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A Libyan thuwar who was with the Tripoli Brigade left a very interesting comment to a recent blog post to The North Star, so interesting that Louis Proyect posted it to the Activists and scholars in the Marxist tradition list, where I first saw it, and now I am posting it here.

Since the beginning of the Syria Revolution, Bashar al-Assad has sought to portray the popular uprising against him as a foreign backed jhadist plot, and he has branded all who have taken up arms against him as terrorists. His years of cooperation with the Obama administration in the war against terrorism has made him very keen on the propaganda value of the claim of fighting terrorism.

His various supporters around the world, and also many who just think the world should stay out of it, have tried to portray the sectarian struggle as the main aspect of the Syrian conflict even while the Assad regime has been working hard to create that reality, including through the use of false-flag, or what might more aptly be called "black flag" operations.

These people also like to focus on the religious trappings of the struggle, and even where they wouldn't see them in the same light in another context, say the civil rights struggle of blacks in the US which was dominated by clerics, because this is a foreign religion with a lot of fear and prejudice associated with it in the west, they can mobilize Islamaphobia by playing up the threat of a jhadist takeover.

As I said in a comment on Monday:

It is a popular uprising against the regime.

That's what it largely is, an uprising that has turned into a civil war. That is the driving force. That's what makes it a part of the Arab Spring.

That is why the opposition has Christian, Shiite and Alawi members; it is mainly Sunni because Syria is.

Of course this popular uprising doesn't take place in a vacuum so there are many ethnic, religious forces tugging at it and many foreign forces looking to exploit it.

And those that want to defeat it emphasis these aspects and work hard to obscure the main thing, which is the popular demand that the Assad regime must go.

This Kossack may be engaged in wishful thinking by saying the civil war will continue after that main objective is obtained but there is little reason to believe his dire prediction will come true.

The Libyan civil war did not long out live Qaddafi.

And again in a comment on Tuesday:
This is an uprising against a dictatorship.

Yes, it has necessarily turned into a civil war because Assad used his military to suppress protests against his rule.

Remember the FSA is mainly made up of SAA soldiers who refuse orders to fire on civilians and dedicated themselves to protecting civilians while Assad has adopted the tactic of creating human carnage so as to get people to give up the fight against his rule.

That is the main thing that has been going on in Syria for two years.

Yes, the armed opposition has made mistakes. How could it be otherwise in the real world? Although I doubt your claim that they have killed hundreds of children whereas I have no doubt that Assad has killed thousands of children because close to 50k have been killed, Assad has the vast  majority of the heavy weapons and he is the only one delivering cluster bombs to neighborhoods and other forms of "death from above."

And yes, there are many other factors and outside influences involved. How could it be difference in the real world?

But that should not allow us to ignore what the root of the problem is or pretend that there is the Assad regime on the one hand, and some equally evil FSA on the other, with innocent Syrians in the middle being victimize by both sides.

Although I still don't fathoms what it is about that two bad actors scenario that makes it okay for us to sit back and let the children be slaughtered, as you seem to insist we do.

But the bottom line is that simply is  not the case!

I think the commentary below, from someone who has been there and done that, sheds a lot of light on the ground truth in Syria.

A comment from a veteran Libyan thuwar [revolutionary] about the jhadist in Syria:

Yet another accurate analysis of a topic mired in confusion and or misinformation. It is with no doubt that the strong appearance of the religious groups and the increasing religiosity among the Syrian people and the rebels was mainly due to the fact that they had no other choice. The first image in this article is enough to sum up the whole ordeal. The brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrations early in the revolution and the continuous, unimaginable scale of the massacres by the criminal regime, coupled with the blatant disregard by world powers forced many chivalrous men around the Arab and Muslim world to leave everything behind and head straight to the harsh, bloody battlefields of the Syrian revolution. Among these people are a few dozen (up to a few hundred at most) of battle-hardened Islamist fighters with experience fighting the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviets, Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S. and experience fighting against some of the many totalitarian regimes in the region. Though these individuals remain a minority among foreign fighters in Syria, their strong ideology and extensive battlefield experience makes them the elite force of the Syrian revolution and the most painful for the regime.

