Back in February 2011, I would have told you that I supported a peaceful uprising in Syria- whether it be for reforms or democratic elections. I’m not a fan of the typical perception of “democracy”, but I feel that Syrians should have a right to elect whoever they want to be president, even though many will argue that Bashar Al Assad was a part of free and fair elections. This becomes a basic right, not necessarily “democracy”. However regardless of how democratic any election can be- opposition will always exist. And they have a right to exist. But how far can they go with their fight until it becomes illegitimate and not actually peaceful anymore?
As a southern Lebanese who’s land has been torn apart by a foreign entity, I know all too well about homegrown armies relying on the simplest of weaponry to defeat what they perceive is their monster. It takes decades and numerous amounts of martyrs, but victory is inevitable if you play your cards right. Establish a consensus and choose the right allies. It sounds relatively easy, no?
Probably not. For me, the Free Syrian Army has made all the wrong moves and should just go back and fold.
What started off as a somewhat peaceful revolution in Syria has become an absolute nightmare. And while I can sit here and blame the Assad’s regime and Syrian army for cracking down on protesters, one must look at the whole picture- the FSA is committing crimes and no one is acknowledging them.
(Warning: video is rated 18+ for violent and graphic images)
I, unsurprisingly, blame the media. Events in the past can prove this: see Gilles Jacquier. Initial reports flooded the internet and news networks claiming the Assad regime had killed the French journalist until the FSA took responsibility. And then we never heard about it again. Even today, people will still tell you the Syrian army committed this crime. They are so blinded and brainwashed that they can’t even believe statements that are coming from the Free Syrian Army themselves. This to me has made for pitiful journalism…I don’t even think they themselves are convinced but they report what they want anyway because everyone is already expecting the Assad regime to have done it. So they just go with the flow, because when it comes to Syria facts don’t matter.
Then there is the assumption that people are just too emotional to admit that the FSA cannot contain a peaceful revolution anymore. And while I fully support armed resistances defending themselves, things like Barack Obama signing “secret” deals with the CIA to support Syrian rebels in ways that are “unclear” leave me skeptical. Who are these rebels and what exactly are they doing? Why are they accepting weaponry from the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar who have done nothing but exonerate the crimes Israel has committed on Palestinians? Those who support the revolution and the FSA will tell you that Bashar Al Assad never truly cared for the Palestinian cause, but how is using weaponry from those who practically sold Jerusalem and accept the partitioning of Palestinian land? For me, as one would find hypocrisy in Bashar Al Assad’s support for Palestine, I find that the FSA too are using the cause in vain and this should be offensive to Palestinians.
Also the Syrian revolution has become somewhat of, and dare I say it, a fashion statement. The popularity of the Syrian revolution among the youth is not something unlikely, but how many of these kids are doing their research about the history of the FSA? I think one of the most important details being left out about their whole existence is their ties with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood- a sectarian faction consisting of extremist Salafi and Sunni Muslims who’s funding comes from Qatar, one of the countries where they sought refuge after they failed at an attempt to topple the late Hafeth Al Assad in the 80’s. It seems like a lot hasn’t changed since the so-called Free Syrian Army is again looking to old friends to revamp their dying revolution. See here.
And that’s exactly it- their revolution is dying. Does that mean the FSA has lost? No. Does it mean Bashar Al Assad will not fall? No. But a peaceful revolution, the kind Al Jazeera keeps trying to shove down our throats, is dead and buried. What we are now witnessing in Syria is a full blown civil war and it has been for the 16 months. Syria, the only country that bears any Arab dignity, is now left in fragments holding on to dear life. Its people are bleeding and stability might never be seen again. Syria’s future is slowly becoming present-day Lebanon.
It all comes down to one question- was it worth it?