The Absurd Times Syrian for Peace

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on September 25, 2012

I tried to contact this author with no luck. It is too important not to be published more, so here it is:

The 2011-2012 Syrian Revolution or civil war?

Posted on September 20, 2012 by syrianforpeace

One of the most confusing aspects of the 2011-2012 Syrian Revolution is the various theories that have been attributed to it/about it. There are people who believe that this revolution is one that sparked out of the desire for freedom. There are others who believe that it is the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement resurrecting from its death in the 1980’s. And yet there are also others who believe it is a NATO attempt of making a move against its greatest enemy Iran, of whom the Syrian government is one of the closest allies to.
Any one of these theories can be true and perhaps it is even likely that all of them are. Yes, there are Syrians that want freedom; yes there are Islamists that want to re-Islamize the Syrian government, and yes, the west has much to gain from ousting an Iran-allied regime.
But the question that is in most need of being answered is: How many Syrians want this revolution? And how many Syrians don’t?
When we speak about this “revolution”, we are speaking of many different things at the same time. This revolution is not entirely based on achieving freedom. If it was only for that, then all Syrians would be agreed. The achievement of “freedom” only comes in a package with other deals; which are:
1. Violence. This has been obvious in the past year. It is not just violence from the government towards the opposition, but it is also violence from the opposition towards the government. The quarrels between the government and opposition have resulted in thousands of Syrian deaths and refugees, in addition to the daunting destruction and instability of the country.
2. Outside interference. The Syrian government and the Syrian opposition will continue to attack each other until a higher power helps one of the sides defeat the other. When this happens, the new Syrian government will be obliged to the country that won their victory. Many Syrians worry that the country they end up being obliged to will be a country that is an enemy. For example, if the United States helps the opposition win the revolution, then the United States will undoubtedly have a share of the new Syrian government. Considering the fact that the United States has always been an enemy to the Middle East and is a supporter of Israel, such an alliance is not appealing to all of the Syrian people.
3. Risk of Islamists coming into power. Even though democracy is generally recognized as the fair and just way of electing a government, many Syrians could disagree with this generalization if an Islamist government were to be situated. As mentioned in a previous articleAre Islamists Sectarian, the minorities of Syria have long suffered under the Islamist rule. The Baath party, despite being a “dictatorship”, bettered their conditions significantly. Apart from the minorities, there are also many liberal Sunni Muslims who oppose any form of government that affiliates with religion. They believe that it would be much more repressive and take from their freedom rather than offer them more of it.
Thus, the Syrian people are divided when it comes to this revolution. Not all of them want it. As a matter of fact, most of the opposition, as mentioned in The Baath Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, un-coincidentally, happens to be outside of Syria. Some people will generalize that the pro- and anti- Assad ratio of Syrians outside of Syria is proportional to the pro- and anti- Assad ratio of Syrians inside Syria. This is one of the most major misconceptions of the 2011- 2012 Syrian Revolution.
99.9% of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood left Syria in the 1980’s. When Bashar issued a law that allowed them to return, most of them had already raised an entire generation that grew up outside of Syria, not knowing anything about the country except for what their Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated families had told them about it.Naturally, anyone would demonize a government for exiling their parents/grandparents from their own country, even if their parent/grandparents were the ones at fault.
Other Syrians outside of Syria, who have no family ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, are also inclined to believe that the government of their country is tyrannical for lacking a democracy. These Syrians, despite having no Islamist influence in their ideologies, only see half of the picture. Growing up outside of Syria, they never studied the country’s history. They are not familiarized with the minorities in the country and the centuries of oppression they had suffered under Islamist authoritarianism. For these Syrians, history started with Hafez Al Assad being a dictator in office for thirty years and his son Bashar taking his place for the next ten. For these Syrians, they witnessed neither improvement nor the opposite take place in Syria over the years. All they know about Syria is that it has a dictator. And the term “dictator” is quite a stereotypical word. One is automatically programmed to imagine a dictator being a cruel, self-centered, tyrannical man with power. People are inclined to hate anyone falling under this label before even properly knowing who the person is and/or why they are there.
Without getting into more detail about the term or about Bashar Al Assad, the point that is being emphasized is that the Syrian opposition is mainly outside of Syria. It is delusional. It is very common to find Syrians outside of Syria who oppose the government while they have family members inside of Syria who strongly aid it. The truth is, the great majority of people inside Syria support the government and do not want this revolution.
How does a country whose majority doesn’t want a revolution have one?
This is where the tragedy begins. After Turkey had taken a position against the Syrian government, with the Syrian revolution, it opened its borders with Syria and began to allow outside opposition to enter. Yes, most of those whom entered were Syrians. But again, they were Syrians who had been living outside of Syria for most of, if not for their entire lives. There were also other Arabs, all jihadists who came for the intention of Islamizing Syria or paid soldiers, who entered Syria as opposition as well. This is not to say that there was absolutely no Syrian within Syria who did not join the opposition, of course there was. There were some, very few, who joined the opposition voluntarily. And then there were some more who were bribed to. Not necessarily all, but many members of the Syrian Army were paid to defect and join the opposition.
Their defections from the Syrian Army to join the opposition were not only to add physical strength to it. A defector of an army has much more to offer to an opposition movement than his combat. A defected soldier is in a position to act as if he knows the issued secrets, agendas, and commands of government given to the army; he is more credible to the public. Thus, these defectors were paid not only to aid the opposition in physical strength, but also to present opposition-favoring lies about the Syrian Army’s agenda to the public. For example, many defectors claimed that the Syrian Army was specifically instructed to target civilians.
Syrian Army soldiers making public defection announcement

