Saturday, 3 October 2015

Russia 'fuelling extremism' as Putin steps up Syria air strikes

Syrians gather and use fire extinguishera on the rubble of a building in the aftermath of a Russian airstrike in Dair al-Asafeer village, rural Damascus. Inset: Vladimir Putin leaving a meeting in Paris

  ' Russian intervention has become a unifying factor. Groups inside Syria are now putting aside their differences to join forces against the perceived Russian invasion,” said Hassan Hassan, an associate fellow at Chatham House. “There is a deep sense of anger and little space for moderation.”
 Mr Hassan warned that the Russian campaign was likely to bolster, rather than decimate, the forces of extremist groups like Jabhat al Nusra.
 “It will use the Russian presence to gain legitimacy and build popularity on the ground," he said. "The Russians enter this conflict at a time when Nusra has already adjusted to the reality of American air strikes, learning to navigate terrain even as the planes fly above." '

Syrian refugee in Kyiv describes Islamic state as Putin ally

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"The Free Syrian Army was in only one of the 7 villages that the Russians bombed yesterday. Peaceful people lived in the other villages, where there were schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, houses, markets. They bombed one village with weapons for the Free Syrian Army – not the Islamic State."

Humans of New York

 When I joined the Syrian army, there was no war yet. I just wanted to serve my country. But now everyone is forced to do horrible things. One time we were marching and a single bullet came from a village. Our commander told us to go into each house, one by one, and kill everyone inside. The village was a Sunni village, so our commander ordered all the Sunni soldiers to lead the attack. Anyone who disobeyed would be killed themselves. We did our best to aim over the heads of the people who were running away, but forty people were killed. A few nights later I fled in the middle of the night.” (Lesvos, Greece)

Friday, 2 October 2015

I Hope the Russians Love Their Children Too

 The Russians are bombing Syria. They hope to destroy the Free Syrian Army, and any resistance from those who seek liberation from Assad's rule. The left, that has spent the last four years telling Syrians that the threat to them comes from Western bombing, or even support to those fighting for liberation, have finally noticed that Russia is bombing too. This isn't the cue for any change of mind, just an adding to the list that they oppose all bombing equally in the manner of a liberal pacifist. Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition says, I oppose Russia bombing Syria. It should stop, but less hypocrisy from those supporting US and allied bombing over last year." London2Calais, a group that has been doing some good work helping refugees stuck in France, says "We oppose ALL imperialism, whether it's the US, Britain, France or Russia," though they do want to distinguish themselves from those openly supporting the Russians and Assad, "Those in Britain who support Russia and Assad have no credibly left or respect for Syrian people. We say No to Assad, Oppose the British government's thinly veiled support for the Assad regime, No to bombing of Syria by ANY state, Freedom for Syrian people!"

 I don't think this is good enough. It isn't the experience of Syrians. They have seen the Russians as their enemies from day one, as they poured military support for Assad into Syria, and blocked any condemnation in the United Nations, while the left told us that it was Western support for jihadist rebels that was destroying Syria. When Assad attacked the Damascus suburbs with chemical weapons in 2013, the left didn't protest the attacks, it went along with the Russian claims that we couldn't know who carried them out, and the important thing was to stop America reacting, because any strikes would turn into a rerun of the Iraq war, or the overthrow of Gadaffi in Libya (which as people have pointed out recently, has resulted in far less death than Assad and his allies have managed in Syria).

 I am reminded of Paul Foot's account of the first time he met Tony Cliff, the longtime leader of the Socialist Workers Party:
 "I saw a newspaper poster about events in the Congo, and remarked, partly to break the silence, that I'd never really understood the Congo. Quick as a flash, the rag doll came to life, and started jabbering with amazing speed and energy. I can't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember my clouds of doubt and misunderstanding suddenly disappearing and the role of the contestants in the Congo, including the United Nations, becoming brutally clear."

 What had happened in the Congo was that within three months of independence, the Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was deposed and murdered in a coup supported by the former colonial power Belgium and the United States, which became the main backer of the dicatator Mobutu, who reigned for thirty years in a manner less genteel than the Assads, though not as bloody. The UN had actively enabled the coup, and then had stood idly by while Lumumba was killed. The Russians had promised to come to Lumumba's aid, but were happy to have another opportunity to denounce American interference.

