Assad and the release of Islamic extremists in context

#1
Last night I happened to watch the BBC’s A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad Episode 1.
BBC Two - A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad, Series 1, Episode 1
I was able to bear most of the demonisation of Assad. Though found myself particularly annoyed regarding the accusations of his ‘secret’ release of Islamist extremists to supposedly counter the West’s war on terror. Consequently I found the following article by William Van Wagenen who elaborates on the reality and context behind these accusations.
Did Assad Deliberately Release Islamist Prisoners to Militarize and Radicalize the Syrian Uprising? - The Libertarian Institute
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#2
An excellent Post, Seato! :-) Thanks for the information on the BBC's Episode on Assad 1 & 2.

Of special interest - is the article you Posted by William Van Wagenen. It deserves "a High-Five" :perfect: Thanks!

I think it's important, to read carefully, the first couple of paragraphs in Van Wagenen's comprehensive work and documented overview into Syria's history - before and during the initial 2011 (controlled and financed Muslim Brotherhood opposition) uprising against Assad and the Syrian Government. Van Wagenen further clarifies his position, with additional information, towards the middle half of the essay.

Van Wagenen's comprehensive study - dovetails and compliments much of the information - that has been systematically Posted by Forum Members in this thread:

Russia Begins Operations in Syria: End Game for the US Empire?
Russia Begins Operations in Syria: End Game for the US Empire?

The information provided by Van Wagenen, on the opposition groups and their sponsors, aligns closely to what I have observed and learned through my own investigations.

There is two noticeable flaws in Van Wagenen's delivery - one is that he considers Bashar Assad's rule "as authoritarian and corrupt" as is his opinion of Assad's Father (Hafez al-Assad). There's very little supporting evidence - to support that claim. Both Assad and his Father cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood and other aligned terrorists by jailing them and neutralizing their activities.

~ ~ ~ Quoted from the article:

[...] ... contrary to the mainstream view, the Syrian opposition was not for the most part secular. Instead, much of the Syrian opposition was dominated by Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian government’s long time enemy.

The Muslim Brotherhood led a violent insurrection and assassination campaign against the Syrian state from 1976-82 which was infamously suppressed by Hafez al-Assad, the then president of Syria and father of Bashar al-Assad, during the events in Hama. Though defeated on the ground in Syria, the exiled Brotherhood leadership remained committed to regime change in Syria, including through armed struggle. As a result, the Syrian government banned membership in the Brotherhood, and detained many Syrians (executing some) for having Brotherhood ties. Consequently, when unrest erupted throughout the Middle East as part of the Arab Spring in 2011, many of the political prisoners already languishing in Syrian jails were Islamists affiliated with the Brotherhood.

After years of organized opposition to the Syrian government, the Brotherhood was well placed to leverage the popular dissatisfaction many Syrians felt due to the authoritarianism and corruption of the Syrian government, and due to the poor economic situation many Syrians faced, in particular in the countryside, after years of drought. Members of the Brotherhood founded the Syria Revolution 2011 Facebook page, the mechanism through which most anti-government demonstrations in Syria were organized, and the main conduit through which news of the uprising was disseminated to Western and Gulf media outlets. The Brotherhood also came to largely control the main opposition group abroad, the Syrian National Council (SNC) which received most of its funding from the religious fundamentalist governments in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As a result, many (but certainly not all) Syrians arrested for participating in the early protests were Islamists. (End quote).
~ ~ ~

Second flaw, although Van Wagenen mentions the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey behind the terrorist activities, he never "openly acknowledges" - Israel's/Netanyahu's part. Although, there are references to "The Times of Israel" media outlet.

Over-all, it's a good compilation of the various opposition and terrorist groups and how, through their sponsors, manipulated events in Syria.

I would like to cross-Post Seato's information into the Syrian/Putin thread above - for wider circulation but also, would like to see this thread stay open - for further comments and discussion.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#3
There is two noticeable flaws in Van Wagenen's delivery - one is that he considers Bashar Assad's rule "as authoritarian and corrupt" as is his opinion of Assad's Father (Hafez al-Assad). There's very little supporting evidence - to support that claim. Both Assad and his Father cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood and other aligned terrorists by jailing them and neutralizing their activities.
I am not sure Van Wagenen's opinion was overly critical of Bashar Assad or his father Hafez al-Assad although he uses the word "admittedly".

The only place he used "Authoritarian and corrupt" is below with the mention that the Syrian state was "stable". He doesn't seem to give all the blame to the leadership but maybe the state in general. I am not sure since he uses the term "state".

What is objectionable is that these Islamists were pushed toward violence by foreign powers such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in an effort to topple an admittedly authoritarian and corrupt but previously stable Syrian state, plunging the country into a state of civil war. Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) of the Syrian state, Syrians do not benefit when the country is ripped apart by violence instigated by foreign powers seeking their own agenda. Also objectionable is that these Islamists have promoted intolerant, fringe, fundamentalist religious ideas (takfirism). Such ideas are largely foreign to Syrians (having originated in Saudi Arabia), including to Syrian Sunnis, and incite violence against religious minorities.
Also, the only mention of his father was:

The Muslim Brotherhood led a violent insurrection and assassination campaign against the Syrian state from 1976-82 which was infamously suppressed by Hafez al-Assad, the then president of Syria and father of Bashar al-Assad, during the events in Hama.
I would imagine that the suppression of any strong-minded group would become infamous (especially to the group itself). And how do you handle a "violent insurrection and assassination campaign"?

I think this is an excellent overview of all the groups and countries that have been and are still involved in Syria. Many thanks to Seato for posting it.

And thanks angelburst29 for your comments. I also notice the absence of any comments about "Israel's/Netanyahu's part".
 
Top Bottom