Skip to content

Harnessing the Courage of a Syrian Rebel

Dissident Voice Article

By Ahmed Amr

Years from now, when the Arab Spring is long behind us and the Syrians join the ranks of free nations; many will wonder why so much innocent blood was spilled to sustain a despotic regime that was destined to collapse. In terms of lethality, the struggle to free Syria from the grips of Assad’s clan has already inflicted twice as many casualties as the Egyptian uprising. When you take into account that Syria has a population of only twenty million, you realize that the price of liberty in Syria is likely to be exorbitant.

The Syrian rebels are facing a diabolical regime that not only has a monopoly on violence but has forty years of experience in making liberal use of its exclusive franchise to torment its people. And if that isn’t enough of a deterrent against joining the uprising, a Syrian rebel also has to confront the reality that most of the regional players are more than willing to place their bets on the butcher of Damascus.

Arab regimes are like Mafia families and as a general rule they know the boundaries of their turf. Assad’s gang is in good standing with the Godfathers of the House of Saud, enjoys excellent relationships with the theocrats in Tehran and has secured an unofficial détente with Israel. Damascus can always depend on Hezbollah to do its bidding in Lebanon and Maliki of Iraq has expressed his support for ‘stability’ in Syria. Nabil Al-Arabi, the foreign minister of Egypt and the newly appointed secretary general of the Arab League, has also taken his place on the ‘stability’ wagon although he did take the extraordinary measure of recommending unspecified ‘reforms’ in Syria.

Even the Palestinians will look the other way for fear of incurring the wrath of the Damascus. If the slaughter in Hama still resonates with the Syrians, the Palestinians have not forgotten Hafez El Assad’s role in the Tel El Zaatar massacre.
The Assad clan has always had a talent for attracting the strangest of bedfellows. Just a few days ago, Walid Jumblatt, the uncrowned prince of the Lebanese Druze, showed up in Damascus to consult with the Syrian godfather on the formation of a Lebanese cabinet. Just for the record, the Jumblatt and Assad clans have a relationship that goes way back to when Kamal Jumblatt, Walid’s Father, was assassinated by none other than Hafez El Assad, Bashar’s daddy. It was nothing personal – just the banal business of a brutish dictatorship.

Even Turkey has to make allowances for Syria’s Machiavellian genius. It wasn’t so long ago that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) had a safe haven in Syria. Perhaps that’s why Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, took three months to condemn the ‘savage atrocities’ of Assad’s goons.

Three months into the Syrian revolt and not a single Syrian diplomat has resigned to protest the carnage. Although there are credible accounts of a mutiny in Gisr Jisr al-Shughour, Syrian army officers remain loyal to the regime. Much of the slaughter is apparently the handiwork of the infamous Shabiha, a shadow militia of Baath Party goons that is a bit like Papa Doc Duvalier’s Tonton Macoutes but operates with the discipline and ruthlessness of the East German Stasi.

As for the “international community,” they might work themselves into enough of a frenzy to pass some sort of Security Council resolution. But economic sanctions won’t deter the regime and there’s a very remote possibility of any kind of outside military intervention. Should Bashar suffer the fate of Sudan’s Bashir and earn himself a well-deserved indictment from the International Criminal Court, he might find a jail cell in The Hague a welcome back-up destination compared to the prospects of facing a lynch mob in Damascus. As for economic sanctions, the Syrian regime has already developed the requisite know-how for handling economic hardships – they just pass off the privations onto the Syrian masses.

Not a word of this will come as any revelation to any of the unarmed Syrian rebels bearing their chests to the guns of a despotic regime. Three months into the uprising, they know that the outside world has abandoned them and that they will have to finish this fight on their own. That takes raw courage – the unique madness that is born of utter desperation.
If we can’t join them in the fight, we can at least send them a little advice. This struggle will be won by the side that can endure the most pain for the longest period of time. While it’s true that the Syrian rebels have already succeeded in mauling the regime’s legitimacy, the Assad clan didn’t enter this battle with any legitimacy worth quibbling about. They will not abandon power out of embarrassment.

But none of this means that the rebels don’t have a few aces up their sleeves. Assad has only so many armed thugs and the rebels own a powder keg of twenty million disgruntled but unarmed citizens. So far, the regime has been able to mow down protesters in Deraa on Friday and then relocate them to Jisr al-Shughour a few days later. Their strategy is to make examples of the most rebellious towns. That also helps to explain why they detain demonstrators, torture them and release them to spread the message that Assad’s goons are demented psychos capable of all sorts of depravity.

For the Syrian uprising to succeed, new tactics are needed because Facebook pages and taking bullet wounds to the skull won’t do. I suggest turning out the lights every Thursday night at 9 pm and banging pots and pans till midnight. While you’re at it, ignore the messenger and kill the message by boycotting all state media, especially state owned newspapers. That’s phase one. Once you get a critical mass of participation, horde some pita bread, cheese and olives and start a one week strike. Don’t leave your homes. Don’t go to work. Close your shops and keep your kids out of schools. And, whatever you do, don’t go to mosques or church services. Leave your places of worship empty and make your homes citadels of liberty. Then take to the streets and see if Doctor Bashar still has any ammunition to confront the courage of a Syrian rebel.

  • See “Solidarity against Powerful Enemies Must Be a Sine Qua Non” for another perspective on how progressives should react to the situation in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and nearby regions.
  • View the original article at

    Related Posts with Thumbnails

    Posted in Middle East.

    Tagged with .

    0 Responses

    Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

    Some HTML is OK

    or, reply to this post via trackback.

    Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

    Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

    It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

    So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

    Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


    Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
    I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

    If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

    I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

    I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

    I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

    So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

    Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

    However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?