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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 8/17/12

Syria: Turning Back the Clock on the Arab Spring

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   20 comments
Message Ahmad Barqawi

Perhaps one of the most inglorious accomplishments of the western-backed/gulf-funded Syrian opposition is that it has --and over the course of mere months nonetheless- managed to inflict such a colossal, irreparable damage to the Syrian people's future prospects of having a real, homegrown and genuine uprising to bring about positive change in their own country.

Thanks to the devious Syrian National Counsel and the crazed Free Syrian Army; the term "revolution" has sadly lost its worth and luster for a sizable portion of the Syrian populace and in the Arab world in general, as the word itself has become marred by abhorrent stigmas of sectarianism, religious fanaticism, succumbing to foreign agendas, subjugation of national integrity and social disintegration.  

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image from flickr By Crethi Plethi

We must admit to the SNC, the FSA and their western patrons their unrivaled ability in transforming what was essentially a flicker of hope into an entire landscape of desolation and ruin.

In the blink of an eye, the home country in which all Syrians coexisted peacefully and harmoniously together for decades became a place they do not even recognize; reciprocal kidnappings between rival tribes, sects, ethnicities and neighborhoods became the order of the day, makeshift illegal checkpoints manned by pundits and warring militias popped up all over Syrian cities; where ID cards could easily get unfortunate passersby killed on the spot, the country's normally amicable population was driven headfirst into a horrible cycle of killings and reprisal killings, torture and summary executions, and mount Kassioun, a once picturesque and vibrant touristic site that overlooks Damascus became a strategic place for rocket launchers and artillery barrage.

Most of those dire consequences traces straight back to the Syrian National Council's doorstep; by handing the fate of the Syrian uprising lock stock and barrel over to the unreliable hands of Hilary Clinton and her deep-pocketed coterie of Gulf despots; they near completely nullified whatever credibility the rebellion might have enjoyed when it was born on the streets of Dera'a, it ceased to be a matter of local dissent against a brute dictatorship anymore; it quickly morphed into this disastrous foreign-induced coup d'etat --complete with mad covert and overt military operations and intelligence work- to overthrow the government of a sovereign state.

Not only did the Syrian opposition manage to effectively kill the Syrian revolution in the womb by alienating vast sectors of the public from joining the uprising; but they have willingly chosen to systematically sectarianize the Syrian society by planting seeds of intolerance and confessional discord.

Right from the word go; the entire Alawite population was criminalized outright and deemed guilty by "sectarian association" to president Bashar Al-Asad.

Mass branding them as "Shabiha" (pro government guns-for-hire) was nothing more than a cheap albeit racist ploy to justify the prosecution of entire Alawite communities and soften the sting of any possible criticism that might arise in response to the FSA's criminal practices against innocent civilians.

Al Jazeera (especially the more vulgar Arabic branch of the Qatari-funded news network) was -and still is- a major instrument in furthering this deadly stereotype; the channel that once championed (or so it seemed anyway) Pan-Arab national causes such as the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation and the Iraqi resistance to the Coalition invasion, is now openly and notoriously championing what amounts to prima facie ethnic cleansing of Alawites in Syria; this was glaringly evident in the channel's knee-jerk attempts at justifying the latest mass murder of several members of the Berri family in Aleppo; insisting that the victims were plain-clothed paramilitary thugs "armed to the teeth" fighting alongside government forces prior to their capture and swift execution by the "good guys"; this multi million-dollar media mammoth has been reduced to nothing more than a mere sleazy PR office for the crooked Free Syrian Army.

Of course this blatant bigotry was not limited to the Alawites but extended to the Shiites as well.

In a bizarre reshuffle of political cards; Syria has become a safe haven for a slew of CIA, MI6 and even Mossad operatives to roam in and out of rebel-held areas to their hearts' content, but not for Lebanese Shiite families and Iranian civilian pilgrims who have become the target of a vicious witch-hunting spree as various gangs and factions of the Free Syrian Army compete for the honor of "hosting" (a callous euphemism for "kidnapping", used by the kidnappers and repeated shamelessly by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya news channels) and humiliating these pilgrims on live Television.

Case in point; on May 22nd, 2012, a busload of Shiite pilgrims (including women) was intercepted at gunpoint by gangs of the FSA near Aleppo while they were returning home to Lebanon from a religious trip to Iran, later the women were released but till this very day the fate of the remaining 11 male hostages remains uncertain (despite a handful of badly choreographed, self-promotional televised theatrical appearances of the kidnapper on Lebanese channels).

The kicker is that the abductors haven't even made up their minds yet on what their demands actually are and what will it take to free these hostages from captivity; first they demanded the Syrian regime to stop its military campaign against rebel-held areas in exchange for their release, then they tried to clumsily use the hostages to extort an apology from Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hassan Nassarallah (apologize for what! I'm not sure; probably for the   preposterous lie which the rebels themselves created and helped peddle in the media about Hezbollah's alleged involvement in the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters), finally they changed their tune by announcing that the captives won't be released till after the success of the revolution and the election of a new democratic parliament in Syria.

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Ahmad Barqawi, a Palestinian freelance columnist & writer, he has done several studies, statistical analysis and researches on economic and social development.

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