Political analyst Anton Khashenko – on why the West finally ceased to divide insurgents into “moderates” and “radicals”
Originally appeared at Izvestia, translated by Don Courter exclusively for SouthFront
While the official position of Western leadership on the fate of Bashar Assad, despite the apparent softening of rhetoric, nevertheless remains unchanged (“Tehran must disarm” sooner or later), the center for inquiries on religion and geopolitics, funded by Tony Blaire, published the results of a study on the quality of the so-called Syrian opposition.
The report specifically reveals that about 60% of the rebels (around 100,000 people) fall under the category of “Islamist”. In fact, they share resources with ISIS and would simply occupy their vacant niche if the Islamic State was destroyed.
Despite the fact that less than a quarter of opposition fighters do not adhere to Islamic ideology, many of them fight on the same side as extremists and, at the end of the day, may still be participating in the Islamist political structure. In this regard, researchers have concluded that the division of Western world insurgents into radicals and moderates is quite shortsighted.
Actually, the fact that analysts said nothing new signifies that the topic can be sensational for foreign audiences, by means of propaganda about the “tyrant” Assad, the romanticizing of “freedom fighters”, and portrayal of ISIS with weapons.
For the rest, it was clear from the beginning that the bearded men in Youtube videos yelling religious chants after every gunshot resembled little of the participants of “Arab Spring” in Egypt, not to mention the usual methods of ardent revolutionaries. Try, by the way, to find, on the internet, at least some “Syrian opposition” website with a description of their demanded reforms, I personally have failed.
Therefore, the piquancy of the situation is not so much the fact that these researchers created such a report, many of whom specifically spoke about the similar nature of the true motives of ISIS and “Syrian Opposition”, but because this moves the western establishment to a new informational and geopolitical reality.
BBC and The Guardian, affiliates of the fund heavyweight Blair, agree with this analysis and published a report, in which this information was no longer labeled “Russian Propaganda”.
One may, of course, attempt to ignore this information, but even with a moderate perspective (if the erroneous political line of Assad’s departure at any cost continues), it would signify the acquisition of serious political risks.
Russia could have dismissed this, even though the country, from the very beginning, warned the world of the impact of the West’s political course in Syria (which brings to mind Putin’s famous quote: “Have you any idea what you have done?”). When the mass media and research centers speak about this, it is extremely difficult to continue the clumsy policy of the “demolition” of Assad at any cost.
What exactly, by and large, did the report report contribute? Precisely that, at least today, there is no reasonable alternative to Assad’s Administration in Syria.
Well ok, maybe the current Syrian President does not exactly meet the Western standards for democracy, but, from the get-go, it is quite obvious that with all the disadvantages of Assad — he is certainly not a terrorist with a “Kalashnikov” or a “Stinger” and radical Islamist views.
A stronger democracy may be far in the future with Assad, but a comparison of the secular regime in Syria with the absolutist monarchies (with Islam as the state religion), who are allies of the US in this region (Saudi Arabia, Qatar), would clearly not be favorable to the latter.
Therefore, the only reasonable choice lies with the destruction of not only ISIS, but all of the other terrorist organizations hiding under the guise of “moderate opposition”, which are not really political opposition, with the proper organizational and political credentials (such as being able to hold a dialogue without an assault rifle), and, above all, are unwilling to work with the Syrian President to conduct all the necessary institutional reforms in their country.
This especially must be an end in itself, not the forced overthrow of a specific person with the position of president. The terrorists do not solve the problem of democracy in Syria, on the contrary, they are opening the doors for the less pleasant features of humanity to seize power of a stable government.