Syria’s Civil War really isn’t that difficult to understand. For the past four decades Syria was a totalitarian dictatorship. It was a fascist police state, institutionally racist, corrupt, free-market capitalist and run by an elite of rich cronies – the Assad dynasty. By 2011, many Syrians were fed up with this shite state of affairs and, inspired by similar uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia against the ruling class, hit the streets demanding change. They were fed up of never-ending corruption and unemployment. They were fed up of skyrocketing poverty and social subsidies for the poor being slashed. They were angry that schoolkids had been tortured just for spraying anti-government graffiti. They were yearning for an end to oppressive dictatorship and for the freedom to control their country’s destiny. However the Assad government weren’t keen on this vision and shot back at the pro-democracy protesters. This provoked outrage across Syria. Assad’s murderous response to the protests gave dissidents no choice but to engage in armed struggle for freedom. What started off as protests for mild democratic reforms ended up being a full-blown revolution, led by peasants, workers, young people and the urban poor. For the past half-decade Syrian guerillas in the FSA have been fighting to topple the Assad dictatorship, but their insurrection has been met with many setbacks and betrayals. The rise of Daesh (which can be attributed to Assad’s brutality), the grubby deals between some sell-out Kurdish militias and the regime, international indifference to the suffering and imperialist bombing raids in the sky have caused untold complications. Added to the fact half a million (!!) Syrians have been killed, 12 million are domestically uprooted, millions have risked watery graves to get to Europe, and ancient cities have been blown to smithereens, it’s a sorry and desperate situation. Definitely the most pressing political issue of our time!
Sadly for much of the European left, it’s a different story. They’re not concerned with actual Syrian lives. They merely look through the ice-cold lens of geopolitics. They’ve lapped up a bullshit narrative about Assad being an anti-imperialist lionheart resisting foreign powers hellbent on regime change. Apparently there’s no moderate forces in Syria, just CIA sponsored, liver-eating jihadists. This annoys me. Incredible Syrian revolutionaries, opposition fighters and guerillas DO exist – obviously! They are diverse politically, ethnically, culturally, and religiously with Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Turkmen all involved in the fight for a new Syria. And whilst some reactionary, more fundamentalist factions do exist, the majority want democracy, civil liberties and an end to Assad’s tyranny. The Free Syrian Army is one of the primary armed wings of the opposition forces. It is made up of local self-defence militias and deserters from Assad’s army, and is largely committed to non-sectarianism and social justice. Some ‘woke’ Stalinist losers slander them as American proxies led by ‘Islamist fanatics’, but they’re pig-ignorant racists and can be forgotten.
The FSA are the good people in this whole situation. They are supported on the ground by local coordinating committees and revolutionary councils that organise demonstrations and strikes. Many are led by women and former political prisoners. The very fact these councils still exist and are delivering survival services to people in spite of the bombing raids, chaos on the streets and repressive political climate is amazing and a testament to the Syrian people’s resolve. It should also be noted, the Free Syrian Army aren’t just battling the Assad regime. They’re also effectively fighting Daesh and Al-Nusra as well, which is incredible considering the world has totally snubbed their pleas for weapons. There are some trashy leftists who’d have you believe the FSA and ISIL are in cahoots together, but we can take comfort in the stupidity of such people and ignore their delirious ill-informed ways. They’re simply wrong! The real baddies in Syria are the Assad government and the sectarian militias that have been imported to prop it up. Of course, Daesh are horrible and need to be defeated. They’re barbarians with a puritanical agenda who enslave women, throw gays off buildings, kill activists and massacre religious minorities. They are rightly portrayed as evil, but the largely-unknown reality is, Assad is FAR more brutal and murderous. He has killed way more civilians and displaced way more refugees. He basically allowed Daesh to flourish in the first place, and far from fighting them, he slyly cooperates with them against the pro-democracy rebels. Disgusting!