The most prominent (and possibly the only) group encompassing mostly foreign Islamist fighters is indeed “Jabhat Al-Nusrah” meaning the “Victors’ Front” and “victors” is the closest English term I could think of which in this case means those who come to the aid those in need. What makes this group stand out despite its small size is the type of operations it carries out. Most of the group’s major operations are “martyrdom” or suicide operations involving a fighter driving a car laden with explosives into a regime military base or a checkpoint manned by “shabbiha” (regime thugs). These operations were used effectively in Iraq and Afghanistan against foreign military targets and the group is employing the same tactic resulting in great physical and mental devastation on regime forces. The group refuses to affiliate itself with the Free Syrian Army due to the FSA’s diverse spectrum of ideologies some of which do not concord with the group’s strict Islamist identity. This is a cause of concern for some Syrians and those who are looking toward a free, democratic nation. Being a Libyan rebel however and following the fate of similar groups in Libya I can say with confidence that once the revolution is over, the group will have to succumb to the will of the people. The Arab Spring changed the dynamic of the struggle in the region and has transformed the conflicts from being those of dictator/occupation vs. jihadi groups to those of massive popular uprisings sweeping away totalitarian regimes and quickly shunning away any forces seen as a threat to the ambitions of the people.

The other two major religious leaning groups in Syria are “Ahrar Sham” and “Liwa Al-Tawheed”. These two groups are many times larger and more active than “Jabhat Al-Nusrah” and comprise almost wholly of Syrian youth and with a negligible foreign presence. These groups are far more moderate than the Nusrah Front and have shown a great degree of tolerance toward other, non-religious leaning groups. Though not officially affiliated with the FSA, these groups have shown willingness to collaborate with the FSA and have carried out numerous joint operations with others. These two groups have made it clear through comments made by their leaders on numerous occasions that their job ends with the defeat of the regime and that they will accept any form of government chosen by the Syrian people.

In terms of sheer numbers however, the great majority of Syrian rebels belong to the Free Syrian Army. Almost every city in Syria has some kind of local FSA presence. This usually starts with defections of the sons of the city or town who then quickly grow to form a resistance force in the area. The FSA is made up of thousands of defected soldiers and thousands of ordinary Syrian men who have taken up arms to liberate their country. In addition to those, there are dozens of FSA groups representing a wide spectrum of ideologies some are religious leaning and some liberal. There are also mixed groups such as “Liwa Al-Ummah” which was started with a few dozen Libyan fighters of no dominant ideology and has now grown to several thousand members mostly Syrians. All of these groups consider themselves the military arm for the political opposition and are under the leadership of Colonel Riad Al-As’ad.

Despite the media uproar, the identities of the Syrian rebels are widely known to the Syrian people and to those who monitor the situation there. Vilifying some of the groups who have come to the Aid of the Syrian people when the rest of the world turned a blind eye to their plight will only further strengthen Syrians’ negative sentiment toward the West and may cause for future divisions among the opposition that would likely make the transitioning period much more difficult. As a Libyan who had witnessed the events of the 17 of Feb Revolution first hand, Syria is a similar recipe and despite the anticipated bumps along the road, I strongly believe that Syria is in good hands.

See also Salafis, Jihadis, and the Revolution in Syria which is the article that sparked this comment and by all means put The North Star on your blog roll.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Does what Obama said at Newtown apply to Syria?
BREAKING: Heavy fighting in Damascus as coup attempt reported in progress
Assad's jets bomb Palestinian refugee camp
Jabhat al-Nusra is a Threat to the Syrian Revolution
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syrian opposition says "Thanks but No Thanks!" to foreign intervention
BREAKING: Assad firing Scud missiles at Syria
Is Assad using white phosphorus in Syria?
BREAKING: Obama recognizes opposition in Syria
Speaking for the murderous regime in Syria
State of the war in Syria: Most of Damascus now in FSA hands!
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
UPDATED: Syria goes dark as "cleansing" begins in Damascus
BREAKING: Assad's Troops Wipe Out a Playground Full of Children in #Syria
BREAKING: Russia denies Syrian army on brink of collapse
BREAKING in Syria: Explosion rocks Damascus as people use "Truce Day" to protest regime
We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?
Norodom Sihanouk at his finest & more on Syria
Meet a Syrian who doesn't think both sides are equally bad and is betting her life on it!
Two statements about Syria
Syria Today: New videos from the revolutionary war
Syrian Defector: Assad behind "terrorist" bombs
How Assad fights "terrorism" in Syria
REVISITED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
Turkey attacks Syria
Truth Out: How Assad helped France kill Qaddafi
Panetta: Unilateral U.S. Military Intervention in Syria Would Be a Serious Mistake
BREAKING: 305 Syrians slaughtered in bloodiest day yet
Syria: Secret source of rebel arms revealed
BREAKING: Amnesty on Syria - Assad Regime guilty on indiscriminate slaughter
Syrian Revolution Digest shows "disgusting" photos!
Syria: The Killing Field the World is Learning to Live With
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
LIVE VIDEO: “World Silence is Killing Syria” Rally in #DC
Free #Syria responds to Robert Fisk
UPDATED: #Assad: "#Syria doesn't need a green light!"
Obama opposes French support for #Assad's opposition in #Syria
BREAKING: Amnesty site hacked, Assad propaganda posted
BREAKING: 630 Slaughtered in new massacre in Syria
Special message from Syrian children to Obama
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
General Meade at Gettysburg
Tell US gov't to stop endangering Syrian activists
UPDATED: Obama "green lights" #Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Turning Battlegrounds into Playgrounds
BREAKING: Bashar al-Assad is alive as deaths in Syria reach 25,000
The Left and the Arab Spring
Iran increasing its intervention in Syria
Syria: Images from the Battle of Aleppo
Fears grow of WMD attack in Syria
UPDATED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
BREAKING: Syria releases new images of Bashar al- Assad | Are they fakes?
NOT BREAKING NEWS: Just another massacre in Syria
UPDATED: Syrian prime minister defects
Syria: FSA says Iranian pilgrims really Republican Guard
Syria: Aleppo under Siege!
BREAKING: UN votes to condemn Assad Regime as Reuters posts false story on Syria
BREAKING: Kofi Annan resigns as envoy to Syria
Syria: Bashar al-Assad not heard from on Armed Forces Day!
BREAKING: Senior Syrian diplomat to Armenia defects
BREAKING: Big Explosion hits #Damascus #Syria
UPDATED: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post
BREAKING: Ground assault on Aleppo begins!
BREAKING: Protests across Syria in spite of Assad regime violence
ALEPPO: Step outside the Matrix and witness the Horror
UPDATED: US fears massacre in #Aleppo, #Syria
BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army
BRAKING: Obama stops Putin from re-arming Assad in Syria
Syria: Foreign meddling increases as crisis builds
BREAKING: Aleppo, Syria bombed with fighter jets
BREAKING: Syria issues a correction, it has no WMD to use
BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Glenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

    by Clay Claiborne on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:33:51 PM PST

  •  thanks for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Always good to hear from people who know what they're talking about.

    I think the crux of the matter is right here:

    Though not officially affiliated with the FSA, these groups have shown willingness to collaborate with the FSA and have carried out numerous joint operations with others. These two groups have made it clear through comments made by their leaders on numerous occasions that their job ends with the defeat of the regime and that they will accept any form of government chosen by the Syrian people.
    If true that Ahrar Sham and Liwa Al-Tawheed won't agree to come under the FSA flag (so to speak) why should the US and other countries risk providing the kind of weaponry they need? How can they be assured that they will not cross the border into Iraq, to perhaps turn up just about anywhere? The issue isn't that Jabhat Al-Nusrah might try to take over (although that would suck), but that they might be happy to stash away some valuable weaponry.

    It's bad enough that there are all sorts of treasures lying in bunkers. Do we really want to take the chance on supplying them with more?

    That seems to be a big stumbling block. I don't think it's unreasonable to be concerned about it.

    Well, and then this is Syria. There's mucho potential for things to get way out of hand.

    And then there's the precedent in Libya, which the Russians and Chinese are pretty upset about. And while the Chinese had some hefty investments in Libya, this time, the Russians have an even bigger stake.

    I was all for the response in Libya, and would like to see the rebels in Syria aided in their endeavours, btw.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:40:20 PM PST

  •  Salafist jihadists are playing a significant part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Even the VERY pro-rebel Qatar mouthpiece is now reporting on militant jihadists taking control in Syria. The following report shows how much Al Jazeera's reporting has changed in the last several months from what it was a year ago.

    Your diaries contradict western MSM, Arab media as well as direct reports from US government sources.

