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Mit pokojowych antyrządowych demonstracji w Syrii Syria and the Myth of the Peaceful Start of the Protests

The following text is the English translation of the interesting article about the Syrian crisis and especially about the myth of the peaceful start of the protests in Syria by the Mr Uwe Ness.

The original German article by Mr Ness about the beginning of the Syrian crisis and the myth of the peaceful start of this allegedly huge movement in Syria can be found here.

About Syria and the Myth of the Peaceful Beginning of the Protests

Preliminary note: Central to the Western “commitment” to the Syrian rebels is the mass media clichés that there had been initially peaceful protests.

In this text, a view is directed back at beginning at the ‘revolt’ (February until April 2011), when the opponents of Assad have already responded to repression with massive force or as this was even partially started by themselves – with the result of 48 documented deaths in the police and army, in the first few weeks.

UN Security Council condemns terrorism

In early October 2012, the UN Security Council found for the first time clear words about the terror bombings in Syria on initiative of Russia:

The Panel adopted a statement in which they have “condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Aleppo, Syria, on 3 October, causing dozens of deaths and over 100 civilians injured.” [1]

Previously, the Security Council had only generally expressed something about the violence on both sides in Resolution 2042, especially as the U.S., Britain and France had blocked the initiatives of Russia and China in terms of the terrorist attacks.

Thereby, according to the information of the German federal government in a response to a parliamentary inquiry of the Left party, more than 90 bomb attacks were carried out already in the first 6 months of this year. The human loss differed: some left few dead, others dozens, such as on the 10 February 2012 in Aleppo.

These attacks, that form a fundamental part of the rebel strategy, for example, to “carry” the armed struggles into cities like Aleppo and Damascus, are silently condoned by Western media and governments – or even commented on with a winking connivance by politicians like Mr Westerwelle (German Foreign Minister): for instance, the latter said, about the case of the suicide attack against the Syrian leadership on 18 July 2012, that the terror now returns back to where it had its beginning.

There was no trace of a distancing from the terror attack (e.g. by Western governments), where the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) has taken the responsibility [2], or a condemnation, as one would have expected this from a government representative, who is obliged to the basic law.

It also becomes clearly in the dealing with the many terrorist attacks and in this particular example, how far the erosion of international law and the renunciation of traditional diplomacy under the primacy of the violent regime change, which is supported by the outside, has already thrived.

Training and Equipping of the Rebels by the West

If one searches for an explanation of why is the West so one-sided with such a vehemence and with the cost to breach its own values and principles, one is able to come straight on the figure of thought and ultimate justification of today’s terror bombing and numerous other violations of human rights, which says, that the “actions” of the rebels would only be a reaction to the violence that had been carried out by the Assad regime from the beginning.

According to that, the protests had begun peacefully, particular against the arrest of several young people in Daraa in March 2011, and they would have remained nonviolent despite the brutal repression of the regime for months, and just with the establishment of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) at the end of July 2011, an armed opposition was formed.

From this premise and from the mass media mediated image of “good versus evil”, the West derives its support for the so-called rebels, which spans from the transfer of findings from intelligence reconnaissance, to the training of rebels by former British military in Iraq [3] and in Turkey [4], the financial support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates [5], right up to deliveries of arms [6].

Among them are now Stinger missiles [7], infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles, which find their destination independently and were already supplied by the United States in the war in Afghanistan to the so-called People’s Mujahedeen. The U.S. tried to buy the weapons back after the war against the USSR, because these weapons have also posed a massive threat to the civil aviation.

Not thinkable, if the rebels, whose massive support from Saudi Arabia and its anti-Israel orientation also raised serious concerns for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz [8], would have the idea to shoot down some Israeli passenger aircrafts with these Stinger missiles. Meanwhile, according to a report in the New York Times [9], CIA agents decide in Turkey about which rebel groups should receive the appropriate weapons.

What a “happy knack” is generally destined to the Americans in their selection of their allies is already shown by the recent events in Libya or the military build-up and equipment of their subsequent enemies in Afghanistan.

It is just burlesque, against the background, that the essentially training, arming, payment and operations of the rebels are handled over Turkey, but Turkey itself forces Syrian civilian aircrafts to land by the pointing on allegedly deliveries of arms, in violation of international law with the justification that weapons for the Syrian army would be on board – especially since neither Russia and Syria are subject to EU regime of sanctions, and it is not yet up to Turkey to enforce the sanctions of the EU (European Union).

