Ongoing Thread: For 7 years, the Syrian war has been portrayed as good versus evil. We have heard from lots of people about the evil side. Since there has been little written about the "good" guys in this conflict, this space will take up that role
2-Important to establish first that for nearly 6 years prior to the start of the Syrian crisis, I had used @joshua_landis blog to criticize the performance of the Syrian economy, corruption & host of governance issues. So one can safely say that I wasn't a blind "Assadist"
3-Arguably, there is no one single reason behind the outbreak of the Syrian crisis. But, if it had anything to do with lack of economic growth, regulatory constraints, population pressures, corruption, dwindling resources or governance ineptitude the record shows that we get it.
4-Most of the current crop of #Syria analysts or reporters describe the crisis like one tries to describe a movie without having watched it from the beginning. This, for the record, suits Syrian opposition just fine. Best to keep it as evil attacking good starting Mar 2011
5-Nearly every single armed group fighting Syrian State today would have looked right at home during the Moslem Brotherhood uprising back in the late 70's. It is like watching the same actors on the same movie set & with the same plot but in a different era (Hello social media)
6-Forget those that Assad supposedly released from prison to taint the uprising as Islamist - Here is THE darling of the uprising Abdul Qader Salah (hajji Maraa). Study all his videos & speeches and you have the perfect profile of a Moslem brother (Ikhwan) from back in the day
7-Are there non-Islamists in the ranks of the opposition who are simply asking for "freedom & democracy"? Sure. But, once they and others sanctioned the arming of the uprising (regardless of the reasons) and opened their arms to every jihadist, they handed away their cause. Gone
8-The opposition's central case is that Syrian State is not democratic and that it is run by security agencies that have little respect for human rights. But, when has the Syrian State ever said that it is a Jeffersonian democracy? Indeed, who in the entire region is?
9-Democracy is not just about casting a vote. A true democracy is one that is built with a bill of rights that safeguards individual freedoms & minorities (of all kinds) from the potential tyranny of the majority. Based on this metric, talk of democracy is just that - Talk
10-Ever wondered why the vast majority of minorities in #Syria are skeptical about trading their present with an unknown future? It is because they don't trust the promise of freedom & democracy. It is because they have watched every single armed group & heard them loud & clear
11-When Syrians speculate on what their future may look like post what inevitably looks like a violent transition from current system, they don't believe what a guy dressed like Bruno Mars tells them on Fox. Neither do they trust the words of a suave looking Neo-Ikhwanji on CNN
12-With all due respect to #Syria analysts based in EU / U.S. , they hardly have any skin in the game to care much about the next phase of Syria after they get their regime change. How future Syria deals with Jeish al-Islam / Ahrar / Zanki /HTS is not too important for them
13-During past 7 years, all we heard from the opposition is how bad the current leadership is. Seldom have we heard about what it is that opposition plans to do and how it intends to govern. Other than the passionate calls for toppling the regime, we are left with empty slogans
14-What Opp & their supporters want to have us believe is that since Ba’ath & Assads took power through a coup & not through ballot box, then this gives them the right to do whatever it takes (incl. begging for US strikes) to undo what they consider as unjust, no matter the cost