    I figure the US will start to look for reasons to get militarily involved in Syria in order to knock down the jihadists if it appears they will gain full control of the opposition forces. Unfortunately, they cannot do this until Assad is gone otherwise they will look like they are fighting together.
    UN says Syria conflict is 'overtly sectarian'
    Report finds conflict increasingly pits Sunni rebels against state forces supported by religious and ethnic minorities.
    Dividing lines

    Pinheiro noted that anti-government rebels were hiding in Syrian cities where they were "failing to distinguish themselves" from the civilian population, triggering strikes by government artillery and the air force.
    While the sectarian divide is sharpest between the Sunni and Alawi communities, from which most of the senior government and military leaders hail, other minority groups have been increasingly drawn into the conflict, the report said.

    "As battles between government and anti-government armed groups approach the end of their second year, the conflict has become overtly sectarian in nature," it said, adding that Christians, Armenians, Druze and others have largely aligned themselves with President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
    "We think this is a war where no military victory is possible," Pinheiro said. "It is a great illusion that providing arms to one side or the other will help end it."
    Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria
    WASHINGTON — Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
     The disorganization is strengthening the hand of Islamic extremist groups in Syria, some with ties or affiliations with Al Qaeda, he said: “The longer this goes on, the more likely those groups will gain strength.”

    American officials worry that, should Mr. Assad be ousted, Syria could erupt afterward into a new conflict over control of the country, in which the more hard-line Islamic groups would be the best armed. That depends on what happens in the arms bazaar that has been feeding the rebel groups. In several towns along the Turkey-Syria border, rebel commanders can be found seeking weapons and meeting with shadowy intermediaries, in a chaotic atmosphere where the true identities and affiliations of any party can be extremely difficult to ascertain.
    American officials worry that, should Mr. Assad be ousted, Syria could erupt afterward into a new conflict over control of the country, in which the more hard-line Islamic groups would be the best armed.

    •  No jihadi takeover - Support the FSA mainstream (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clay Claiborne

      @Claudius Bombarnac: "Even the VERY pro-rebel Qatar mouthpiece is now reporting on militant jihadists taking control in Syria." No they aren't: they're reporting a UN investigation which refers to the problem of growing sectarianism. Part of this may be a result of a growing salafi-jihadist presence,but no one is suggesting they are "taking control".The piece you link to from the NYT confirms the root of jihadi influence: the west's "hands off" stance as far as military assistance is concerned, which has allowed the Gulf states to become the main patrons of the Syrian struggle, channeling external assistance predominantly to jihadi forces. I would think the answer to that problem be obvious - support the mainstream FSA.

  •  Syrian Opposition Hijacked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Clay, you should give this article a good read. It is written by a supporter of the Syrian revolution.

    In my view, the revolution was hijacked within weeks of it's inception and turned into a bloody sectarian civil war by outside forces.

    Syrian Opposition Hijacked By Islamists, Foreign Influence

    There was, at one point, a strong conviction among large segments of Syrian society that the fall or overthrow of the regime would inevitably lead to a democratic alternative. This conviction lasted for a while, during which the protest movement was peaceful, despite the bloodshed caused by the regime.

     However, things became more complex in the aftermath of the military operations carried out by both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the resistance. Following the formation of the so-called Syrian National Council (SNC), complexity was the name of the game. Prospects for the future looked dim and an anti-democratic alternative — that of Islamic governance — loomed on the horizon.

    The Islamic Alternative has been difficult to characterize. This is in part due to the diversity and conflicting styles and strategies followed by the Islamist forces, especially the armed ones. These forces promise anything but civil peace, national unity and a democratic alternative. They want to undermine the state for its secular, infidel nature. They reject notions of equality and principles of justice.

     The SNC has brought — with the help of the regime — all Arab, regional and international powers into Syria. Syria is now a battle field for all of the outside powers one can think of.

    Moreover, Syrians have been exposed to risks far beyond their control, including widespread foreign intervention and a lurking civil war. As a result, an enormous segment of Syrian society has has started to feel confused, fearful and remorseful. According to this segment, the revolution’s original direction — that which they had hoped would lead to freedom, justice and equality — has been forgotten.
    I believe that we are now moving towards the next level in our revolutionary journey, which was originally sparked by the protests in Daraa. At that time, we believed our actions would end with the downfall of the regime. The phase that could usher in a democratic and civil state is now close, but these aspirations already began to fade last year.