Strategies of Trivialisation and Demonizing

If one thinks now, this narrative of “good versus evil” would only be limited on the dominant mainstream media, so one is totally wrong:

In these days, the Hessian national association of the German Left party has decided about a resolution, which indeed describes an overall left consensus, but at the behest of the members of parliament, Christine Buchholz, it was supplemented by the following:

“The Assad regime has tried to quell the people’s movement for democracy and social justice military – unlike Tunisia and Egypt.” [10]

Besides the fact, that this description, considering the number of deaths, particularly in Egypt, does not apply, and the extent of state power is trivialized, it is also in terms of Syria more supported by wishful thinking than it is underpinned by actual events.

Although this image of the peaceful pro-democracy movement on the one hand, and the brutal state power on the other hand, is reproduced from the civil Right to the Green knights for human rights (Green Party), already a short research shows that the actual events are not quite so black and white as one wants to have it, for example, like they are written down in such texts by Christine Buchholz and the “initiative” called “Adopt a Revolution” since months.

This also becomes not more truer especially by the constant repetition in the mainstream media, however, at some point, this gets established in the minds of the people as pretended truth, in order to simultaneously create a legitimacy to get rid of the government of Assad in any way and forever – whether by suicide bombings or by provoking an intervention by Turkey or NATO.

Obviously a quick look at the chronology of events of the Syrian revolt is worth it in order to trace how the issue of retaliatory violence has evolved. For many weeks, it was not possible to let a spark of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt jump to Syria: The protests were more virtual expressions of anger, limited to social networks and conjured up by Al Jazeera.

So should the self-immolation of Hasan Ali Akleh at end of January 2011, who emulated the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi, set a sign for the movement, but it has also marked a violent beginning. In the course of February 2011, there were some individual demonstrations, in which, however, no more than several hundreds of people have gathered, and which, for example, were also directed against Gaddafi (Qaddafi) or which took place in front of Syrian embassies abroad. Al Jazeera bewailed, Syria would be a “kingdom of silence”.

The starting point of the violence: the events in Daraa from 18.-20. March 2011

On 6 March 2011, in southern Syrian Daraa, near the Jordanian border, several teenagers partly aged less than 15 years were arrested because they have written anti-government slogans on the walls of the city. (The arrest of teenagers is, for example, also a common practice in the U.S., although for more severe offenses, as it is shown by a recent text of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. [11])

But this action and other smaller events, such as the hunger strike of prisoners or demonstrations by Kurds, have not developed into a triggering event for a broad protest movement. On 15 March, the so-called “day of rage”, it came finally to the first significant demonstrations in al-Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor, Hama and Daraa, where a total of several thousand people took part, in Damascus, a city with 1.8 million residents, a protest march of 200 men swelled to 1,500 demonstrators.

Until that time, although there were hundreds of arrests – Al Jazeera and activists claim thousands, which is, given the relatively small number of protesters, unrealistic – but no documented deaths, however, it was claimed for the first time, that the movement had to mourn about “martyrs”, but without the chance to find appropriate sources for this.

Demonstrations took again place in Daraa on 18-19 March 2011, where the state power responded with water cannon and tear gas, and where the first two deaths have occurred on the side of the demonstrators. On 20 March, the third day of protests in Daraa, it was demonstrated for the release of the detained youths / students:

Thereby, government buildings and the local Syriatel building were stormed and set on fire. [12] According to the Israeli news portal Israel National news, four “armed protesters” [13] died there, when the police responded with gunfire.

Israel National News continues: “In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven police officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday.” [14]

Obviously, the unexpected kindness of the government, following both reports, was answered by the fact that, for the first time, police officers were killed by protesters, who had already brought weapons with them – apparently, they have appeared with the intent to exert violence.

The incidents in Daraa show, that the story of the supposedly non-violent protests, to which the government has responded with raw power from the beginning, belongs to the realm of fairy tales.

Although the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has demanded the investigation of the six, in the same month, killed protesters on 22 March 2011, but she said no word about the killed police officers or the presence of “armed protesters”; she even spoke about “peaceful demonstrators” [15], and at the same time, she has prejudiced the Western reading of the events, and she also has instrumentalized the victims.

In just the first few weeks, 48 deaths by “armed protesters” were documented

In the following days and weeks, the protests have widened, there were renewed rioting and arson, the concessions that were offered by the government of Assad were ignored, and at further violence, the state power responded repressively.

Looking at the record of these days, dozens of people have died in the attempt to storm state buildings or – as in the case of Sanamayn – to storm army bases; this has led on the side of the government to respond to the, in their eyes armed conspiracy, by force.

In these conflicts and fighting more than hundred people, including “armed protesters”, peaceful protesters, but also innocent bystanders, have died in the following six weeks till the end of April, but in the same time, however, until the end of April 2011, in addition to the seven policemen in Daraa on 20 March 2011, also at least eight other cases were documented in which representatives of state power were killed.