 It wouldn't make sense to lump all these actors together, and hold them equally responsible for the catastrophe that occurred, because that would take the focus off the particular villains and what could be done to stop them.

 Likewise in Syria we have to understand the difference between the Russian bombing from the American, or even from Assad's own. The Americans have been trying to bomb ISIS, while trying to avoid any conflict with Assad  or being seen to support him, and have also been bombing Syrian rebels, most notably those they identify as their Islamist enemies, like Jabhat al-Nusra. They've tried to find groups that the can be totally OK with to retake ground from ISIS, but have been left with the one-party state that is the Kurdish region of Rojava, and a handful of Syrian rebels who were prepared to act as mercenaries and fight ISIS and not Assad. This makes sense for a power that is not responsible for Syria, that has had a couple of bruising wars, that has its priorities as preventing Islamists coming to power, that is content to make propaganda about Assad's genocide and Russian complicity but do nothing to stop it. And so the reaction of Syrians isn't to simply lump in America with everyone else as enemies, but to object that they have not been friends. That when President Obama said there were red lines that Assad could not cross, he should have done something when Assad crossed them. Nobody asked America to invade. The media from then until now has presented this all as about the West, should America intervene, how can the West pick the right people to support. When asked, most Syrians said they were quite happy for the US to bomb Assad's forces if that would stop his assaults on them, a year after he had gutted the city of Homs and bombed the rest of Syria in unprecedented fashion, with the mass arrest, rape and torture continuing of those who had not acquired the means to resist.

 What Syrians asked for was the chance to stop Assad themselves. To have the anti-aircraft missiles that would stop the devastating bombing, and precipitate millions to flee. That's what they need now. The effectiveness of Assad's bombing had become less with the disintegration of his forces. The Russian bombers can fly high enough not be seen, there is no way to flee their attacks, and so if there isn't an appropriate response soon from someone, many more civilians will have to run.

 Where would that response come from? From Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey, the neighbouring states most affected by Assad's genocide, and so certainly in the first two cases, not intervening because of some secret salafist plan to advance their influence through proxies. They have helped the Free Syrian Army because decency and their people have demanded it. And the commentators on the Left have demonised and lied about them, said they were supporting ISIS, or that the forces they support were equally as bad as Assad. Yes any foreign support comes with strings, but when you are facing genocide, you want the strings to be as few as possible, but when there is no alternative other than death you take the strings. There is little the Saudis or anyone else is obtaining with their support right now. Being popular among those whose homes are being barrel bombed doesn't add a dime to Saudi coffers. Any thanks they receive once Assad is overthrown will be freely given, not part of some betrayal of Syria.

 Tony Cliff used the slogan Neither Washington Nor Moscow to establish opposition to repression wherever it comes from. What is ironic is that much of the left those mentioned at the start get their inspiration from Cliff, showing that words mean nothing without thinking behind them. Lindsey German would say it always means opposing your own ruling class, and therefore in the West the US. That's why she's happy to ignore the facts on the ground that show this isn't down to the West, but the effects of the spiraling down of the control of a Russian and Iranian client. There are groups in Syria who share the anti-Americanism, that would be the extreme jihadis, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS, who see Christians and secularists as much the same as Assad. The problem is that there is no help forthcoming for those that prefer a more secular outcome, not that people are demanding American intervention. And those jihadists, seen by the Left at its least anti-racist, as a good reason to prevaricate over support for the Syrian revolution, have sacrificed much in the fight against Assad, and so have gained the respect of the Syrian people, so a Left saying we can't support the rebels because of them is multiply cut off from the experience of Syrians. The way to win back the revolution from the jihadists is not to ignore and denounce them, but to show that there is an alternative that is just as determined to kick out Assad.

 I've pointed out before that if you tell Syrians their greatest enemy is the US, they will call you pro-Assad. And I get leftists going off in a huff, complaining that I am calling them pro-Assad. I'm not, but missing the point is the far greater mistake here. Those like Lindsey German who call for a negotiated solution that leaves Assad in power have clearly strayed light-years from any fight against oppression. But those who say we have to be balanced, to condemn everyone equally, are still not connecting with the reality in Syria. The Russian project is clearly to keep Assad in place, which will require the return of his reign of terror across Syria. The Iranians are slightly different, they would be happy with a sectarian rump state that maintained their supply lines to Lebanon, and reinforced their colonisation of the parts of Syria needed to achieve this. For Syrians this is a most titanic struggle, against Assad, Russia and Iran. They need support from those states that might give them weapons to protect themselves. They need as little interference with that help from the US as they can get. They do not need to be told that everyone is as bad as each other. None of the bombing is likely to be a help, though the American bombing of Kobane did enable its liberation from ISIS; while we are at it the limited bombing in Libya probably did help turn the tide against Gadaffi. But the bombing isn't all equally the problem, and the American bombing of ISIS that causes some civilian casualties and may be ineffective doesn't compare with the Russian attempts to murder Syrians who resist Assad.

Syrian National Council: ‘We have one condition - there is no future for Assad’

 'NG: We also consider that the reaction from other countries [US and European states] is a negative one. Those countries know for sure the Russians are helping the regime, and not attacking IS.
 MEE: What do you think of the approach between the states you named and Russia?
 NG: They knew that the Russian government had been sending weapons and equipment to the regime since the beginning of the revolution. And they were also aware that six or seven months ago, Russia started to send fighters and soldiers even if they deny it. We know for sure that in certain areas in Syria - like Latakia, Tartous, Damascus or Hama - there are Russian soldiers and fighters over there. Some of them are in the mountains of Latakia. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen to us when we complained during a meeting of ambassadors that Russians were putting their feet on the ground. At the time they didn’t say anything, there was a big silence in the room when we complained there are Russians soldiers.'

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Don't underestimate the Free Syrian Army

 "Anyone who follows what is actually happening on the ground knows that there are no battles between the Syrian army and IS. The areas IS controls were won through short battles for wide spaces and large warehouses. This was the case in Palmyra, where IS confiscated the second-largest ammunition warehouse in Syria.
 Meanwhile, the FSA is completely dismissed when it comes to media coverage. It was formed early in the revolution and developed into an army defending civilians in regions outside the regime’s control. From a defense group, it grew to become an attack force and took over areas previously controlled by the regime.
 The FSA recently managed to expel IS forces completely from Idlib and its countryside, and did the same in Aleppo in late February. The battles are ongoing in Aleppo's northern countryside, in Mare city and its suburbs, where more than 30 FSA fighters died to keep the regime from taking over Aug. 10."

Hama rebel commander: Russia intends ‘to exterminate the Free Syrian Army’

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 'Russia’s intervention in Syria “is intended to exterminate the Free Syrian Army—no, the Syrian people,” Captain Jameel a-Salih of the FSA-affiliated Tajammua al-Izza brigade in north Hama told Syria Direct Thursday, expressing a sentiment shared by pro-opposition activists and fighters present in the Syrian north.
 The airstrikes are only hardening the resolve of civilians in north Homs against the regime, a civilian in Rastan told Syria Direct Thursday. “By God, we no longer know where to go. We're asking ourselves where to go,” said Mohannad al-Qasem, from Rastan, one of the towns that was bombed by Russian planes Wednesday.'

The 19th Syrian: The asylum seeker the Australian Government convinced to return to a war zone

Syrian asylum seeker Eyad

  ' "I was worried when I get to Syria to be killed or put in jail, and this is what happened. As soon as I get to Damascus I was 20 days in jail," he said. He was singled out by government officials when he landed in Damascus - his home village marking him as a dissenter.
 Eyad said for 20 days he was tortured by Syrian government intelligence officers, who had found the cash given to him by the Australian Government and accused him of being a financier of the Syrian revolution. "They hit me on my face and on my back, on my chest," he said.
 Eyad was released and made the dangerous journey back to his hometown and his family. His house had been destroyed and his wife injured. "Every day those Syrian planes come to our area ... those times they throw four barrels of explosives and they are killing children and you can watch the news and see for yourself," he said.
 "One day I am expecting myself to be killed or arrested," he said. "In Syria, there are two sects. Either you are a killer or you are the killed person." '

'Killing civilians in cold blood'

 'Wednesday's strikes were centered around the city of Homs, in western Syria near the border with Lebanon. A Syrian opposition activist living north of Homs near one of the villages targeted -- Talbiseh -- told CNN that ISIS had no presence in the area.
 "Russian warplanes were targeting civilians and innocent people only, Putin is lying about targeting Daesh militants," Khdaier Khushfa said via Skype. Daesh is another name for ISIS. "Daesh withdrew from the northern countryside of Homs in an announcement they made a year ago after the groups refused to deal with them, including Ahrar al Sham and Revolutionaries Front," he said. "We know that Russia is the biggest ally of the Syrian regime, and since Bashar al-Assad considers us terrorists, then there is no doubt that Putin knows these areas are under our control and not Daesh."
 Khushfa said the Russian strikes had killed 17 civilians in Talbiseh and 11 in Zafaraniya, despite rebel military posts and headquarters being located outside the two villages. "We are used to the regime airstrikes but now the entire world is watching another country killing civilians in cold blood without taking any action," he said. "We are very concerned about what will happen next -- civilians I spoke to are very scared -- it's like, after five years since the revolution started we are back to ground zero." '

Syrian rebel says Russia air raids mean longer war, seeks anti-aircraft missiles

 "These air strikes will extend the life of the war as a first step," said Zoubi, whose Yarmouk Army fights under the banner of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). "As a second step, they will spread extremism, because when the war becomes a global one against the Syrian people, it will not retreat from its goals, and there will be fertile ground to attract foreign fighters to fight the Russians," Zoubi said. "As Russia lost in Afghanistan, it will not win in Syria. There will be more killing and more bloodshed."

Anti-aircraft weapons for the Free Syrian Army to fight Russian aerial massacre!

 Michael Karadjis:
  'Right now we can see the criminality of the US/CIA deliberate *blocking* of large numbers of manpads (portable anti-aircraft weapons) in 2012, that were sent to Turkey from Libya for the Syrian rebels.Of course, we could already see the criminality of blocking these manpads the last 4 years under Assad’s genocidal bombing. It may have cost 100,000 lives.
 But to turn this current brutal Russian aggression into Russia’s Vietnam will require good anti-aircraft weaponry. If before, many western peaceniks and nimby progressives were squeamish about the demand because they thought sending anti-aircraft weapons to rebels to help save the lives of thousands of Syrian civilians from Assad’s genocidal slaughter was “interference into the internal affairs of Syria” (sic??!!), then what new measly excuse can they come up with now that the Russian imperialist state, the major backer of Assad these 4 years, has launched a massive, devastating war of aggression against the people of Homs, Hama, Idlib, Daraa and other centres of the revolution – none of which have any ISIS since the FSA drove ISIS away from the entirety of populated western Syria in January 2014 – slaughtering civilians en masse while targeting the Free Syrian Army?
 Let the Free Syrian Army get all the advanced weaponry they need, from whatever source wants to send them, above all masses of good quality anti-aircraft weapons!'

Celebrations and fear in Syria as Russian airstrikes begin

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 'A Hama local, who identified himself as Muhannad, 25, said on Wednesday night: “The airstrikes aren’t stopping. We have lost count of them. I can tell it is the Russians. They are faster and the sound of the bombs are different from those of the regime. They have bombed Talbiseh, al-Mukarama, Reef Homs al-shamali. All of these areas are mainly under FSA control. We don’t have here any Isis but we have a small number of al-Nusra. We expected this to happen but there is no place to flee to.”
 Another Latakia local, who identified herself as Dima, believed Russia was not there to fight terrorism but to help the regime and its interests. “People with the regime have no mercy for Sunnis. If they are living on the side of the FSA and want to leave, they won’t let them. They don’t want anyone to leave alive.” '

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Russia launches first airstrikes in Syria, US says as non-Isis rebels claim they are being targeted

 'Activists in Homs and Hama provinces have posted images and video online claiming to show Russian planes bombing groups of non-Isis rebels who are fighting Bashar al-Assad’s forces. The death toll could not be verified but dozens of fatalities were reported, including civilians, and footage showed injured children being treated in Talbiseh, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) stronghold.
 Areas reportedly hit by Russian planes today included Ltamenah and Tal Wasit, both in Hama governate, and Zaafrana, Homs. All are held by the Free Syrian Army, secular rebels, or non-Isis Islamists including Jaysh al-Fath (the Army of Conquest). In the Syrian civil war’s ever-changing web of alliances, the coalition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham, sometimes co-operates with Free Syrian Army in its battles against Isis and government forces.
 Senior Tories have backed Russia's intervention in Syria, saying working with Assad is the “lesser evil” in the fight against Isis.'

Saudi Arabia insists Assad must go or be overthrown

Image result for Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir

 ' "There is no future for Assad in Syria, with all due respect to the Russians or anyone else," Jubeir told reporters in New York after meetings with Saudi Arabia's allies. He spoke of only two possible outcomes for a settlement in Syria, saying a transitional council reached through a political process would be the "preferred option." A second, military option "could be a more lengthy process and a more destructive process, but the choice is entirely that of Bashar al-Assad," the Saudi foreign minister said.
 Jubeir would not be drawn on specifics of what the military option would look like, but noted that Saudi Arabia is already supporting "moderate rebels" in their battle against Assad. "Whatever we may or may not do we're not talking about," he said, but quickly added: "There is a Free Syrian Army that is fighting against Bashar al-Assad. There is a moderate Syrian opposition that is fighting against Bashar al-Assad and this opposition is getting support from a number of countries," he noted. "And we expect that this support will continue and intensify." '

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Emirati royal snubs Assala and brands her a 'traitor of Syria'!

 'It's no secret that Syrian singer Assala is a loyal supporter of the Free Syrian Army and an opponent of the Syrian government. In 2013, Assala tweeted in reference to the assassination attempt against the rebel chief in the eastern city of Deir Ezzour, saying, "Do not be frustrated because of what happened. Millions of youths have your back. May you heal [soon]."
 While thousands may be on the starlet's side, others have accused her of betraying Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian people. One person agreeing with the latter is Emirati Shaikha Mahra Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who recently bumped into Assala and gave her a piece of her mind.
 "Today at Dubai Airport, singer Assala Nasri caught a glimpse of me and ran towards me to say hello. She then reproached me for my stand on the Syrian revolution and foreign intereference in Syria. I responded with the following:
Assala, I love Syria and all I want is for peace to return to it. However, you have betrayed your country and your people and it's no honor of mine to be seen with you." '

Syria rebels insist no role for Assad despite Western overtures

 ' "The regime continuing and Assad staying is a failure," said Ahmad Qura Ali, a spokesman for the powerful Islamist Ahrar al-Sham rebel group. "It also demonstrates disrespect towards the sacrifices of the Syrian people and, even more importantly, irreverence towards the will of the Syrian people."

 Activist Ibrahim al-Idlibi, who took part in the anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011, said Syrians "will not accept that Assad stays as part of a transitional period. It's not possible to look at a terrorist killer as a protector or provider of security."

 Many opposition forces say they have come to expect little support from their backers, and are disappointed after years of patchy assistance and changing policy priorities. "As Syrians, we've stopped caring about these statements, which come not as a result of what's happening on the ground, but of political parties pursuing their interests at home," Idlibi said. "In the beginning, I used to think that the West was a real ally of the Syrian people... but our opinion quickly changed because of their political inconsistency."

 "We have no choice but to prepare for larger military action and to apply more pressure to show the weakness of Assad and his allies," said Major Essam al-Rayes, spokesman for the Southern Front rebel group. "Can a regime that can't even hold onto its border crossings be relied upon?"
 "The regime helped ISIS grow and spread throughout Syria at the expense of the revolution... not at the expense of the regime," said Mamoun Abu Omar, an activist in Aleppo. "Those who have suffered hundreds of thousands of deaths and so much destruction cannot take a step back," said Abu Omar. "Whoever achieves only half a revolution is digging his own grave." '

Monday, 28 September 2015

West 'walking into abyss' on Syria

A rebel fighter fires heavy artillery during clashes with government forces in Idlib province

 Charles Lister:

 "Assad is not and should never be seen as a better alternative to IS. From the very first days of the revolution, Assad and his intelligence apparatus have consistently facilitated the rise of jihadists. This policy of aiding and abetting jihadist militants and manipulating them for Damascus' policy interests is a well-established Assad family practice, dating back at least to the 1990s.
 By releasing dozens of al-Qaeda prisoners in mid-2011, Assad helped give birth to a thriving Islamist insurgency, including an al-Qaeda affiliate. By then adopting a deliberate policy of not targeting IS, Assad directly facilitated that group's recovery and explosion into the transnational "Caliphate" movement it claims to be today. Meanwhile, the Assad regime has conducted a consistent policy of intentional mass killing of civilians - first with air strikes and ballistic missiles, then with barrel bombs and widely alleged use of chemical weapons. Bashar al-Assad has professionalised and industrialised the use of detention and torture to "cleanse" his own population, while imposing dozens of medieval-style sieges on vulnerable populations. He has consistently flouted UN Security Council resolutions and according to some sources, has been responsible for 95% of all 111,000 civilian deaths since 2011.
 IS remains a potent force in Syria and must be countered, but it will not be marching on Damascus anytime soon, contrary to some uninformed fear mongering. Al-Qaeda also poses a pressing and more long-term threat, perhaps more so than has been acknowledged. But at the end of the day, the root cause of the entire Syrian crisis is Assad and his regime. Contrary to popular opinion, the Syrian armed opposition is not divided, but has in fact spent much of the past year focused on developing a clear and unified political vision. These are all groups composed of and led by Syrians and which explicitly limit their objectives to within Syria's national boundaries - not IS and roughly a dozen Al-Qaeda-linked factions.
 While accommodating Russian and Iranian demands for Assad's survival and potentially even a de facto partition of the country may seem like an attainable objective, this will only prolong and intensify the conflict and will almost certainly spark a jihadist mobilization the like of which the world has never seen. The vast majority of refugees now entering Europe are fleeing Assad's murder machine, not IS or al-Qaeda. Ever since Syrians took to the streets in March 2011, the Western response has been both feeble and noncommittal, but the world is now in need of real leadership. Unfortunately, it seems our leaders are walking into the abyss with their eyes closed."

Sunday, 27 September 2015

"I do not see what Assad's role would be"

 'Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström talks about Syria negotiations and the refugee crisis.
 "Austria and some other European countries are in favor of involving the Assad regime in solving the Syria conflict. What do you make of it?"
 "I am, frankly, very skeptical. And I'd like to know what is the signal that you want to send it, and what you would achieve with it, before I refer to a clear position. I just do not see what would the role of someone be exactly who has killed seven times as many people as IS (the terrorist militia Islamic State), and directed barrel bombs and other weapons against his own people."

Opinion: What does “settlement in Syria” mean to Washington?

Eyad Abu Shakra

 'Kerry has specifically adopted Moscow’s two primary positions:
The First, making the “war on terror and extremism” the basis of any international approach in Syria.  The Second, putting off for the time being any discussion of the fate of Assad, rather than making it the first step in any discussion of a political settlement, as the Syrian opposition has been demanding since day one. Kerry has now made it clear Assad does not have to leave anytime soon when he said: “It doesn’t have to be on day one or month one. There is a process by which all the parties have to come together and reach an understanding of how this can best be achieved.”
 It is, indeed, quite interesting that Washington is still blabbering that “there is no place for Assad in a future Syria”. The experience of the last four years with what the Obama administration promises hardly encourages anyone to believe that such a statement means anything.
 On the other hand, talking about Assad, as an individual, may have now become pointless and overtaken by events. It is true he has been the face of the Syrian tragedy as well as its main cause, but it is also true that as an individual he is now but an irrelevant and a worthless detail. Those in control in Syria today are the ones who are striking deals, bringing in sectarian fighters across the border, and drawing with blood the maps of Syria’s partition.
 As regards the Arab states, if Washington continues to dismiss their misgivings about its blessings of Iran’s hegemony over Iraq, and its self-delusion that the Syrians’ would accept the perpetuation of the four-decades old despotic mentality and its security and suppression, they would realize that nothing is going to change in Syria except the portrait of a figurehead president.
 Assad must leave. There should not be any doubts about that; but the policy of “fighting ISIS” alone must not conceal Washington’s frighteningly contradictory approach to the Middle East’s problems; including, turning the Arabs and their countries to failing experiments.'