    The coming phase might bring in a system that is a far cry from the dream of a democratic and civil state. However, it is our duty to be aware of the changes in light of this new phase, including the downfall of Assad. [But] Assad’s downfall will not necessarily be the end of tyranny, as we used to believe.

    Read more:

  •  oof! And this could get ugly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac
    Russian Speakers Become Prey in Syrian Conflict

    Urgent negotiations over the fate of Ms. Kochneva, 40, come at a dangerous point in the Syrian conflict, as armed groups with political and mercantile interests turn their attention to civilians. Tens of thousands of Russian citizens and other Russian speakers from the former Soviet Union live in Syria, scattered so widely that even ascertaining their whereabouts is a nearly impossible task.

    The danger posed to Russians in Syria has come into increasingly sharp focus since Monday, when armed men kidnapped two Russian steel-plant workers and an Italian colleague not far from the place where Ms. Kochneva was seized. The daily newspaper Kommersant reported that their captors were demanding more than $700,000.

    There was a time when i thought that the rebels sinking one of the Russian ships at Tartus would have created a very interesting turn of events. Later, i started wondering about this very problem. It's a much softer target-rich environment and, i think, something we really don't want to see developing. That Haitham al-Maleh is asserting that Russian and Iranian civilians are "legitimate military targets" is a bit disturbing.

    State and CIA could do worse than to work towards nipping this in the bud, imho.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:45:18 AM PST

  •  Is Syria a 'honeypot' for al Qaeda and other (0+ / 0-)

    jihadists? I made remarks to this effect last spring in response to why the US is not doing anything and letting the fight go on as more and more jihadis moved into Syria.

    Here's an interesting speech by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to this effect. Your mileage may vary....

    •  Nonsense claims & Interview with Michel Kilo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clay Claiborne

      @Claudius Bombarnac. Your claim that the "the revolution was hijacked within weeks of it's inception and turned into a bloody sectarian civil war by outside forces" is utter nonsense. The Revolution was predominantly peaceful on the opposition side for the first 12 months, with little influence of outside forces in that period. The "cvil war" is a product of the regime's adoption of a "military solution" to the conflict.
      Michel Kilo is an important historical figure in the Syrian opposition, but  he comes from a marginalised current in a deeply factionalised Syrian opposition. The article you link to is first and foremost a polemic against Kilo's bete noire, the Muslim brotherhood. In the rush to forge a polemical rod to beat them with, he slides towards incoherence, making no distinctions between Islamist and jihadist groups or between the different currents in the FSA.
      Moreover Kilo is politically unstable: just 4 months ago he was saying:" If the FSA is defeated, all sections of the population, all political currents, will lose. It would mean the crushing of the popular movement. The solution now is for Syrians to defeat the regime through armed struggle."

      •  There has been credible reports of arms being (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        moved into Syria from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey as early as April, 2011. Several Al Jazeera reporters resigned due to the failure of the agency to publicly report their findings.

        Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage

        Funding of the opposition by Qatar and Saudi Arabia was also widely known to be occurring by that time. Also, Wikileaks documents showed that the US was funding ex-pats and pro-democracy movements within the country since the mid-90's.

        •  Turn to Civil War in Syria Assad's handiwork (0+ / 0-)

          @Claudius Bombarnac As I stated above, the revolution was predominantly peaceful for its first year or more. Some significant armed actions took place in the summer of 2011 once significant defections from the army by soldiers who were unwilling to fire on unarmed demonstrators took place. But even then the main role of the emerging Free Syrian Army was to provide protection for civilian demonstrators.
          The revolution in this period was driven overwhelmingly by internal Syrian forces - civilian oppositionist and military defectors from the regime.
          External actors may well have been trying to fish in trouble waters, but they were not the cause of the shift towards civil war - that was the result of the regime's repressive actions and their determination to mililtarise the struggle.

  •  That should be mid 2000's (0+ / 0-)

    BTW, Nasrallah's comments are interesting in that it is a win-win situation for the US if jihadist and regime forces kill each other. Especially if the jihadists come from all over the world. BTW, my post from last spring ended with "/snark".

    Unfortunately, many innocent Syrians are dying in the fighting between the two forces.. As you know, 'collateral damage' has never swayed US military policy in the past when it comes to regime change. Just look to Claiborne's sig line for an example.

    Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust  

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