Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2014

Syria: Fragmented Insurgents Can Not Win

The opposition situation in Syria is further fragmenting leaving the anti-Syrian forces with no real structure to work with.

The U.S. and the Orwellian named "friends of Syria" first supported Burhan Ghalioun as the head of the Syrian National Council. The next white men's hope was Moaz al Khatib. Then came one Ghassan Hitto. Then the Muslim Brotherhood organisation Syrian National Council was widened into the Syrian National Coalition and the Saudis installed Ahmad al-Jarba as its leader. The U.S. then promoted Salim Idriss and his Supreme Military Council as its favorite. Meanwhile the Syrian National Coalition kicked out the original exile opposition group Syrian National Council.

Last week Salim Idriss was kicked out as leader of the Supreme Military Council and replaced by the rather unknown Abdul-Ilah al Bashir. Idriss, together with nine of his commanders and their groups, is fighting back. Another insurgency leader who currently leads an outlet named Syrian Revolutionaries Front, Jamal Maarouf, is lobbying in Washington to become the new favorite U.S. assets.

The myriad fighting "brigades" are seemingly changing their allegiances by the day depending on who is willing to pay them or who offers the better loot. The three Al-Qaeda affiliates, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are fighting each other with ISIS today killing Ahrar al-Sham leader Abu Khalid al-Suri who was a personal acquaintance of Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Layth al-Libi.

The chaos within the opposition is predictably helping those who fight against them. In the north and east the Kurdish groups, at peace with the Syrian government, are winning ground. In the south and west the Syrian Arab Army is making steady progress. Local truces, in effect local surrender acknowledgements by insurgent groups, are now regular occurrences. An attempt by U.S. trained forces to take on Damascus, with Pakistani weapons delivered through the Saudis and coming from Jordan, was bombed into the ground before they could show any effect.

The fighting will continue for a while but I am more assured then ever before that the Syrian government will win against the insurrection and the assorted foreign payed mercenaries.

Posted by b on February 23, 2014 at 15:19 UTC | Permalink


I'm afraid that no one can win in Syria and that the bastards in the US and Israeli governments are delighted. Same with Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand ...

Posted by: john francis lee | Feb 23 2014 15:43 utc | 1

@1 We are clearly seeing a massive campaign led by the US/Isr/NATO that amounts to nothing less than world war.

This is the Empire's attempt to remake the world in its image following the massive hit it took to its prestige by the illegal invasion of Iraq. All the countries that benefitted from US being mired there and the openings of democracy that it allowed and the glimpse into the real ways of the US are now being snapped shut. Obama, having failed to live up to a single expectation to the people, is now fulfilling his full promise to his masters in this far-ranging attempt to revive the Empire.

The "Arab Spring" was the opening salvo not of world revolution for democracy, but of world counter-revolution against the last remnants of revolution that erupted out of that great failure of the elite - the First World War. We have only to look at who is in trouble and who emerged unscathed to see that the pattern. We only have to watch the royals of England dance with the royals of Arabia to know what kind of power structure they would like to see - one not much different from one this globe saw 500, 1000, or even 2000 years ago.

This is a world war. How hot it gets, there is no telling.

It is a world war between the great mass of humanity and tiny segment in control of all the levers of power that technology has given them. And victory will be defined by wether, in the end, a small number still controls the world's technology and the world's production or wether that control is open to all through whatever mechanisms we can devise.

Victory will be defined by wether a small sector can prevent those who refuse to submit to them, in spirit and in body, that which they need to live - or wether all will have what they need only by having to do their part in producing it. That is what is being fought for, it seems to me.

And though all countries will face this war, there will be clear differences between those who survive and those who do not. A country such as the Ukraine, apparently led by traitors will find no shortage of more traitors to bring them down and their countries to chaos. And countries like Venezuela, led by patriots, will find no shortage of patriots to shore them up.

What is there left to do but to fight this or face entering a new dark age? The Buddhists - though I know little of the theology - describe the possibilities as such:

The remainder of this small aeon is prophesied to be miserable: lifespans will continue to decrease, and all the evil tendencies of the past will reach their ultimate in destructiveness. By the end, people will live no longer than ten years, food will be poor and tasteless; no form of morality will be acknowledged. The most contemptuous and hateful people will become the rulers. Corruption will be everywhere. Hatred between people, even members of the same family, will grow until people think of each other as hunters do their prey.

