The Syrian turmoil began on March 15, 2011, with nationwide demonstrations following the Arab Spring protests that originally started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and other Arab countries. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the end to nearly five decades of Ba’ath Party rule.
The peaceful demonstrations soon turned into violence and the Western press began outlandish reports that Syrian security forces are bombing residential districts in various cities in Syria and are slaughtering ordinary people. In truth, both sides have been following a scorched earth policy. It is estimated that between 35,000 and 49,600 have been killed so far in Syria, about half combatants on both sides and half civilian.
While the initial demonstrations started peacefully, things turned violent in Syria very quickly. It also became clear that foreign governments were behind much of the turmoil. Even the Voice of America reported in April 2011 that according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, United States funneled at least $6 million to a London-based umbrella group of Syrian exiles.
Separately, it became clear early on that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were the main funding sources for the insurgency in Syria. Some of the funding in the amount of $500 million was funneled through former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri to former Syrian Vice President, Abdul Halim Khaddam, to topple Assad’s regime.
By their own admission, Turkey has been the main source of arming and training the rebels who are fighting in Syria. Apparently, Al Qaeda members have also joined the Syrian rebels. Meanwhile, the British publication The Telegraph has reported that the British Foreign Office is investigating reports that British citizens are among Islamist fighters. Apparently, two journalists who were held captive by the Syrian rebels and released later reported that not a single one of their captors was Syrian. Some were British Muslims and others were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya.
While the extent of the involvement of the Western powers, particularly the United States, in the Syrian turmoil is still not clear, it is the stated policy of the Obama administration that President Assad must leave. Also, officially, the United States is still not supplying them with weapons. However, Reuters has reported that, “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.”
Last week, a conference was organized in Qatar by the Western powers and other countries supporting the Syrian rebels with the goal of uniting the Syrian opposition. The conference was condemned by the Syrian government. But, by the end of the conference, a “moderate” activist Muslim preacher, Mouaz al-Khatib, was elected as the first leader of a new Syrian opposition umbrella group that hopes to win international recognition and prepare for a post-Assad Syria. But, since the fighting is still progressing actively, it is not clear whether this umbrella group will be more successful than the previous disorganized groups.
The attached video presents an interview with the investigative reporter Webster Griffin Tarpley and a number of other observers who present an alternative view that is rarely seen in the American or European press.
Some of the rebels in Syria have reached the depths of depravity by committing cold-blooded executions of large numbers of Syrian security forces that they have captured. In fact, there are some extremely disturbing amateur videos on YouTube that show some of these executions. They are not referenced here since some of the scenes are extremely disturbing.
In review, it is not clear why President Obama is continuing to support the brutal foreign intervention in Syria. Traditionally, Syria has been one of the most tolerant countries in the Middle East. If Jihadists and Al Qaeda triumph in that country, then one more permanent headache for everyone will be created in the Middle East.
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