSA has not attacked government forces alone. They have been responsible for a number of atrocities, including torture and executions, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
There are also reports of rampant corruption and thievery by the FSA. Furthermore, in some areas of Syria they have implemented a “religious police” force similar to the force which exists in Saudi Arabia (Daniel Wagner, Huffington Post). This ultra-conservative brand of Islam is being enforced on people who have lived all their lives in a secular country.
Contrary to reports in the mainstream media, the FSA does not have mass popular support. In fact, as American historian Webster Tarpley noted in a recent interview with Press TV, “Ordinary Syrians of all backgrounds are increasingly disgusted by the corruption, incompetence, and oppression of the FSA regime. The rebel chaos is contributing to a significant increase in the popularity of Assad and his regime, which had guaranteed stability and freedom from the worst privations for decades.”
Foreign Support for FSA
The situation in Syria would be grave enough if the FSA were all Syrians attacking their own people. However, a recent UN report noted that there are in fact militants from 29 countries fighting along with the FSA. (The Independent, 20 December 2012). The FSA has also received massive foreign financial, tactical, and military support. Saudi Arabia announced in June that they would be paying salaries to FSA fighters, in order to encourage defections from the Syrian military to the FSA. Last year, the New York Times also reported that CIA operatives were working in Syria, aiding in supplying weapons to the rebels.
In many ways, the civil war in Syria is in fact a proxy war being carried out by the US and its allies against the independent and anti-imperialist government of Syria. The Syrian people are simply the latest victims of a colonial attempt to retake control over the Middle East and North Africa.
What About the UN Ceasefires?
The United Nations has attempted to enforce ceasefires in Syria, none of which have succeeded. Though the Syrian government has largely been blamed for breaking the ceasefires, the FSA has in fact broken them or never agreed to them in the first place. But these ceasefires will never succeed as long as the FSA continues to receive support from the West and their lackeys in the region and remains unaccountable for their actions. In fact, the ceasefires only serve to buy time for the US, NATO, and their allies to further strengthen the rebels and increase the propaganda campaign against the Syrian government.
What is the Solution for Syria?
Although there has been speculation in the Western media about the imminent collapse of the Syrian government, this again is unfounded. If anything, support for the Syrian government in putting an end to this proxy war is increasing – not only in words but actions as well. Fighters from Syria's Kurdish minority, which has long been at odds with the Syrian government, have joined with government forces in an effort to stop these so-called “rebels”.
Seeing that their plan for eliminating one of the last independent governments in the Middle East is failing, the US and their allies have begun to fabricate a reason for a potential direct attack on Syria: chemical weapons. This is the same unfounded excuse which was used to justify a war which killed millions in Iraq. But the enemies of Syria's indipendence are preparing nonetheless, with four hundred US and Dutch NATO troops “massed on Turkey’s Syrian border…readying Patriot missiles three days after NATO agreed to deploy the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system in Turkey,” according to Military.com.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have already lost their lives in this war. If the US and their NATO allies were truly the “friends of Syria” and champions of freedom that they claim to be, they would not be preparing for a military attack on a people who have no interest in their “help”.
The only real solution to end the violence in Syria is for the US and their allies to cease all military preparations against Syria and end their proxy war there. The people of Syria must be left to solve their differences and determine the future of their country of their own accord, without foreign interference and meddling.
Back to Article Listing