'Unfolding The Syrian Paradox'

Although the link to this article by Alastair Crooke is featured in one of my latest posts, I wanted to highlight the article again for it offers one of the most complete analysis on what is happening in Syria now as well as revealing the nature of the Syrian revolution 2011.
Can Syria properly be understood as an example of a "pure" Arab popular revolution, an uprising of non-violent, liberal protest against tyranny that has been met only by repression? I believe this narrative to be a complete misreading, deliberately contrived to serve quite separate ambitions. The consequences of turning a blind eye to the reality of what is happening in Syria entails huge risk: the potential of sectarian conflict that would not be confined to Syria alone. 

One of the problems with unfolding the Syria paradox is that there is indeed a genuine, domestic demand for change. A huge majority of Syrians want reform. They feel the claustrophobia of the state's inert heavy-handedness and of the bureaucracy's haughty indifference toward their daily trials and tribulations. Syrians resent the pervasive corruption, and the arbitrary tentacles of the security authorities intruding into most areas of daily life. But is the widespread demand for reform itself the explanation for the violence in Syria, as many claim? 

There is this mass demand for reform. But paradoxically - and contrary to the "awakening" narrative - most Syrians also believe that President Bashar al-Assad shares their conviction for reform. The populations of Damascus, Aleppo, the middle class, the merchant class, and non-Sunni minorities (who amount to one quarter of the population), among others, including the leadership of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, fall into this category. They also believe there is no credible "other" that could bring reform. 
What then is going on? Why has the conflict become so polarized and bitter, if there is indeed such broad consensus? More here


Neocons wishing for a Ramadan sectarian bloodbath in Syria! (via FLC)

Crooke is right about western funded Syrian exiles using salafis in the Syrian revolution 2011 but ultimately salafis also will use exiles. Here is a facebook page for the Homs revolution: on the upper right band they have a sourate in Arabic, it says: 'Paradise exists in the shadow of the sword' (attention, islamist facebook pages of the Syrian revolution in english or other non arabic languages do not show material that can offend western readers).

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Since March 29th 2006