Syria: homework!

Blog No. 70.

I have been promising a blog on Syria and its contribution to the global refugee crisis for some time. As the Syrian situation is changing so much and so rapidly, I have hesitated to step in with a commentary that will almost immediately be obsolete. One thing is clear, as in the Ukraine, the western media has been propagating an interpretation of Syrian reality that suits its corporate interests rather than the interests of the Syrian people. This means that without due precaution, much of what I write will have me categorised as a dupe of anti-western propaganda by the readers I most wish to reach – those duped by western propaganda!

On Christmas Eve, I picked up a copy of New Zealand’s Dominion Post – the Australian owned Fairfax Media Corporation’s flagship publication in New Zealand. In it we had Tom Scott’s latest expression of Christmas cheer.

Scott Cartoon
A New Zealand view of the Christmas Monster.

The New Zealand public has its thinking done for it. Everyone knows that Bashir Assad is a blood-stained mass-murderer and that Putin is a crazed war-monger eating on the sour grapes of the former Soviet Empire having now fallen into Washington’s hands.

It must be clear to anyone who gives it serious thought that something does not ring true in the western narrative. This mild-mannered, former ophthalmologist, called unexpectedly to rule Syria at short notice (one is reminded of George VI’s ascent to the British throne) has managed to hold onto power, despite the urgent attempts of the USA, the UK, the gold bags of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the territorial ambitions of neighbouring Turkey and Israel to have him replaced with a finger puppet of their own choosing.

British Media joins the hue and cry

Throughout this period, Assad’s only allies were Russia and Iran. Until recently, and only as his enemies have become increasingly terrified by the jihadist monster they created as their weapon of choice against his regime, these two allies have been weakened and distracted by the western created crisis in the Ukraine and the puffed up nuclear sanctions campaign against Iran.

Despite these extraordinary odds stacked against him, Assad has remained in power and his armed forces have remained loyal despite the enormous casualties they have taken. The only possible explanation for this is that despite western claims to the contrary, Bashir Assad has the political support of a significantly larger number of his fellow citizens than only that of his own minority, Alawite sect.

Bashir and Asma – his British born wife

These are four news items and commentaries on Syria, which anyone who is seriously interested in understanding the causes of this human calamity should first ingest before I attempt, in a later blog, to place an intolerable burden on their credulity.

Roland Dumas France’s Former Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, in a one minute video clip. The Syrian revolt was planned by western powers long in advance of the 2011 ‘Arab Spring.’

Unknown Warrior The ring of authenticity – 25 min video on how the whole affair and western public opinion was media managed. The Off-Guardian is a group of journalists, who broke away from the UK’s Guardian Newspaper as it succumbed more and more to corporate pressures. Off-Guardian

Prof. Tim Anderson Prof. Timothy Anderson is an Australian academic and a leading authority on the Syrian conflict. This is a long article and it is only the latter part that is of immediate interest – it deals with just how popular the current regime is amongst Syrians. Here is an extract:

“A poll in late 2011, funded by Bashar’s enemies in Qatar and so certainly biased, showed that a majority outside Syria wanted the Syrian President to resign because of ‘the regime’s brutal treatment of protestors’. However, and more importantly, it also showed that 51% of Syrians wanted Assad to stay (Doha Debates 2011). When a poll run by an enemy says this we should take notice. Islamist fighters in Aleppo were more emphatic. Three Free Syrian Army leaders (all of whom collaborated with the al Qaeda groups) said the Syrian President had at least ‘70 percent’ support in that mainly Sunni Muslim city (Bayoumy 2013). The local people, ‘all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us’ (Abouzeid 2012); they are ‘all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction’ (Ghaith 2012). Unpopularity is fatal to a revolution; to a religious fanatic it is merely inconvenient. An internal NATO study in 2013 also estimated that 70% of Syrians supported the President, 20% were neutral and 10% supported the ‘rebels’ (World Tribune 2013; BIN 2013). These estimates were not far from the outcome of the 2014 Presidential elections.Outside Syria the demonisation of Bashar was powerful.”

Latino Fox News A Fox News interview with Assad – get a feel for the man when faced with a potentially hostile interview. (It would appear that the Latino version of Fox News is less extreme than its US parent.)

Just a few days ago, the Obama administration announced that, given the urgent need to contain IS,  it would magnanimously modify its demand for the immediate resignation of Bashir Assad. If he wishes, he may now stay in position until March 2017. By that date, he must resign and leave a six month interregnum, (imagine it!) in which a general election can be arranged in his absence.  In effect, America, with no grounding in reality,  is desperately trying to snatch a victory from the jaws of an ignominious defeat and is doing so at the expense of the continued suffering of the Syrian people. They must be fully aware, as are the vast majority of the Syrian people that, as in America’s previous inglorious exercise in regime change in Libya, only chaos and Jihadist factions will replace Assad.

I will ultimately settle down to write on what I see as the reality behind the Syrian crisis, but know that, without my readers doing some preparatory work, I will be struggling against a current of disbelief.

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