Eventually a great war will ensue, in which the most hostile and aggressive will arm themselves and go out and kill each other.

George Orwell described it as "a boot stamping on a human face - forever".

Because in every country where the "West" can get an in, we see total devastation. Even their own people are not immune any more. It is clear what this war is all about. And the words "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" rings as true on the opening of this world war as it did on the last.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 23 2014 17:11 utc | 2

I agree with guest77 that we are in a world war 3.The arc of instability is spreading rapidly around the planet.But we are coming now to a junction because the instability arc cannot spread on indefinitely.At one point,especially now that many emerging countries are getting rid of their dollars to stabilize their own currencies,something will go wrong with a West that doesn't want to acknowledge its own crepuscule .Some place someone with enough strength will rise because risks are becoming increasingly higher than restrains and stop the whole roulette game at which point the West will make a move that will trigger events it can no longer control .The next move that might accelerate the big war might be Syria,or Ukraine or the next victim.
Regarding Syria from june 2011 I knew as a certainty that the West had lost it right after Jisr al Chooghoor.An ex lebanese foreign minister described Syria as the Phyton ,the one that waits and waits till you make your first wrong move and then and not before they act.And that is exactly what happened,Bashar and the state have very icy nerves the way the russians and the iranians have that why they can work in symbiosis.

Posted by: Nobody | Feb 23 2014 21:54 utc | 3

Assad is winning because Obama & BBC's 'rebels' are just as cowardly, greedy and stupid as their cowardly, greedy sponsors.
It really is that simple.
Ukraine will go the same way, for the same reason.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2014 5:13 utc | 4

Looking at the mess the opposition has done out of civilian protests calling for a better distribution of wealth and against corruption, I am sure that the majority of Syrians with a brain are learning what was clear from the first day: Relying on foreign countries and religious fervor to effect political changes is a recipe for a disaster.
I just hope that this overdose of Islamism and foreign interventions will act as a vaccin in the new Syria

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 24 2014 6:45 utc | 5

Syrian rebel groups slip further into disarray

Many rebels accuse each other of power grabs rather than fighting the regime
New York Times News Service

While the opposition’s exiled leadership, the Syrian National Coalition, quickly congratulated the new leader, the move baffled many in the opposition, including the new leader himself, who had not even known he was in the running for the top job.

“My friend called and told me, ‘Congratulations,’” Brig. Gen. Abdul Ilah Al Bashir said in an interview after his appointment. “I asked him, ‘Good news?’ He said to turn on the television.

“I swear to God, no one was in touch with me,” he added. “I knew nothing about it.”

The chaos within the opposition’s military council reflects the wider mistrust and internal rivalries between Syria’s rebels and their powerful foreign backers that have consistently undermined their ability to form a united front against Al Assad.

Though rebels across Syria share the goal of changing the government and often cooperate in battle, recent interviews with nearly 20 rebel commanders, fighters, logistics officers and opposition officials paint a picture of a movement handicapped by infighting. Many rebels accuse their colleagues of choosing the expansion of their own power over the fight against the government.

The new chaos in the rebel leadership comes as internationally backed talks aimed at ending the war have failed to make progress and as the Obama administration searches for new ways to put more pressure on Al Assad.

But the disorder within the council, the umbrella group for moderate, Western-backed rebels, leaves the United States and its allies with one fewer reliable partner to work with to try to affect the course of the war.

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 24 2014 9:29 utc | 6

NYT with more juicy details of the opposition chaos: Top Military Body Against Syria’s Assad Is in Chaos, Undermining Fight

It appeared to be a huge step forward for the scattered rebel groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad of Syria: the creation of a central body of top insurgent commanders who would coordinate military campaigns, direct foreign support and serve as a unifying force for their diverse movement.

But 14 months after its creation, the body, known as the Supreme Military Council, is in disarray. Islamist groups have seized its weapons storerooms, its members have stolen or sold its supplies, and one prominent commander it armed and equipped has publicly joined an offshoot of Al Qaeda.

The council’s full dysfunction spilled into public view recently when a group of its members decided at a secret meeting to oust its chief of staff, Gen. Salim Idris, and put another man in his place.

