You might be curious why the heck a geek stops posting pamphlets on Web development, search, and whatnot in favor of supporting the revolution in a remote country in the middle east. Well, here’s the story: I do care.
Syria’s recent history
Since the coup of 1970, Assad’s mafia clan occupies Syria, operating the country like a farm and treating the Syrians like slaves. The oppression of the Syrian people is unprecedented.
The Assad clan carried out horrible massacres, for example 1982 where they killed 40,000 people in Hama for opposing the tyranny. In Assad’s dungeons, torture is the standard operation procedure. They torture to kill. These facilities produce dozens of corpses daily, each of them, and there are dozens. Don’t believe the official prisons are any better than the secret detention centers.
In March 2011 the Syrian people began to protest against the Assad regime.
After many months of peaceful protests faced with live bullets and even tank fire from Assad’s militias and the regime army, the people began to take up arms in self defense. Army and police defectors, joined by civilians, formed local Free Syrian Army brigades in order to defend the still peaceful protests against the regime’s onslaught. A few months later, they began to liberate their hometowns from Assad’s occupation.
The Syrian army (SAA), weakened by defections, supported only by hired criminal gangs (shabiha), began to crumble in 2012, losing more and more ground to the rebellion, so Assad imported Iranian, Iraqi, and Lebanese terrorist forces like Hezbollah to defend his regime.
Today the former SAA is reduced to a few thousand hardcore regime supporters, mostly from Assad’s clan (and sect), commanding tens of thousands of ‘conscripts’ captured in nightly roundups in Damascus and the coastal region, who most possibly lack any will to fight the rebellion by killing their very own people, friends, and relatives. Tens of thousands of regime supporters in fighting age fled to Turkey, Lebanon, or Europe. The pathetic remains of the SAA are led by Iranian generals now, and rebels across the country fight mostly foreign mercenaries (from various countries, mostly funded and commanded by Iran’s ‘revolutionary guards corps’ (IRGC), a terrorist entity sanctioned by UN, US, EU et al) on the battlefields.
Since the protests for freedom and dignity began in 2011, the Assad regime has killed half a million people, wounded at least another million civilians although the real figure of the injured is thought to have reached two million in 2015, and displaced at least half of the Syrian population, that is 12 million homeless people. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are besieged in the outskirts of Damascus, Homs, and elsewhere, without access to water, power, food, medicine, nor anything. In these areas especially children die by the hundreds for various reasons, most of them starve to death.
The UN stopped counting casualties early in the conflict, there are no robust stats any more so the numbers above are educated guesses. Most probably reality is worse.
Assad forces deliberately target doctors, nurses, and medical facilities, as well as all civilian infrastructure in rebel held areas from bakeries over court houses to roads, bridges and highways in order to drive people who oppose Assad out of the country.
Assad’s death squads crawl over the country killing civilian activists, journalists, elected members of local coordination committees governing liberated areas - just all people who speak out against the regime terror, but not the Daesh thugs, also known as IS, ISIL, or ISIS in the west. In fact, the Assad regime supported Daesh, a baathist organization like Assad’s official front-end, in capturing a lot of liberated territory from rebels.
In mid 2015, Assad had lost three quarters of the Syrian territory:
After Syrian rebels wiped out Daesh in Idlib, Hama and most of Aleppo in January 2014, the unholy ‘Islamic State’ controls the less populated eastern deserts bordering Iraq from Raqqa to Palmyra, and advances towards Suweida, Damascus and Homs. Assad’s share in August 2015 was central Damascus, tiny parts of Dara’a, Quneitra and Suweida (where the Druze population ain’t keen on Assad’s rule so the regime’s grip is challenged all over the governorate) in the south, a corridor from Damascus via Homs and Hama to the coastal strip (Tartous, Latakia) in the west, as well as 40% of Aleppo city and some of its suburbs in the north. Kurds held a few areas near the Turkish border, and shared territory in the northeast with the regime. Most of the north (Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, Hama) and south (Dara’a, Quneitra, Ghouta/outskirts of Damascus) of the country was liberated by the rebellion, as well as some areas in between, like the Rastan pocket in the central Homs governorate, and parts of Qalamoun. Rebels were advancing on all fronts. Despite his air power (rebels don’t operate aircraft and lack any air defense weapons), Assad lost.
Out of resources (especially man power) and facing defeat within months, Assad asked Russia for help beyond the ongoing replacement of burned tanks, defunct aircraft, and shiploads of ammo. Keen on annoying the USA and its allies, dictator Putin joined the Syrian theater with a force of some 50 jets, air defense batteries, dozens of choppers and armored vehicles, all manned by probably only a few thousands Russian soldiers.
