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From Beirut: Andre Vltchek
As the US Tomahawk missiles were raining on Syria, the entire Middle East was shaken to its core. Here, even the name itself - Syria - triggers extremely complex and often contradictory sets of emotions. To some, Syria is synonymous with pride and a determined struggle against Western imperialism, while others see it as an uncomfortable reminder of how low their own rulers and societies have managed to sink, serving foreign interests and various neo-colonialist designs.
Many people are hiding their heads in the sand, obediently repeating the official Western narrative, while others are gradually resorting to the alternative sources of information that are coming from outlets such as RT Arabic, Al-Mayadeen and Press TV.
Here in the Middle East and in fact all over the entire Arab world, feelings towards the Syrian President Basheer Al-Assad are always 'strong'; no one appears to be 'neutral'. But even the divisions are often 'pre-defined', carved along pan-Arab versus pro-Western, or Sunni versus Shi'a lines. It is rarely being mentioned that the Syrian state is constructed mainly on secular and socialist principles.
The recent opportunistic statements by certain badly informed and biased Western 'progressive' intellectuals, calling the Syrian system "disgraceful" has confused things even further.
Overall, in the countries encircling Syria, there is very little support among the general population as well as among the intellectuals, for the Western assaults on the country, conducted directly, and indirectly by proxies. Pro-Western regimes and governments are currently governing Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and all of them are officially supporting the Western military actions. So is, naturally, Israel. The leaders of both Turkey and Israel would actually like to see more military actions, and more attacks against one of the last Arab countries, which is still upholds its independence.
But ask the thinkers from all over the region, and the reaction is near unanimously against the assaults that are being conducted by the West.