While the opposition’s exiled leadership, the Syrian National Coalition, quickly congratulated the new leader, the move baffled many in the opposition, including the new leader himself, who had not even known he was in the running for the top job.

“My friend called and told me, ‘Congratulations,’ ” Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir said in an interview after his appointment. “I asked him, ‘Good news?’ He said to turn on the television.

“I swear to God, no one was in touch with me,” he added. “I knew nothing about it.”
Last year, fighters loyal to the Idlib-based rebel commander Jamal Maarouf seized weapons from the body’s storehouses on the Turkish border, according to people present at the time.
Prominent defections, including the departure of Islamic Front leaders, marred the council’s image. And late last year, Saddam al-Jamal, an assistant deputy chief of staff who had received arms from the group, publicly announced that he had joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, and accused his former colleagues of corruption.

What a mess ...

Posted by: b | Feb 24 2014 9:46 utc | 7

Something happened at the UN SC over the WE, and I don't see much commentary anywhere :-(. The US finally managed to get a resolution through the Council that condemns the Syria government / Assad regime. Why did the Russians allow this to pass?

report by M K Bhadrakumar, text of resolution 2139.

Posted by: Philippe | Feb 24 2014 13:18 utc | 8

Why did the Russians allow this to pass?
Posted by: Philippe | Feb 24, 2014 8:18:11 AM | 8

Russian humour would be my guess.
The Yankees should have realised by now that the UN is no longer its personal fifedom. So they can make as many "UN-approved" noises and hollow promises as they can dream up, but anything Russia/Assad refuse to authorise won't get off the ground.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2014 14:12 utc | 9

ad 9.
The only items with a timeline are Items 2 to 6 + 17.
Those and the remainder read like the kind of "agreement" Bibi or Kerry would impose on Palestine. And US, UK, Turkey and Saudi-Israelia are conspicuously absent from the list of ter'rism perps - ironically, a list of one entity; al-CIA-da.

The spirit of this resolution will give Russia a lot of ammunition for a non-US Ukraine solution. Medvedev is already making noises about Ukraine, according to 'rebel' radio/TV i.e. BBC World Service.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 24 2014 16:25 utc | 10

Israel is stepping up its readiness and activities toward Syria. Yesterday, Israel reportedly bombed on the Lebanon/Syria border near the Bekaa region. Hezbollah claims that the bombs didn't hit in Lebanon. Israel has replaced a military unit that has covered the Golan Heights for 40 years with a new one with expanded capabilities. As the region south of Damascus heats up, residents there fear that Israel is trying to foment a breakaway Druze region.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Feb 25 2014 19:42 utc | 11

Syrian exporters try to revive businesses

Three years into Syria's war, some exporters who moved to neighbouring countries to escape the violence that has devastated many businesses now want to return home.

While production in Syria is running at a small fraction of pre-conflict levels, advances by forces of President Bashar Al-Assad against rebels in the past year have improved security in some areas for entrepreneurs who largely lean towards the government side.

On top of this, bosses such as olive oil exporter Antoun Betinjaneh have found that shifting production across the border to Lebanon makes little financial sense.

Betinjaneh, a newly-appointed member of the Syrian Exporters Federation, said that for all the turmoil, the state offered cheaper utilities and land on attractive terms.

"You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone," Betinjaneh told Reuters on the sidelines of a food industry event in Dubai where he was marketing Syrian products.

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 26 2014 11:09 utc | 12

Israel knows, like all the other anti-Assad 'actors' that the Russian Med fleet is there to discourage, and if necessary retaliate against, any external entity attacking Syria with military force. I'm very confident that Israel has already been warned that another attack on Syria could result in significant destruction of its ability to attack ANYTHING, or even to defend itself - a threat too 'existential' for even Bibi to ignore.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 26 2014 11:30 utc | 13

Spring cleaning is going on in Syria
Le Monde just discovered that the fighters are often Saudis or Chechens...
And the latest "international brigade" which had just graduated from the training camp in Jordan has been almost entirely eliminated. Wonderful job. Asad can soon become "employee of the week" once again, when the West decides it, that is.

As for CAR, the sanitary problem is worse than the violence and it kills more. Well, that's the whole point with R2P, isn't it?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 26 2014 16:23 utc | 14

While they are at it, foreigners decide to which ethnicity people belong

Posted by: Mina | Feb 26 2014 18:39 utc | 15

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