Putin fooled the UN and everyone by claiming Russia went to Syria to fight Daesh, but after the first bombs fell on Assad’s opposition, not on Daesh terrorists, it became clear that Putin is here to support the Assad regime.
Russia didn’t fight Daesh at all, even supported Daesh ground offensives against rebels with close air support. Just for statistical purposes Russia actually bombed Raqqa, which is occupied by Daesh, killing scores of civilians but not a single Daesh fighter.
On behalf of the murderous Assad regime, Russia now bombs hospitals, IDP/refugee camps, markets and civilian neighborhoods, killing and wounding thousands on a daily basis with impunity, driving millions of desperate Syrians out of the country (or into improvised IPD camps near the borders, since most neigboring states closed their borders).
Russian propaganda outlets claim they destroy terrorist ammo dumps (in fact grain silos), weapon factories (in fact bakeries), command and control centers (in fact hospitals), and huge gatherings of terrorists (in fact improvised camps for internally displaced families), defeating Daesh in 30 days where the US led coalition bombed them (in fact not only terrorists, the USAF killed hundreds of civilians and many rebels too) in Syria since ages without results.
The only problem with the actual truth is, that Russia bombs liberated parts of Syria, but absolutely no terrorist forces, not to speak of Daesh which took the cheap opportunity to grab a few towns and villages from both the regime as well as from rebels under Russian air cover.
The role of the western countries, led by the United States “from behind”
Meanwhile the U.S.A. does its very best to prove its label ‘great satan’ gets applied rightly.
America, on behalf of Obama’s Iranian buddies, not only sabotages the rebellion against the tyrant Assad where it can, contrary to its cheap diplomatic talk claiming the opposite, it actively sponsors the Syrian genocide committed by the Russian and Iranian occupation forces as well as by Hezbollah, Iraqi shia militias and Assad’s death squads.
It does so both with all of their diplomatic activities since the Geneva talks that only bought Assad’s regime more time to kill, as well as their deeds on the ground and in the air that support Iran and Assad, and now Russia, under the label of a war on terror that fails to defeat terrorists but solely strengthens those and their best friends, the dictators of the middle east.
The US government uses each and every dirty trick to make sure that the self defense forces of the Syrian people (rebels like the Free Syrian Army and a few bigger Islamic groups, as well as many local brigades defending their villages and towns against the foreign aggressors) can’t cope with the military might Russia brought to the Syrian battlefields, especially with air strikes.
The US administration allows Saudi Arabia to supply the rebels with a few anti-tank missiles, but blocks all shipments of air defense weapons to rebels since 2012. In October 2015 rebels destroyed 123 Russian tanks of the Assad regime, while Russia and Assad’s air force flew thousands of sorties, each of them killing dozens of civilians and often more when they targeted populated markets or IDP camps. Without air defense weapons, the rebels can’t protect the civilians against air strikes.
Totally aware that the majority of all Syrian civilian casualties (hundreds of thousands til today!) were caused by air strikes, the US still says that downing Assad’s jets and choppers dropping tens of thousands of barrel bombs on civilians is not necessary, way to risky, and even counter productive.
Of course a single volley of Tomahawks could destroy all of Assad’s aircraft and render the few runways still under his control useless -without putting American pilots at risk, without boots on the ground, a cheap strike that would save millions of lives without dragging America or its allies into another war. (By the way, the US operations against ISIL, which so far failed to even annoy the terrorists but will go on for a few decades according to the president, cost way more in a single month than such a strike that would end the Syrian genocide within a few weeks, and with that the major reason why Daesh/ISIS still exists.)
Not that the USAF owns the Syrian skies since months, don’t even mention that Syrian rebels hoping for US air support destroyed most of Assad’s air defense facilities in countless bloody battles during the last 4 years - the US still denies the suffering Syrian people a no-fly-zone (NFZ), despite its responsibility to protect the victims of a genocide. Now with the Russians in the game it became a little more complicated, but still doable, with ease.
So even if (big IF) the US fears of air defense weapons falling into the wrong hands were legit (of course that’s plain bullshit, because there are enough simple ways to prevent that), denying the Syrians air defense AND a NFZ equals a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of innocent civilians.
Don’t even think that any of the other world powers didn’t betray the Syrians. All of them did. The EU countries, Canada, Australia and many others followed Obama’s doctrine of letting a genocide happen with impunity in “someone else’s civil war”.
They just sent over a few bucks to finance UN humanitarian aid, which mostly landed in Assad’s deep pockets. China, Russia, and a few other countries even actively support the Syrian genocide, openly with UNSC vetoes against the condemnation of Assad’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, but didn’t fund the WFP food shipments to Syria nor the huge refugee camps hosting a faction of the 4 to 5 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
Since 4.5 years the EU countries refused to take any real action to stop the Syrian genocide. Now that the Syrian refugees knock on their doors in the hundreds of thousands, they still don’t, but ask Turkey to stop the flood of refugees before they cross EU borders. How silly is that? The world’s inaction has created the ‘refugee crisis’. If you guys let a dictator kill gazillions of his people pretty close to your borders for 4.5 years, are you really astonished that many of the survivors, looking for a place to live in peace, that is safe from Assad’s barrel bombs, start walking your way? Assclowns!
