Remember the hopeful and optimistic "Arab Spring" narrative that the mainstream media introduced when Syria was hit by unrest in the spring of 2011? We were told by media outlet after media outlet that it was a pro-democracy movement made up of Syrians demanding more freedom and an end to one-party rule. The people were all with the revolution, we were told, which only reluctantly turned violent after Assad brutally suppressed the peaceful protests. The average Syrians, we were told, were all in favor of the overthrow of Assad.
So why is he still there? No leader could maintain power if 100 percent of the population is opposed to his rule. But in fact the majority of Syrians support, not oppose, Assad. Which is why we don't hear much anymore about the popular revolt against Assad. The reality is that this narrative was false from the beginning. Of course there were plenty who for a variety of reasons wanted an end to Assad's rule. But the rebellion in Syria has been driven from outside the borders from the beginning. Even the Washington Post now tells us that foreign fighters dominate the insurgency in Syria.
If that is not enough to disabuse one of the notion that this is an internal struggle amongst Syrians to cast off the chains of the Assad regime, this week we hear that Saudi Arabia will be spending millions -- on top of the tens of millions they have already spent -- to train yet a new Islamist force of foreigners to fight in Syria. According to the Guardian, this effort is being coordinated with Turkey and the US and is aimed at supporting Islamists who are slightly more palatable than the overtly al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra and others.
This Saudi move is partly an effort to remove the scent of al-Qaeda that pervades the insurgency in hopes that the US will begin to redouble its efforts to overthrow Assad. Secretary of State Kerry's recent successful hand-holding trip to Saudi Arabia seems to have mended recently damaged fences, leaving us to wonder whether this fig leaf will function as planned.
The new Saudi group, Jaysh al-Islam (the Army of Islam or JAI), is headed by Zahran Alloush, who Wikipedia reports is the son of a Saudi-based religious scholar named sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Alloush.
And what do the foreign sponsors of the war in Syria have in mind for Syria's future? We can take a page from their last great "success," Libya. We were told the overthrow of Gaddafi and his one-party rule would bring freedom and prosperity to Libyans. Yet just today we read that in the capitol, Tripoli, one faction of gangsters with anti-aircraft guns has attacked another faction of militia armed with rocket-propelled grenades. How is that for a multi-party system?
As Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo Tweeted today about Libya: