Syrian civil war: West failed to factor in Bashar al-Assad’s Iranian backers as the conflict developed

Published on The, by Robert Fisk, March 13, 2016 [ with a VIDEO - and in 72 pictures: the rise of Isis].

Five years ago, we were high on Arab revolutions, and journalists were growing used to ‘liberating’ Arab capitals.

Just before I left Syria last month, a tall and eloquent Franco-Lebanese man walked up to me in a Damascus coffee shop and introduced himself as President Bashar al-Assad’s architect. It was his task, he led me to understand, to design the reconstructed cities of Syria.

Who would have believed it? Five years after the start of Syria’s tragedy – and within six months of this, remember, the regime itself trembled and the Western powers, flush with dangerous pride after destroying Gaddafi, predicted the imminent fall of the Assad dynasty – the Syrian government is preparing to rebuild its towns and cities … //

… The Assad regime, came the message from the Washington think-tanks and mountebank “experts”, had reached – a cliché we should all beware of – the “tipping point”. La Clinton announced that Assad “had to go”. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared that Assad “did not deserve to live on this planet” – although he failed to name the galaxy to which the Syrian President might retire. And I complied with an Independent request to write Assad’s obituary – for future use, you understand – and still it moulders in the paper’s archives … //

… The sectarian nature of Middle East civil wars has always been manipulated. For 100 years, the West has used the confessional nature of society in the region to set up “national” governments which were, by nature, sectarian – in Palestine after the 1914-18 war, in Cyprus, in Lebanon, in Syria – where the French used Alawites as their “force speciale” – and, after 2003, in Iraq. This not only allowed us to portray Middle Eastern people as essentially sectarian in nature but permitted us to forget the degree to which minorities would naturally lend their support to local dictators – not least the Christians (Maronites, Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Melkite, and so on) of Syria … //

… Today, there are only two serious military forces with “boots on the ground” to fight Isis and al-Nusra and the other Islamist gangs: the Kurds and the Syrian army. And the latter, reinforced by Russian air power, are now – for the moment at least – winning. I’ve even seen a new poster on the streets of Syrian cities. It shows Bashar al-Assad and, right alongside him, the face of Colonel Suheil al-Hassan, the “Tiger” as the army call him, the country’s most successful military commander, the “Rommel” of Syria … //

… (full text).

Robert Fisk on en.wikipedia, /Works, /External Links, on Google Web-search, on, on the World People’s Blog (2005).

(my comment: what an irony, the Syrian poors, not able to pay any smuggler, may finally start better in a new life than all these middle class refugees).


Germany’s Election Hangover, the Right Wing Takes Flight, on Spiegel Online International, by tefan Kuzmany, March 14, 2016: every mainstream political party in Germany threw its support behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policies – forcing doubters into the open arms of the right-wing populists. It’s time for German politicians to be clearer about where they stand;

Labor Must Have Its Own Independent Voice, on ZNet, March 14, 2016 (first on Labor Fightback Network);

Exposing the Libyan Agenda: A Closer Look at Hillary’s Emails, on Dissident Voice, by Ellen Brown, March 13, 2016;

Two Ways of Looking at the Race for the American Presidency, on Richard Falk’s blog, by RICHARD FALK, March 12, 2016;

FRANCE: Misère partout, justice nulle part, dans Mé, par Michaël Hajdenberg, le 15 mars 2016: la justice manque de tout : d’effectifs, de place, de stylos bleus, de temps… Une telle pauvreté rend impossible le quotidien des magistrats. Mais elle a également des répercussions concrètes sur la vie des justiciables. Six magistrats racontent comment l’indigence engendre l’injustice;

Providers’ Newsletter Service Has Broken Down, Awaiting A Fix By The Provider, on Paul Craight Roberts’ Website, March 12, 2016;

Lesbos: Enter the Refugee ‘Hot Spot’, on, by Ross Domoney and Antonis Vradis, March 12, 2016: Locals on the Greek island of Lesbos, which has been at the front-line of the refugee crisis, discuss what they think the new term “hot spot” means;

C’est confirmé, je suis plus utile au chômage, dans basta!, par Jérôme Choain, le 11 mars 2016;

Canada: Windsor-Essex receives funding for new approach in poverty reduction, on Our, by Tom Morrison, March 11, 2016;

Bernie Sanders Campaign Should Be Seen as an Initial Step in a Process Leading to the Establishment of a Labor Party, on The Labor Fightback Blog, Feb 19, 2016;

Give Aid and Asylum to Syrian Refugees! No U.S. Intervention in the Syrian Civil War, on The Labor Fightback Blog, Dec 1, 2015;

EU-Parlamentspräsident Dr. h.c. Martin Schulz an der Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg OVGU, 62.24 min, von Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg OVGU am 15. Jan 2016;

ZDF Journalist: Flüchtlingskrise insziniert Bürgerkrieg, 17.26 min, von Deutschland Russland am 15. Okt 2015;

Die EU ist eine Diktatur – Martin Schulz bei Maybrit Illner, 7.58 min, von Bananenrepublik1 am 5. Juni 2015;

… and this:

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