How to fuck-up a real mess by declaring war on a minor player
Assad’s oppression and his ongoing genocide is the major recruiting tool for Daesh. Many Sunni Muslims facing only death and pain delivered by Assad’s mafia clan, while rightly feeling abandoned and ignored by the whole “free” world, which doesn’t lift a finger to oppose or even stop the Syrian genocide, have no alternative to joining Daesh (under Daesh occupation it’s “join or die”).
Each and every bomb delivered by USAF jets that kills civilians in Daesh occupied areas, creates more Daesh fighters. No wonder that more than a year of US bombing campaigns over Syria and Iraq have only strengthened Daesh.
The “war on terror” is a complete failure, because the tactics applied just create more terrorists with each strike, regardless whether a strike targets a wedding party, or, in some rare cases, might have the potential of having the remote chance of hitting a guy who’s said to being related to someone who might know a relative of another guy who actually is opposed to US imperialism. Most importantly, there’s no strategy.
Western brute force attacks targeting al-Qaeda failed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, everywhere. The same approach tried in the “war on ISIL/ISIS” failed again, in Iraq and Syria. US foreign policy, adopted (sometimes under pressure, sometimes voluntarily) by most countries, is best described as “trying the most absurd and forseeable fault-prone approach over and over again, expecting different results in each iteration”. Since the almighty USA has only one single hammer, its military, in the toolbox, all the problems it’s faced with resemble a nail.
A strategy to “contain and destroy ISIL/ISIS” solely based on military measures is not only no strategy at all, it doesn’t even count as tactic. Not supporting the people on the ground who fight Daesh since ages is just one of many grave mistakes of the Obama administration. Not understanding that fighting Daesh is way more a social project than a military task, is even worse. Not addressing the major cause of the ongoing Daesh expansion, Assad’s genocide in Syria, is a willfull neglect of reading the situation on the ground. Not listening to experts within the administration who’ve warned Obama since the “Syrian mess” began in 2011 might have been just careless. Sacking those experts or forcing them to leave, just because their expertise didn’t fit the president’s phantasmal plan of bringing the terrorist Iranian regime back in from the cold, is plain criminal intent.
I’m not spinning an alien agenda or laying out conspiracy theories. Here are some examples:
Obama says that bombing oil wells controlled by Daesh as well as destroying trucks transporting oil from those wells will cut off the most important stream of revenue of Daesh. That’s not true. Fact is, that the most important oil revenue for Daesh is from deals with the Assad regime, and that most of this oil flows through pipelines that the USAF must not target, because Iran vetoes US strikes, and Obama’s not willing to endanger the nuclear deal with the mullahs in Tehran. Also, all liberated areas of Syria rely on low-quality ‘Daesh diesel’ for generators, transport and heating, because Turkey doesn’t allow fuel exports to Syria. That means, the US destroys the trucks that deliver diesel to hospitals, bakeries, and millions of Syrians who’re cut off from power by the Assad regime, and out of firewood to survive the coming winter. That’s a catastrope. Syrian winters are harsh, without fuel tens of thousands of Syrians will die for one of Obama’s silly ideas.
Obama says that US interventions helped to cut off donations to Daesh from Gulf countries. That’s false. Gulf countries have prevented that by themselves, in their very own interest. Balance sheets captured from Daesh showed that donations counted for less than 5% of their income in the past years.
Actually, Daesh funds its terror “state” by pressing out the people under its brutal regime. Daesh can perfectly survive from taxes pulled from the 6-8 million Syrians and Iraqis living in Daesh occupied areas. They just don’t need no fucking external revenue streams, which mostly exist only in the wet dreams of western analysts. Even if (big IF) the west would figure out how to cut the energy supplies to the Assad regime, Daesh would still laugh all the way to the bank.
Obama says that the US bombing campaigns have contained Daesh both in Syria as well as Iraq. That’s a lie. Since the start of the US air campaign Daesh has multiplied the number of its well trained fighters mostly equipped with US weaponry by a factor of at least 3, possibly 5. Maybe Obama believes what he tells the American people and the world, but that’s because US intel was massively censored and manipulated to adjust the “truth” to fit his wishful thinking.