Many of these events, which run contrary to the Western way of reading the Syrian revolt (like the more than 100 bomb attacks to date) are not mentioned in the media, including now in the following also the events, where the English Wikipedia authors, which discuss the facts and entries seriously and intensive, have no doubts about it:

On 5 April 2011, two policemen were killed in the vicinity of Damascus, reported by Reuters [16], three days later, at least 20 “protesters” and 19 police officers were killed in riots in Daraa, so “The Guardian” [17], on 9 April 2011, nine soldiers were shot dead by unidentified men in Baniyas, as they were traveling with their bus, so Al Akhbar, [18], on 14 April 2011, also in Baniyas, a soldier was shot by a sniper, another injured. [19]

Four days later, a general of the army together with his two children and his nephew was murdered by an armed group in Homs [20] and the bodies were mutilated with sharp objects, according to the doctor who has led the inquiry. [21]

On 19 April 2011, the government has agreed – a demand of the protest movement – to loosen up the emergency legislation, at the same day, an Air Force pilot was killed outside his home in Homs by an armed group. [22] Again in Daraa, a funeral has led to clashes, in which eight people died, including five security officers.

These cases, just documented by Western media reports – it can be assumed that these cases are actually much more – show that the violence was not only carried out by police officers from the beginning and that the other side just has reacted, but rather they confirm, that the so-called opposition movement has launched self-motivated attacks (on their own accord), has pillaged buildings, and it has attacked army posts or troops.

The “people’s movement for democracy and social justice” (Christine Buchholz) was never a majority movement of Syrian men and women, which would associate the term “people’s movement”, but rather a minority that has from the beginning not emancipated from its birth defect, the unrestrained use of violence and the lack of the clearly distancing from criminal and terrorist methods.

As a consequence, the “movement” itself contributed to the situation that the conflict gets militarized, which is greatly intensifying until today, and what is, for example, investigated in the text “From the protest to the armed revolt“. Also the events surrounding the massacre of El Houleh (Hula), a year later, have to be understood in this context.


[1] Security Council Press Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Aleppo (SC/10784), 05.10.2012 (United Nations);

[2] Freie Syrische Armee bekennt sich zu Attentat, 18.07.2012 (Stern);

[3] Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Britische Elite-Kämpfer bilden Rebellen aus, 23.07.2012 (SPIEGEL Online);

[4] Syria crisis: Turkey training rebels, says FSA fighter, 04.08.2012 (BBC);

[5] “Freunde Syriens” fordern härteren Kurs, 03.04.2012 (ORF);

[6] Geheime Waffenlieferungen an syrische Rebellen, 27.07.2012 (Reuters); / Dem Frieden keine Chance, 10.08.2012 (junge Welt); ‘Saudi weapons’ seen at Syria rebel base, 08.10.2012 (BBC); Arms supplies to Syrian rebels dry up amid rivalries and divisions,10.10.2012 (The Guardian);

[7] Stinger-Wunderwaffen für Syriens Rebellen, 15.08.2012 (Die Presse);

[8] Rebels with an anti-Semitic cause, 21.09.2012 (Haaretz);

[9] C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition, 21.06.2012 (New York Times);

[10] NEIN zum Krieg in Syrien – Solidarität mit der Anti-Kriegs-Bewegung in der Türkei und anderswo! [pdf-file], 07.10.2012;

[11] US rights groups demand an end to solitary confinement for children, 11.10.2012 (Homepage des Bureau of Investigative Journalism);

[12] Syrian protesters set fire to ruling party’s headquarters, Palace of Justice, 20.03.2011 (The Globe and Mail);

[13] Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, 21.03.2011 (Israel National News);

[14] Ibid.

[15]Navi Pillay according to her spokesman: “We are greatly concerned by the recent killings of protesters in Syria and reiterate the need to put an immediate halt to the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, especially the use of live ammunition.” Cited in: UN calls for Syria probe as hundreds protest, 22.03.2011 (Al Jazeera);

[16] Two Syrian police killed by gunmen – state TV, 05.04.2011 (Reuters);

[17] Syria says 19 police killed in southern city, 08.04.2011 (The Guardian);

[18] Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List”, 28.02.2012 (Al Akhbar);

[19] Syria: President Bashar al-Assad forms new government, 14.04.2012 (BBC);

[20] Syrian protesters keep up pressure, 20.04.2011 (Al Jazeera);

[21] Timeline of the Syrian civil war (January–April 2011), 11.10.2012 (en.wikipedia.org)

[22] Ibid.

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