AFP Photo: Hillary Clinton speaking in Croatia on October 31, 2012. She attempted to rewrite history and rebrand the Jihadist-dominated opposition in Syria.
The U. S. plan to overthrow the regime in Syria was drawn up before the Arab Spring, so the discourse of the Arab Spring does not apply to Syria. Attempting to use the popular appeal of the Arab Spring to put political pressure on the Syrian regime is an act of irrationality and imperial hubris. It's like squaring a circle.
Washington's "democracy and freedom" rhetoric does not serve the best interests of the Syrian people. It is wrong that fake humanitarian activists and organizations in the West have copied the U.S. regime by saying the conflict in Syria fits into the larger "Arab Spring" narrative. They are seeking to legitimize a war of aggression against Syria by the US, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.
How can any humanitarian-minded person justify naked aggression? I know most Western human rights groups have ties to intelligence agencies, but it is also true that a lot of people who want the removal of Assad are brainwashed victims who truly believe official US statements about the depravity of Assad.
Media reports of the conflict in Syria have depicted Assad as a "butcher." The global alternative media has tried its best to correct this false impression of Assad, which is necessary for a resolution to the conflict, but the U.S. government has continued to portray Assad as an isolated and unpopular oppressor.
But this is not true.
Flynt Leverett, a former senior member of the National Security Council, explains that, "the Assad government still retains a very significant base of support within Syria—probably about half of the society," adding that, "the only way you’re really going to get out of this conflict is through a negotiated settlement based on power sharing between the current government and parts of the opposition. But the opposition, egged on by its external supporters, refuses to pursue the only way that you could get out of this conflict." .
The view that there is a popular armed revolution in Syria is false and has no relation to the reality on the ground in Syria. Those who make blanket assertions about the character of the opposition in Syria are flat out wrong. They remind me of former President Bush's and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's loony ideological statements about the regional repercussions of the US invasion of Iraq. They tried to justify the US-caused destruction and suffering in that country by saying they were creating a new and democratic Middle East.
I thought the crazies left Washington when Obama was elected in November, but his administration has only intensified the craziness and expanded imperial operations. The Obama administration's determination to forcibly change the regime in Syria from the outside is very strong. But in the process, U.S. officials are rewriting history to make their case. On October 31, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton misrepresented the nature of the conflict in Syria and the strength of the opposition to the regime, saying:
And there needs to be an opposition leadership structure that is dedicated to representing and protecting all Syrians. It is not a secret that many inside Syria are worried about what comes next. They have no love lost for the Assad regime, but they worry, rightly so, about the future. And so there needs to be an opposition that can speak to every segment and every geographic part of Syria. And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution. There are disturbing reports of extremists going into Syria and attempting to take over what has been a legitimate revolution against a repressive regime for their own purposes. .It is not true that the armed uprising against the Syrian regime that started in March 2011 was legitimate to begin with. The U.S. government, Western powers, the Gulf monarchies, and others were very much involved in financing the initial violent attacks against the regime and giving weapons to foreign fighters, most of whom are Jihadist terrorists.
The "Free Syrian Army" was not hijacked by Islamic extremists, as Hillary Clinton absurdly says, it was led by them from the very beginning, thanks to U.S. and Saudi efforts. So it is a ridiculous comment because it contradicts the facts.
All the evidence shows that the FSA never had any real internal, popular support in Syria. It is a foreign-backed terror organization that consists of radical Jihadists, not an indigenous, guerrilla, revolutionary army.
The only resistance force in Syria that has popular legitimacy within its community is the PKK. The Saudi-linked Jihadists are not native to Syria. Syria's rich, diverse, and tolerant culture is the antidote to the racism and sectarianism of the Wahhabi Islamists who lead the FSA.
A week and a half ago, Kurdish protesters came under attack from the Jihadist terrorists in the FSA because they did not want them around their area. The local groups affiliated with the PKK responded by driving them out of the Kurdish neighbourhoods.
I wrote about this emerging conflict last week. It has been mischaracterized as an "Arab-Kurdish" conflict, but this is not the case. Most of the FSA members are not even Syrian. It is a political, territorial, and ideological conflict, not an ethnic one.
Some people believe the conflict between the PKK and the FSA is a diversion to the anti-Assad war, but this is a mistaken view because there was never a cohesive political coalition against the Syrian regime. The idea that narrow-minded Jihadists and independent-minded Kurds will create common ground and wage war together is laughable. It is not going to happen.
To sum up, it is natural for totalitarian states like the US government to do violence to the facts of history. If it can financially and politically afford to ignore reality then it will. But humanitarian and peace activists cannot afford to ignore the human consequences of U.S. policy in Syria. Millions of innocent Syrians are paying the price.
What's tragic is that the U.S. destruction of Syria is totally unnecessary. It is a waste of human resources. And it is a crime against humanity. Washington's anti-Assad stance is entirely motivated by imperial interests. We must make sure not to fall into emotional traps set by cynical U.S. officials whose motivations and goals have nothing to do with bringing democracy to Syria.
1. Flynt Leverett. Flynt Leverett on the Illusion of a Syrian “Opposition”—and the Real Requirements for Conflict Resolution in Syria. Website: The Race For Iran. November 5, 2012.
2. Hillary Clinton. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Remarks With Croatian President Ivo Josipovic After Their Meeting. Website: U.S. Department of State. October 31, 2012.