The number of opposition fighters imported to Syria and the number of defections from its government alone played probably the biggest role in developing the revolution. What needed to be done was make it seem that the revolution was the side that the majority was supporting; this would psychologically manipulate everyone else to accept and conform to it. All that they needed to do was make this delusion, and this was easily done with the media portraying the large numbers of imported opposition fighters in Syria as Syrians and the defections of Syrian Army soldiers as voluntary. Keep in mind that they only needed to bribe a few Syrian Army soldiers into defecting; once the delusion of defection being the norm was established, the others would then fall like dominoes into the conformity effect.
The opposition beat the truth at telling the tale of the Syrian Revolution to the world. With photos of dead bodies, destructed buildings, Syrian army defection statements, and biased untruthful activist/witnesses, it was very easy for them to draw a picture of a power-lusting dictator killing innocent people for his leisure. The first photos of dead bodies and destructed buildings were propaganda; they were brought from other world disasters and photo-shopped to look “Syrian”. Keep in mind that only a few of these photos were needed. After fueling anger and giving an excuse for the opposition to counter-attack, these stories and photos came to life.
There are some people who believe that the Syrian government is deliberately targeting innocent civilians. This is the most irrational rationalization of the real situation, for many reasons:
1. The Syrian Army is made up of Syrian men. They are human beings with mothers and children. They would not target and kill innocent civilians for the sake of doing so.
2. The Syrian Army is barely capable of keeping the armed opposition under control; there is no reason it would waste its time, weapons, and efforts targeting people who are uninvolved in the conflict.
3. By targeting civilians, it would give a perfect excuse for a power from the outside to intervene.
4. But most importantly, the Syrian government, at this time, is in its most critical need for supporters. Targeting civilians is definitely not a way to attain them.
In every way, the idea of “targeting” civilians is not in the interest of the Syrian government. Rather, in every way, the idea of “targeting” civilians is in the interest of the opposition.
This is not to say that the Syrian government has not killed any innocent civilians; it has. And it has killed a lot. However, there is a very big difference between “targeting” and “killing”. Though the results of both are the same, the view of the public to each is very different.
To “target” innocent civilians is to be a sadistic, blood-thirsty tyrant. To target an armed opposition gang and undesirably take innocent lives in the process is to be a human in an ethically controversial situation. It is in the opposition’s interest to portray the Syrian government as a sadistic, bloodthirsty, dictatorship, not the Syrian government’s.
We are seeing horrific massacres, deliberate violence against children and women that were in no means “by accident”. Who is responsible?
Quite simply it was neither the Syrian Army nor the Free Syrian Army who were responsible for these attacks. While the spotlight focuses on the battles between these two armies, there is another hidden battle that takes place out of the public eye. This is the sectarian war between the Islamists and the Alawites.
Alqaeda jihadists holding the “Free Syria” flag