Obama says that the US supports forces on the ground. Well, that’s partly true. The US supports Kurds, but most of them are members of a terrorist organization (PKK) that not only is at war with the US ally and NATO member Turkey, but also is in bed with the Assad regime, and therefore fights Syrian rebels on various fronts, even attacking them from behind when they defend their homes against Daesh, for example in Syria’s Aleppo governorate.
Kurds have no interest in liberating non-Kurdish land from Daesh, also Arabs wouldn’t accept a Kurdish occupation force. Since most of the areas mostly populated by Kurds are already free of Daesh, the Kurdish forces are no potential ally when it comes to liberate Daesh occupied provinces like Raqqa or Deir Ezzor. That means, the Kurds can’t help the US campaign any more. They’ll defend their land, a tiny percentage of Syria and Iraq, but won’t move on. The Kurds are totally useless with regard to the goal of defeating Daesh in Syria.
Of course there are local forces totally opposed to Daesh in all other parts of Syria, which liberated whole provinces from Daesh’s occupation in bloody battles with thousands of casualties, but the US doesn’t support those. Actually, the US totally ignores them, and often sabotages their supply lines. We’re not talking about a few small local armed groups, but a well organized rebel army having at least 200,000 soldiers under arms, protecting millions of civilians from Daesh and the Assad regime. Some of their fighters are extremists, but that’s a minority, and in the Syrian society extremists are an even smaller minority.
Those Syrian rebels, properly supported, could defeat Daesh in months, once the Assad regime (which doesn’t equal the Syrian state institutions which it just hijacked) is toppled. As long as the Assad regime exists, no one in Syria will accept an ISIS-first approach propagated by the western countries, because Assad killed, injured, imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise oppressed a gazillion more Syrians than Daesh ever will target. Way more than 95% of all deaths in Syria since 2011 were caused by the Assad regime, less than a single per cent by terror organizations like Daesh.
Let these numbers sink in. You’ll get the priority of the Syrian people. You’ll understand why supporting the Syrian people in their rebellion against the murderous tyrant must stay the very first priority. Daesh will get expelled from Syria once the butcher Assad hangs from his neck in Damascus, or flees to Iran.
Not a conclusion, just an appeal to apply common sense
To bring my point home, the Syrian mess wasn’t caused by Obama and all the western leaders who followed his gruesome foreign policy of actively supporting the genocide in Syria after the first peaceful protests in 2011. Assad started it, now Iran and Russia carry out the genocide since Assad lost most of his manpower to the rebels. Obama et al just prolonged the suffering of the Syrian people, and they made a political solution impossible. I just ask you not to buy the lies of your leaders any more.
Especially when your politicans claim that “there’s no (political) solution for Syria without Russia/Iran/Assad”, you should be skeptical. First, there’s no such thing as a possible “political solution”, because the dictator Bashar al-Assad doesn’t negotiate (he even dismissed the recent Vienna statement calling for a “transition”, although it’s signed by his closest allies Iran and Russia on a sneaky false-flag mission). Second, both Iran as well as Russia are part of the problem. Because they sit in the same (sinking) boat as Assad, these rogue states can’t be part of a solution. Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorism on this planet, and Russia arms those terrorists. Both Iran as well as Russia are responsible for the majority of all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria (and other countries as well). Asking Russia and/or Iran for help/participation in solving any mess in the middle east equals making Adolf Hitler the custodian of Jewish wealth and welfare some 70+ years ago. One can’t promote the perp to ombudsman, adjudicator, prosecutor, or even judge.
In the mainstream media you read about a “civil war” in Syria. It’s not a civil war, and it’s not a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. It’s not a conflict that endangers any minorities like Christians, Druze, or Alavites due to the rebellion. The war was started by a brutal mafia clan that abused oppressed minorities in order to mobilize them against the oppressed Sunni majority. It’s a rebellion of the majority against the murderous tyranny of a criminal kleptocracy. The propaganda of a “sectarian conflict” is totally made up by the Assad regime, which is in no way “secular”. Iranian mullahs would never ever defend a secular regime with tens of thousands of troops and billions of aid. They defend a regime that sucks up to them and allows them to supply Lebanon’s Hezbollah with shiploads of hardware those terrorists shouldn’t possess at all.
The above said is a pretty much simplified version of the events since march 2011. I didn’t even mention that Assad killed thousands with chemical weapons, nor the absurd reaction of the world/UN to those war crimes. To cover 4.5 years of Syria’s suffering from a murderous regime’s war on its own people who just requested dignity and freedom, one would need to write a book; well, no, many books.
To learn more, feel free to browse my 300k bookmarks on Twitter (@SebastianX) that document the Syrian revolution since the beginning. Or ask me something on Twitter to provoke a potential follow-up post (I can’t promise anything, I’m very busy feeding my family while supporting Syria).
For now I hope you not only tolerate and ignore my tweets/retweets about Syria, but maybe actually read them