Hands off Syria rally, Sydney by Tim Anderson
Attacks on the Syrian Arab Army have come from all sides, most western media claiming it has been 'brutal', defends a 'dictatorship', or represents an 'Alawite regime'. While the army has confronted violence with violence, a series of 'false flag' accusations have been leveled at it, the most recent over the use of sarin gas.
However, in defence of this army, I ask two questions: one, after
two years of foreign-backed attacks, mostly from religious fanatics, how would
To properly understand the gravity of the attacks on the
secular Syrian state we have to appreciate that all violent insurrections in
Indeed, the major regional competition has been between
secular nationalism and political Islam. When
In Daraa in March 2011, just as in
A 28 March 2011 statement by Muhammad Riyad Al-Shaqfa, Syrian Muslim Brotherhood boss, leaves no doubt that their aim is sectarian, the enemy is 'the secular regime' and that 'we have to make sure that the revolution will be pure Islamic, and with that no other sect would have a share of the credit after its success'.
Amongst current western media cliche's is one that the Syrian conflict is becoming 'increasingly sectarian'. This is linked to simple characterisations of the conflict as one 'between Sunni and Shia', or 'between the majority Sunni community and the Alawite regime'. These cliche's are quite misleading.