Without a doubt, the greatest lie being told about the Syrian conflict is that it is being waged by President Assad against ‘the Syrian people’.
This is pure propaganda. In December 2011, just three months into the crisis, the Qatar Foundation conducted a major poll inside Syria to assess
the level of support for Assad. (This was before al-Qaeda and other international Salafi jihadists started flooding in, making the crisis
As an advocate of regime change in Syria, Qatar was embarrassed by the results and so buried them. When eventually leaked, the results
revealed that 55 percent of Syrians supported President Assad and 68 percent of Syrians disapproved of Arab League sanctions. This makes
perfect sense, considering that religious minorities make up 25 percent of Syria’s population (Christians are 10 percent) and at least one-third of
all Sunni Muslims would be nominal or secular urbanites who likewise do not want to live in an Islamic State. So the main division in Syria is not
between Assad and the rest, but between Sunni fundamentalists (including foreign Salafi jihadists) and the rest, i.e. the majority of Syrians.
This is asymmetric warfare: a battle between two unequal forces. The jihadists who quickly hijacked the original protest movement are no match
for the Syrian military. Consequently this battle would have been over long ago except that forces keen to counter the Iranian-Shi’ite ascendancy
by means of regime change in Syria are arming, training and funding the jihadists.
These forces are the US – Saudi Arabia – Gulf Arab axis plus
neo-Ottoman Turkey. As noted by Robert D Kaplan and Kamran Bokhari (Stratfor Intelligence), Assad’s removal will doubtless hasten Syria’s
(and Lebanon’s) slide into chaos, not slow it. Despite what the US – Saudi – Gulf Arab axis says, this is exactly what it intends with the aim of
crippling or at least tying up Iran’s allies – the Syrian Army and Hezballah – ahead of a military strike on Iran. The US seems to have no
long-term perspective and nobody seems to care about the plight of millions of Middle Eastern Christians.