I’ve been keeping quiet about Syria recently. I’ve been working on other projects. The main reason for this is that I have nothing new to say. The regime continues to spew meaningless words concerning ‘reform’ and ‘dialogue’ even as it escalates its assaults on urban areas and its campaigns of arrest and torture. The rate at which the regime murders the innocent is still shocking, but is substantially less than in earlier months. There is evidence that the killings are now more targetted against protest leaders and organisers – in other words against the intelligent leadership of the next generation. Pro-regime propagandists continue to speak about the Syrian people (their own people) the way Zionists speak about the Palestinian people. Anti-regime violence, understandably, seems to be rising. Very worryingly, there appear to have been sectarian clashes between Alawis and Sunnis in Homs. The regime, with its appalling instrumentalisation of sectarianism since the intifada began, its use of irregular Alawi-majority militias (as the Americans used Shia and Kurdish militias to terrorise restive Sunni areas in Iraq), and through its black operations, bears full responsibility for this. It is to the credit of Syrians that almost universal revulsion met news of the sectarian fighting. Most protestors reaffirmed their commitment to national unity. The protests, meanwhile, have grown to enormous proportions. The governorates of Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Idlib and Homs appear to be lost to the regime. Damascus and Aleppo are now definitely involved. Ramadan will bring a further intensification.
When I get to it, I will write more fully about Hizbullah’s blunder in supporting the regime. Hizbullah used to be wildly popular in Syria because it was perceived as an organisation dedicated to fighting for the oppressed. Now that it’s taken to supporting the Syrian oppressors against the Syrian oppressed, Hizbullah is widely despised in Syria. Its own stupidity achieved what decades of Wahhabi-Saudi, Zionist and Western propaganda could not. Here’s an article by Hamid Dabashi on that.
And here’s a fair documentary from the BBC on the situation in Syria, featuring the brave and long-suffering Riyadh as-Saif.