A 5 minute guide to debunk the notion that Syria’s conflict is not to do with Assad not wanting to give up power:
– Lets assume that there is literally no indigenous Syrian opposition (even though Assad of course acknowledged that there is and has the “harbouring” of “millions” of his population, but lets assume otherwise). Lets assume that every single “attack” the Syrian regime/state (one of the same in the context of Syria) have been subjected to has been an Israeli invasion, lets assume that all the destruction in the country is because of an Israeli airforce. Lets assume that all the destruction in Syria is because of Israel (note: it was Israel that suggested and brokered the chemical weapons deal in 2013 that spared the regime from Obama’s “punitive strikes” – but lets put that aside).
Now considering the scale of the destruction and humanitarian crisis, surely any regime that’s so miserably failed to defend the country against such an “attack” would be expected to make changes in leadership, resignations, etc. When Egypt was defeated in 1967 (in 6 days, not 5 years) Gamal Abdel Nasser came out on national TV and offered his resignation (be it a bluff or otherwise, he did it). If they were truly “patriotic” that is, they would not be able to sit in front of their people with a face betraying anything other than shame and utter abashedness at what’s happened to their country – the shame Nasser showed on his face in his speech. What you have with Assad though, is someone who STILL looks utterly relaxed and cracks jokes 5 years on his country’s utter destruction. Compare that even to Saddam, who would appear genuinely troubled when interviewed with Western media, and would implore them to change policy (again this does not take away from the fact that he was a egotistical melgomaniac as well).
Now unless there is someone who seriously thinks that the Assad’s regime’s “resistance” to this Israeli attack has been successful, this leaves only one option – that the scale of the humanitarian disaster isn’t really that bad, which is *why* the Syrian regime does not go on about the sheer scale of the disaster in the country, even though it would presumably further its “this is what the West and Israel are doing” narrative – it tries to hide it with “come have fun in summer” PR campaigns.
In other words – admitting the humanitarian disaster either means that 1) you have a government whose failure to stand up to its enemies entailing the worst humanitarian catastrophe (nakba) since WW2 could only be put in the most humungous epic failures in military history.
2) You have a government that is actually carrying out this humanitarian disaster.
And this is why the Syrian regime hides the scale of the humanitarian disaster, because even if you follow its lie of a narrative, of a conspiracy by those who’ve actually protected its continued, albeit more and more pathetic existence, it still leaves them entirely deficient and indeed completely emasculated.
This is unlike, note, Saddam’s Iraq during the 90s – though he too was a melgomaniac who wouldn’t give up power even if his whole people suffered and starved (imperialism needs melgomaniacs, have no doubt), his state routinely showed the humanitarian catastrophe (malnutrition, children being born with deformed limbs etc.) that came out of the US-led decade of economic embargo in the country which killed a million Iraqis (half of them children according to the UN).
Because his state was truly under “Western attack” in that instance. When has the Syrian government ever showed pictures of the emaciated figures of those under siege (even lets say by the Israeli proxy terrorists) on its media?
Of course the reality is that it is not a coincidence that the areas which the Syrian regime lost control of happen to be the areas that were the centres of protest against him in 2011 – Idlib, the capital of the revolution, Dara’a, the working-class half of Aleppo, the riff-raff suburbs of Damascus, as well of course as all the smaller cities, towns and village of Syria’s provincial countrysides (countrysides of Homs, Hama, Idlib, Dara’a, Aleppo as well of course as Raqqa, Hassakah and Deir al-Zor – note the only countryside which the rebels have very limited presence in is Latakia). The idea that the regime could have lost these wide swathes of territory when it is armed by a state-of-the-arts military (given all the developed Russian weaponry the US could ever bestow on anyone, as its media routinely brags) as well as an unchallenged airforce, were it not for insane popular resistance against the odds is as delusional as the idea that this conflict ultimately does not boil down to the reluctance of a family, representing a clan, representing (unfortunately) a sect to lose power, and their inflicting of absolute horrors to maintain their ultimate superiority.