Islamists are not the only ones responsible. Though most jihadists are non-Syrians who have come from other countries specifically for the sake of slaying the “infidels”, there are also counter attacks from the local “infidels” against the Islamists. Unfortunately, these “counter attacks” are made against Sunni civilians the same way the jihadists’ offenses are made against the Alawite civilians.
Sometimes referred to as the “Shabiha”, there is a group of uneducated robust Alawite extremists who are very strong supporters of Bashar Al Assad and of the Baath regime. They have not forgotten the oppression the Islamists have subjected them to in the past. They hold on to their history passionately and are determined to never let it repeat itself.

Many of the Shabiha’s actions, such as the “Assad or we burn the country” slogan have wrongly been blamed on the government. This is one of the biggest frustrations in the revolution. The Shabiha are just as associated with the Syrian government as the Alqaeda jihadists are with the opposition. Each of the extremists wants their side to win, and is perhaps helping them in doing so, BUT, they are not associated with the sides they are supporting and thus their actions do not represent them. This is a point that only very few people understand or want to understand, however it is one of the most important points to know. The ignorance to this fact is what stands in the way of a solution to the Syrian conflict.
When people see such brutal images of torture, amputation, and beheading, it is hard for them not to feel a strong wave of hatred against the side they believe is responsible. Such violence, especially against the innocent and weak, arouses people to fight for the justice of these victims. And such justice can only, realistically, be the equivalent of the offense.
Generally speaking, hatred and anger against injustice is not at all a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it is one of the things humanity is most blessed to have. Without this anger and hatred we would never be driven to bring justice to the world. The arousal, in Syria’s situation, is good. However, it is directed at the wrong people, and is thus moving Syria the wrong direction.
Simply put: neither the Syrian Army/government nor the Free Syrian Army/opposition are cold hearted killers. They are both the same people doing the exact same thing but simply for opposite sides. It is the extremists on each end that are responsible for the worst of the atrocities that have been seen in the country.
At the same time, this does not exonerate the armies from the being held responsible for the civilian casualties that have resulted from their battles. The armies are both only targeting each other and each of the armies is surrounded by civilians. Whether intentional or not, the fact is that both of these armies are using civilians as human shields. If either of the armies truly had the integrity to care about civilian lives, one of them would have put their weapons down submitted to the other because the fact is there is no way of attacking their target without attacking civilians as well.
The conflict of the 2011-2012 Syrian Revolution is the fact that nobody sees, or wants to see, the bigger picture of it. Those in the opposition unconsciously actually WANT to believe that there is an evil tyrannical dictator who is massacring people for his leisure. They WANT to be the heroes that come to the rescue. They WANT the recognition from the world. And as human beings, we only believe what we want to believe. There is nothing wrong with having fantasies of being a hero, we all have them; it’s something natural that comes with being human. However, the situation in Syria is simply not a Disney movie. It is not what we want it to be. Unlike the movies, there is no “good guy” and “bad guy” there is only human beings that are making mistakes because they are fighting each other. The media’s job is to make any story more exciting and interesting than it really is. And it does so by presenting the events in a distorted and biased manner. The conflict of Syria is a conflict of closed-mindedness and misunderstanding. And the method that is being chosen to resolve this conflict is force and violence. Thus, this is definitely not a revolution. This is a civil war.

| Tagged Al Qaeda, Alawites, Arab spring, Arab uprising, Bashar Al Assad, extermists, Free Syrian Army, Islamists, jihadists, Muslim Brotherhood, revolution, Shabiha, Syria, Syrian Army,Syrian civil war, Syrian government, Syrian opposition, Syrian Revolution | Leave a comment

Posted By Blogger to The Absurd Times at 9/25/2012 11:00:00 AM


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  1. syrian for peace said, on September 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing my post 🙂


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