Well, I’m playing the devil’s advocate here. I’m not supporting anybody thus far but the people of Syria. My views are currently quite precarious, it’s being developed over time with the more I know.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading regarding the Syrian conflict recently. I initially had the stance that Bashar Al-Assad was a criminal dictator and the FSA were the good guys (think star wars). But, I’ve soon come to realise that the situation is far too convoluted than I could even imagine. The more research I do, the more I tend to side with him. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.
-Yes. Bashar Al-Assad had committed a bunch of abysmal war crimes. But so has the U.S. (think drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, pushing for war in Libya and Somalia), but so has the rebels.
Though, when Al-Assad catalysed the conflict by killing innocent civilians, it wasn’t only unarmed protesters that he fired upon
It’s certainly rare for peaceful protests to remain peaceful. The situation may seem more one-sided than the media portrays it to be. I cannot verify this, though.
-The current rebels aren’t even the true people of Syria. The portion of the secular FSA that initially defected is now composing a tiny minority of the opposition force against the Syrian government. The initial defects from the Syrian army now make up a greater coalition which have abundant fighters with Islamist (in between moderate Islamic and radical islamic) views. Many of these fighters have came from surrounding nations, such as Lebanon.
Other factions have also emerged since with plain radical extremist views, such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. A lot of weapons that the U.S. supplied to the FSA have ended up in the hands of ISIS, further inadvertently strengthening the atrocious terrorist group.
3,000 FSA fighters defect to ISIS
FSA numbers dwindling
-A considerable portion of the Syrian people support Bashar Al-Assad, acknowledging that he is the lesser of the two evils. Now, I can’t fully ascertain whether this is even remotely true, but from my research, I have found almost all comments by Syrians online tend to be in favour or Al-Assad.
Video of a Syrian saying that the majority of Syrians support Bashar
Though, the man in the video may be living in the government-controlled region, so a bias may exist.
-Assad may be the last chance of survival for the minority groups in Syria, namely, the Alawites, Christians, Druze and Shia (maybe even the Kurds). I fear that if the opposition wins, these groups may suffer massive genocide.
After all, we all know how it ended up in Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew from it. Warring factions from the Mujahideen, then Taliban was eventually formed and took control of the region. I fear that the U.S. may be replicating the same mistake they made ~40 years ago by supplying weapons to the rebels. It feels like a slippery slope.
I think Libya and Iraq can also be considered fair examples. Minority groups are oppressed there, too.
Video of Alawites being killed by the opposition
FSA members threaten Alawites and Syrian government (not 100% if they are FSA, though)
-I doubt that the opposition will create stability in the region, rather, the power void will create space for a greater monster to be nurtured and emerge years later. Like I addressed in my previous point, this has been the case for Afghanistan (I don’t know about Libya and Iraq, I’m unfamiliar with the state of their countries but from my understanding it is extremely unstable compared to how it used to be).
-Syria used to be a decent place prior to the civil war/revolution. From my understanding, it was pretty secular compared to its neighbours. It was a great place in the Middle East for freedom of faith and religion.
Here is a reddit thread where Syrians talk about life before the war (further proof that Syrians were fine with Assad, pre-war)
Those are the points that I can muster at the current moment. I know, it isn’t much, but I’m sort of a layman xD
I am not looking for an argument, but rather, I would like to be enlightened and have a discussion on the issue. I may be 100% wrong with all the stuff listed above, I don’t know. Do I have a point? Am I talking plain nonsense? Please share your views! If you’re from the surround regions, I urge you to share with me your insight. Take your time to digest the information above. I would appreciate it, a lot. :)
And please don’t comment if you’re going to perpetuate some anti-Islamic/anti-religion crap concerning this matter. It’s far more nuanced than that.
TL;DR: Bashar Al-Assad is a horrible dictator, but he is a better option over the alternative for the people in Syria.